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In Praise of Clausius Entropy: Reassessing the Foundations of Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics

Weaver, Christopher (2020) In Praise of Clausius Entropy: Reassessing the Foundations of Boltzmannian Statistical Mechanics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

I will argue, pace a great many of my contemporaries, that there's something right about Boltzmann's attempt to ground the second law of thermodynamics in a suitably amended deterministic time-reversal invariant classical dynamics, and that in order to appreciate what's right about (what was at least at one time) Boltzmann's explanatory project, one has to fully apprehend the nature of microphysical causal structure, time-reversal invariance, and the relationship between Boltzmann entropy and the work of Rudolf Clausius.


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Item Type: Preprint
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Weaver, Christopherwgceave9@illinois.edu
Additional Information: I presented earlier drafts of this paper at the NY/NJ (Metro Area) Philosophy of Science group meeting at NYU in November of 2019. I’d like to especially thank Barry Loewer, Tim Maudlin, and David Albert for their criticisms. I’d like to give special thanks to Tim Maudlin for a lengthy exchange via email on fine points of the mathematics, physics, and history addressed here. Of course, we still disagree, but my paper and understanding benefited tremendously from that correspondence. I also presented an earlier draft of this work to the department of physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in January 2020. I thank many of the physics faculty and graduate students for their questions and objections. A comment from Nigel D. Goldenfeld as well as a challenging question from Michael B. Weissman benefited the final product. Finally, I’d like to add special thanks to Olivier Darrigol with whom I corresponded on various issues in Boltzmann scholarship. I owe a great debt to him for that enlightening correspondence and for his Atoms, Mechanics, and Probability (OUP 2018) from which I learned so much.
Keywords: Boltzmann; Maxwell; Clausius; Second Law of Thermodynamics; Causation
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Dr. Christopher Weaver
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2020 02:42
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2020 02:42
Item ID: 17051
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: 7 April 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/17051

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