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On the Relation of the Laws of Thermodynamics to Statistical Mechanics

Myrvold, Wayne C. (2021) On the Relation of the Laws of Thermodynamics to Statistical Mechanics. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Much of the philosophical literature on the relations between thermodynamics and statistical mechanics has to do with the process of relaxation to equilibrium. There has been comparatively little discussion of how to obtain what have traditionally been recognized as laws of thermodynamics, the zeroth, first, and second laws, from statistical mechanics. This note is about how to obtain analogues of those laws as theorems of statistical mechanics. The difference between the zeroth and second laws of thermodynamics and their statistical mechanical analogues is that the statistical mechanical laws are probabilistically qualified; what the thermodynamical laws say will happen, their statistical mechanical analogues say will probably happen. For this reason, it is entirely appropriate — indeed, virtually inevitable — for the quantities that are statistical mechanical analogues of temperature and entropy to be attributes of probability distributions. I close with some remarks about the relations between so-called "Gibbsian" and "Boltzmannian" methods in statistical mechanics.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Myrvold, Wayne C.wmyrvold@uwo.ca0000-0002-7033-2647
Keywords: thermodynamics; statistical mechanics; temperature; entropy
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Wayne Myrvold
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2021 03:50
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2021 03:50
Item ID: 19361
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: July 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19361

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