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Reduction and Renormalization

Batterman, Robert (2006) Reduction and Renormalization. In: [2006] The Robert and Sarah Boote Conference in Reductionism and Anti- Reductionism in Physics, (Pittsburgh, April 22-23, 2006).

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    Abstract

    This paper discusses the alleged reduction of Thermodynamics to Statistical Mechanics. It includes an historical discussion of J. Willard Gibbs' famous caution concerning the connections between thermodynamic properties and statistical mechanical properties---his so-called ``Thermodynamic Analogies.'' The reasons for Gibbs' caution are reconsidered in light of relatively recent work in statistical physics on the existence of the thermodynamic limit and the explanation of critical behavior using the renormalization group apparatus. A probabilistic understanding of the renormalization group arguments allows for a kind of unification of Gibbs' approach with contemporary understanding of the reduction problem.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: Reduction, Renormalization, Gibbs, Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics
    Subjects: General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
    Conferences and Volumes: [2006] The Robert and Sarah Boote Conference in Reductionism and Anti- Reductionism in Physics, (Pittsburgh, April 22-23, 2006)
    Depositing User: Robert Batterman
    Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2006
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:14
    Item ID: 2852
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/2852

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