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The Past Hypothesis Meets Gravity

Callender, Craig (2008) The Past Hypothesis Meets Gravity. [Preprint]

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The Past Hypothesis is the claim that the Boltzmann entropy of the universe was extremely low when the universe began. Can we make sense of this claim when *classical* gravitation is included in the system? I first show that the standard rationale for not worrying about gravity is too quick. If the paper does nothing else, my hope is that it gets the problems induced by gravity the attention they deserve in the foundations of physics. I then try to make plausible a very weak claim: that there is a well-defined Boltzmann entropy that *can* increase in *some* interesting self-gravitating systems. More work is needed before we can say whether this claim answers the threat to the standard explanation of entropy increase.

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Item Type: Preprint
Callender, Craig
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Gerhard Ernst and Andreas Hüttemann (eds.): Time, Chance and Reduction. Philosophical Aspects of Statistical Mechanics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: entropy; direction of time; gravity; statistical mechanics; thermodynamics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Depositing User: Craig Callender
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2008
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:17
Item ID: 4261

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