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Demystifying Typicality

Werndl, Charlotte and Frigg, Roman (2012) Demystifying Typicality. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    A gas prepared in a non-equilibrium state will approach equilibrium and stay there. An influential contemporary approach to Statistical Mechanics explains this behaviour in terms of typicality. However, this explanation has been criticised as mysterious as long as no connection with the dynamics of the system is established. We take this criticism as our point of departure. Our central claim is that Hamiltonians of gases which are epsilon-ergodic are typical with respect to the Whitney topology. Because equilibrium states are typical, we argue that there follows the desired conclusion that typical initial conditions approach equilibrium and stay there.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Additional Information: Forthcoming in: Philosophy of Science (PSA Proceedings)
    Keywords: typicality, statistical mechanics, thermodynamic-like behaviour, epsilon-ergodic, Boltzmann
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics
    Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
    Depositing User: Charlotte Werndl
    Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2012 15:46
    Last Modified: 11 Jul 2012 01:10
    Item ID: 9218
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9218

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