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Demystifying Typicality

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

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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 19:46
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2012 05:10
Item ID: 9218

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