PhilSci Archive

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]

This is the latest version of this item.

Thermodynamics and Stat Mech v7 with bib.pdf

Download (393kB) | Preview


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.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
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: 08 Jun 2024 00:23
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2024 00:23
Item ID: 23539
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Statistical Mechanics/Thermodynamics
Date: July 2021

Available Versions of this Item

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item