physics and chance philosophical issues in the foundations of statistical mechanics

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Physics And Chance

Author : Lawrence Sklar
ISBN : 0521558816
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 84. 56 MB
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Statistical mechanics is one of the crucial fundamental theories of physics, and in his new book Lawrence Sklar, one of the pre-eminent philosophers of physics, offers a comprehensive, non-technical introduction to that theory and to attempts to understand its foundational elements. Among the topics treated in detail are: probability and statistical explanation, the basic issues in both equilibrium and non-equilibrium statistical mechanics, the role of cosmology, the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics, and the alleged foundation of the very notion of time asymmetry in the entropic asymmetry of systems in time. The book emphasises the interaction of scientific and philosophical modes of reasoning, and in this way will interest all philosophers of science as well as those in physics and chemistry concerned with philosophical questions. The book could also be read by an informed general reader interested in the foundations of modern science.

Time Chance And Reduction

Author : Gerhard Ernst
ISBN : 9780521884013
Genre : Science
File Size : 59. 83 MB
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Statistical mechanics attempts to explain the behaviour of macroscopic physical systems in terms of the mechanical properties of their constituents. Although it is one of the fundamental theories of physics, it has received little attention from philosophers of science. Nevertheless, it raises philosophical questions of fundamental importance on the nature of time, chance and reduction. Most philosophical issues in this domain relate to the question of the reduction of thermodynamics to statistical mechanics. This book addresses issues inherent in this reduction: the time-asymmetry of thermodynamics and its absence in statistical mechanics; the role and essential nature of chance and probability in this reduction when thermodynamics is non-probabilistic; and how, if at all, the reduction is possible. Compiling contributions on current research by experts in the field, this is an invaluable survey of the philosophy of statistical mechanics for academic researchers and graduate students interested in the foundations of physics.

Probabilities Causes And Propensities In Physics

Author : Mauricio Suárez
ISBN : 1402099045
Genre : Science
File Size : 31. 44 MB
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This volume defends a novel approach to the philosophy of physics: it is the first book devoted to a comparative study of probability, causality, and propensity, and their various interrelations, within the context of contemporary physics -- particularly quantum and statistical physics. The philosophical debates and distinctions are firmly grounded upon examples from actual physics, thus exemplifying a robustly empiricist approach. The essays, by both prominent scholars in the field and promising young researchers, constitute a pioneer effort in bringing out the connections between probabilistic, causal and dispositional aspects of the quantum domain. The book will appeal to specialists in philosophy and foundations of physics, philosophy of science in general, metaphysics, ontology of physics theories, and philosophy of probability.

Probability In Physics

Author : Yemima Ben-Menahem
ISBN : 9783642213298
Genre : Science
File Size : 38. 69 MB
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What is the role and meaning of probability in physical theory, in particular in two of the most successful theories of our age, quantum physics and statistical mechanics? Laws once conceived as universal and deterministic, such as Newton‘s laws of motion, or the second law of thermodynamics, are replaced in these theories by inherently probabilistic laws. This collection of essays by some of the world‘s foremost experts presents an in-depth analysis of the meaning of probability in contemporary physics. Among the questions addressed are: How are probabilities defined? Are they objective or subjective? What is their explanatory value? What are the differences between quantum and classical probabilities? The result is an informative and thought-provoking book for the scientifically inquisitive.

Philosophy Of Physics

Author :
ISBN : 9780080466651
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 36. 4 MB
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The ambition of this volume is twofold: to provide a comprehensive overview of the field and to serve as an indispensable reference work for anyone who wants to work in it. For example, any philosopher who hopes to make a contribution to the topic of the classical-quantum correspondence will have to begin by consulting Klaas Landsman’s chapter. The organization of this volume, as well as the choice of topics, is based on the conviction that the important problems in the philosophy of physics arise from studying the foundations of the fundamental theories of physics. It follows that there is no sharp line to be drawn between philosophy of physics and physics itself. Some of the best work in the philosophy of physics is being done by physicists, as witnessed by the fact that several of the contributors to the volume are theoretical physicists: viz., Ellis, Emch, Harvey, Landsman, Rovelli, ‘t Hooft, the last of whom is a Nobel laureate. Key features - Definitive discussions of the philosophical implications of modern physics - Masterly expositions of the fundamental theories of modern physics - Covers all three main pillars of modern physics: relativity theory, quantum theory, and thermal physics - Covers the new sciences grown from these theories: for example, cosmology from relativity theory; and quantum information and quantum computing, from quantum theory - Contains special Chapters that address crucial topics that arise in several different theories, such as symmetry and determinism - Written by very distinguished theoretical physicists, including a Nobel Laureate, as well as by philosophers - Definitive discussions of the philosophical implications of modern physics - Masterly expositions of the fundamental theories of modern physics - Covers all three main pillars of modern physics: relativity theory, quantum theory, and thermal physics - Covers the new sciences that have grown from these theories: for example, cosmology from relativity theory; and quantum information and quantum computing, from quantum theory - Contains special Chapters that address crucial topics that arise in several different theories, such as symmetry and determinism - Written by very distinguished theoretical physicists, including a Nobel Laureate, as well as by philosophers

The Physics Of Theism

Author : Jeffrey Koperski
ISBN : 9781118932773
Genre : Science
File Size : 23. 66 MB
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The Physics of Theism provides a timely, critical analysis of the ways in which physics intertwines with religion. Koperski brings clarity to a range of arguments including the fine-tuning argument, naturalism, the laws of nature, and the controversy over Intelligent Design. A single author text providing unprecedented scope and depth of analysis of key issues within the Philosophy of Religion and the Philosophy of Science Critically analyses the ways in which physics is brought into play in matters of religion Self-contained chapters allow readers to directly access specific areas of interest The area is one of considerable interest, and this book is a timely and well-conceived contribution to these debates Written by an accomplished scholar working in the philosophy of physics in a style that renders complex arguments accessible

A Companion To The Philosophy Of Time

Author : Adrian Bardon
ISBN : 9781118522059
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 58. 10 MB
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A Companion to the Philosophy of Time presents the broadest treatment of this subject yet; 32 specially commissioned articles - written by an international line-up of experts – provide an unparalleled reference work for students and specialists alike in this exciting field. The most comprehensive reference work on the philosophy of time currently available The first collection to tackle the historical development of the philosophy of time in addition to covering contemporary work Provides a tripartite approach in its organization, covering history of the philosophy of time, time as a feature of the physical world, and time as a feature of experience Includes contributions from both distinguished, well-established scholars and rising stars in the field

Inconsistency Asymmetry And Non Locality

Author : Mathias Frisch
ISBN : 9780199883776
Genre : Science
File Size : 65. 75 MB
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Mathias Frisch provides the first sustained philosophical discussion of conceptual problems in classical particle-field theories. Part of the book focuses on the problem of a satisfactory equation of motion for charged particles interacting with electromagnetic fields. As Frisch shows, the standard equation of motion results in a mathematically inconsistent theory, yet there is no fully consistent and conceptually unproblematic alternative theory. Frisch describes in detail how the search for a fundamental equation of motion is partly driven by pragmatic considerations (like simplicity and mathematical tractability) that can override the aim for full consistency. The book also offers a comprehensive review and criticism of both the physical and philosophical literature on the temporal asymmetry exhibited by electromagnetic radiation fields, including Einstein's discussion of the asymmetry and Wheeler and Feynman's influential absorber theory of radiation. Frisch argues that attempts to derive the asymmetry from thermodynamic or cosmological considerations fail and proposes that we should understand the asymmetry as due to a fundamental causal constraint. The book's overarching philosophical thesis is that standard philosophical accounts that strictly identify scientific theories with a mathematical formalism and a mapping function specifying the theory's ontology are inadequate, since they permit neither inconsistent yet genuinely successful theories nor thick causal notions to be part of fundamental physics.

Nonequilibrium Statistical Thermodynamics

Author : Dmitriĭ Nikolaevich Zubarev
ISBN : UCAL:B4280262
Genre : Science
File Size : 21. 82 MB
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This book examines the state of the art of nonequilibrium statistical thermodynamics from a single viewpoint. The book is intended for physicists and physical chemists working in the fields of theoretical physics, molecular physics, physical chemistry, and chemical physics.

Time Quantum And Information

Author : Lutz Castell
ISBN : 354044033X
Genre : Mathematics
File Size : 28. 41 MB
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This publication centers on the extraordinary ideas in and concepts of physics of th CarI Friedrich von Weizs?cker. At the time of his 90 birthday on June 28, 2002, it seems the right moment to try such a survey. The themes of two Festschrifts for CarI th th Friedrich von Weizs?cker on the occasion of his 60 and 70 birthdays (E. Scheibe and G. Suessmann (eds. ): Einheit und Vielheit, and K. Meyer-Abich (ed. ): Physik, Philosophie und Politik) were his unique capability to encompass physics, philosophy and politics. He may be more known publicly today for his efforts for containment of the Cold War nuclear threat, for the abolition of war as an instrument of international politics, for the social responsibility of scientists, and for the Conciliar Process of the Churches for Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation. But physics has been his primary professional vocation and has always remained in the center of his thought and life. But even in light of the physics focus of this book, it would not do justice to CarI Friedrich von Weizs?cker to re strict his achievements in physics to efforts only accessible to professionals. The contributions in Part 1 show how his very concentration on physics has led him to take an active part in problems of politics, social change, philosophy and religion.

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