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Becoming large, becoming infinite: the anatomy of thermal physics and phase transitions in finite systems

A. Lavis, David, Kühn, Reimer and Frigg, Roman ORCID: 0000-0003-0812-0907 (2021) Becoming large, becoming infinite: the anatomy of thermal physics and phase transitions in finite systems. Foundations of Physics, 51 (5). ISSN 0015-9018

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s10701-021-00482-5

Abstract

This paper presents an in-depth analysis of the anatomy of both thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, together with the relationships between their constituent parts. Based on this analysis, using the renormalization group and finite-size scaling, we give a definition of a large but finite system and argue that phase transitions are represented correctly, as incipient singularities in such systems. We describe the role of the thermodynamic limit. And we explore the implications of this picture of critical phenomena for the questions of reduction and emergence.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.springer.com/journal/10701
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors, under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2021 10:36
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 01:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/110978

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