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Demystifying typicality

Frigg, Roman ORCID: 0000-0003-0812-0907 and Werndl, Charlotte (2012) Demystifying typicality. Philosophy of Science, 79 (5). pp. 917-929. ISSN 0031-8248

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Identification Number: 10.1086/668043


A gas prepared in a nonequilibrium state will approach equilibrium and stay there. An influential contemporary approach to statistical mechanics explains this behavior in terms of typicality. However, this explanation has been criticized 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 that are epsilon-ergodic are typical with respect to the Whitney topology. Because equilibrium states are typical, it follows that typical initial conditions approach equilibrium and stay there.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Philosophy of Science Association
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Centre for Analysis of Time Series
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2013 15:18
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:31

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