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Demystifying typicality

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

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Abstract

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: http://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/journals/journal...
Additional Information: © 2012 Philosophy of Science Association
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Sets: Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Research centres and groups > Centre for the Analysis of Time Series (CATS)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2013 15:18
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/49768/

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