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Mind the gap: Boltzmannian versus Gibbsian equilibrium

Werndl, Charlotte and Frigg, Roman ORCID: 0000-0003-0812-0907 (2017) Mind the gap: Boltzmannian versus Gibbsian equilibrium. Philosophy of Science, 84 (5). pp. 1289-1302. ISSN 0031-8248

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Identification Number: 10.1086/694088


There are two main theoretical frameworks in statistical mechanics, one associated with Boltzmann and the other with Gibbs. Despite their well-known differences, there is a prevailing view that equilibrium values calculated in both frameworks coincide. We show that this is wrong. There are important cases where the Boltzmannian and Gibbsian equilibrium concepts yield different outcomes. Furthermore, the conditions under which equilibria exists are different for Gibbsian and Boltzmannian statistical mechanics. There are, however, special circumstances under which it is true that the equilibrium values coincide. We prove a new theorem providing sufficient conditions for this to be the case.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2017 Philosophy of Science Association
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 09:11
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:54

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