Microscopic origins of irreversible macroscopic behavior

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Time-asymmetric behavior as embodied in the second law of thermodynamics is observed in individual macroscopic systems. It can be understood as arising naturally from time-symmetric microscopic laws in accord with the ideas of Thompson, Maxwell and Boltzmann. Alternate explanations based on equating irreversible macroscopic behavior with the mixing type of behavior already present in the time evolution of ensembles (probability distributions) of certain systems having only a few degrees of freedom are, in my opinion, unnecessary, misguided and misleading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-527
Number of pages12
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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