LSE Philosophy Professor Roman Frigg and CPNSS Project Leader Charlotte Werndl have published their new book ‘Foundations of Statistical Mechanics’ with Cambridge University Press.

About the book: Statistical mechanics is the third pillar of modern physics, next to quantum theory and relativity theory. It aims to account for the behaviour of macroscopic systems in terms of the dynamical laws that govern their microscopic constituents and probabilistic assumptions about them. In this Element, the authors investigate the philosophical and foundational issues that arise in SM. The authors introduce the two main theoretical approaches in SM, Boltzmannian SM and Gibbsian SM, and discuss how they conceptualise equilibrium and explain the approach to it. In doing so, the authors examine how probabilities are introduced into the theories, how they deal with irreversibility, how they understand the relation between the micro and the macro level, and how the two approaches relate to each other. Throughout, the authors also pinpoint open problems that can be subject of future research.

This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.