A Probabilistic Foundation of Statistical Mechanics

  • D. Costantini
  • U. Garibaldi
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 236)


Reviewing a book on statistical mechanics, Percus notes that “Equilibrium statistical mechanics —as a branch of physics— is a strange discipline. It must logically be a consequence of mechanics, but the fashion in which this holds is far from settled”.1 Perhaps by advancing this consideration, this author would affirm that what is far from settled is the extent to which thermodynamical laws are consequences of mechanical ones. Or, on the contrary, how much of statistical mechanics is bounded to probability laws and how much not. In fact, the usual way to build up this discipline is based on a mixture of undeterministic (probability) and deterministic (non-probability) principles. One example of a probability principle is that of equal weight:

in a thermal equilibrium state of isolated system, each of the microscopic states belonging to the set M(E, δE) is realized with equal probability.2


Statistical Mechanic Probability Function Occupation Number Identical Particle Inductive Logic 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Costantini
    • 1
  • U. Garibaldi
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GenovaItaly

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