Probability in Physics

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Yemima Ben-Menahem, Meir Hemmo
Springer Science & Business Media, Jan 25, 2012 - Science - 324 pages

What is the role and meaning of probability in physical theory, in particular in two of the most successful theories of our age, quantum physics and statistical mechanics? Laws once conceived as universal and deterministic, such as Newton‘s laws of motion, or the second law of thermodynamics, are replaced in these theories by inherently probabilistic laws. This collection of essays by some of the world‘s foremost experts presents an in-depth analysis of the meaning of probability in contemporary physics. Among the questions addressed are: How are probabilities defined? Are they objective or subjective? What is their explanatory value? What are the differences between quantum and classical probabilities? The result is an informative and thought-provoking book for the scientifically inquisitive.

 

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Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction
1
Chapter 2 Physics and Chance
17
Chapter 3 Typicality and the Role of the Lebesgue Measure in Statistical Mechanics
41
Chapter 4 Typicality and Notions of Probability in Physics
59
Chapter 5 Deterministic Laws and Epistemic Chances
73
Chapter 6 Measures over Initial Conditions
87
Chapter 7 A New Approach to the Approach to Equilibrium
99
Chapter 8 Revising Statistical Mechanics Probability Typicality and Closure Time
115
Chapter 12 Three Attempts at Two Axioms for Quantum Mechanics
187
Chapter 13 Generalized Probability Measures and the Framework of Effects
201
Chapter 14 Infinitely Challenging Pitowskys Subjective Interpretation and the Physics of Infinite Systems
219
Chapter 15 Bayesian Conditioning the Reflection Principle and Quantum Decoherence
233
Chapter 16 The World According to de Finetti On de Finettis Theory of Probability and Its Application to Quantum Mechanics
249
Chapter 17 Four and a Half Axioms for FiniteDimensional Quantum Probability
281
Chapter 18 Probability in the ManyWorlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
299
Index
313

Chapter 9 How Many Maxwells Demons and Where?
135
Chapter 10 Locality and Determinism The Odd Couple
149
Chapter 11 Why the Tsirelson Bound?
167
Titles in this Series
318
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About the author (2012)

Yemima Ben-Menahem is professor of philosophy at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has written extensively on the philosophy of science and is author of Conventionalism (Cambridge University Press).

Meir Hemmo is associate professor of philosophy at the University of Haifa. He has written extensively on the foundations of quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics and is co-author (with Orly Shenker) of The Road to Maxwell’s Demon (forthcoming in Cambridge University of Press).

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