Can we explain the laws of thermodynamics, in particular the irreversible increase of entropy, from the underlying quantum mechanical dynamics? Attempts based on classical dynamics have all failed. Albert (1994a,b; 2000) proposed a way to recover thermodynamics on a purely dynamical basis, using the quantum theory of the collapse of the wavefunction of Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber (1986). In this paper we propose an alternative way to explain thermodynamics within no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics. Our approach relies on the standard quantum mechanical models of environmental decoherence of open systems, e.g. Joos and Zeh (1985) and Zurek and Paz (1994).
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics|
|State||Published - Dec 2001|
- Quantum Mechanics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (all)
- History and Philosophy of Science