Irreversibility in Axiomatic Thermodynamics

Irreversibility in Axiomatic Thermodynamics
   30 November 2013
   Winstanley Lecture Theatre
   Trinity College, Cambridge
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    Program / Abstracts

Harvey Brown (Oxford), Leah Henderson (CMU), Jos Uffink (Minnesota), Jakob Yngvason (Vienna).

Unlike most fundamental processes in physics, the laws of thermodynamics care about the difference between the past and the future – they distinguish an “arrow of time.” This arrow expresses itself primarily in the famous Second Law, which states roughly that entropy tends to increase toward the future. But what is the correct way to express this unusual time-asymmetric law, and what is its origin? Mathematicians have sought to clarify these questions in a rigorous axiomatic framework beginning with Carathéodory in 1909. But this approach received significant sharpening by mathematical physicists such as Jakob Yngvason and Elliot Lieb in 1999, and by philosopher Jos Uffink in 2001. This conference aims to bring pioneers Yngvason and Uffink into contact with recent researchers interested in this topic, for a 1-day workshop that seeks to clarify the rigorous foundations of the thermodynamic arrow of time.

Organizers: Adam Caulton, Eleanor Knox, Bryan W. Roberts, David Wallace.

Sponsors. This conference is possible thanks to the generous support of the following institutions.

Cambridge   BSPSUniversity of Southern California