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A Middle Way

A Non-Fundamental Approach to Many-Body Physics

Robert W. Batterman

A Middle Way

A Middle Way

A Non-Fundamental Approach to Many-Body Physics

A Middle Way

 

Robert W. Batterman's monograph in the philosophy of physics focuses on how the Fluctuation-Dissipation theorem reveals important consequences for exploring and understanding the behavior of large, many-body systems. He develops a powerful methodology that privileges mesoscale levels between theories describing everyday behaviors of fluids and bending beams and those theories that describe the more fundamental, atomic nature of materials.


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Beschrijving A Middle Way

Robert W. Batterman's monograph examines a ubiquitous methodology in physics and the science of materials that has virtually been ignored in the philosophical literature. This method focuses on mesoscale structures as a means for investigating complex many-body systems. It challenges foundational pictures of physics where the most important properties are taken to be found at lower, more fundamental scales.

This so-called "hydrodynamic approach" has its origins in Einstein's pioneering work on Brownian motion. This work can be understood to be one of the first instances of "upscaling" or homogenization whereby values for effective continuum scale parameters can be theoretically determined. Einstein also provided the first statement of what came to be called the "Fluctuation-Dissipation" theorem. This theorem justifies the use of equilibrium statistical mechanics to study the
nonequilibrium behaviors of many-body systems.

Batterman focuses on the consequences of the Fluctuation-Dissipation theorem for a proper understanding of what can be considered natural parameters or natural kinds for studying behaviors of such systems. He challenges various claims that such natural, or joint carving, parameters are always to be found at the most fundamental level. Overall, Batterman argues for mesoscale first, middle-out approach to many questions concerning the relationships between fundamental theories and their
phenomenological, continuum scale cousins.


ISBN
9780197568613
Pagina's
144
Verschenen
NUR
910
Druk
1
Uitvoering
Hardback
Taal
Engels
Uitgever
OUP USA

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