QLS Seminar - Two notes on the foundations of statistical mechanics: objectivity and the origin of giant fluctuations
Starts 19 Jul 2022 14:00
Ends 19 Jul 2022 15:00
Central European Time
Central Area, 2nd floor, old SISSA building
Via Beirut, 2
Boltzmann’s explanation of irreversibility is based on the concept of macro-states and the definition of entropy as the logarithm of the volume in phase space of the region of micro-states compatible with a given macro-state. The explanation, however, lacks an objective (i.e. non arbitrary) definition of macro-states and of the crossover between micro- and macro-scales. Here we show that this problem can be solved by reformulating Boltzmann’s explanation in terms of observables relaxing from giant fluctuations. We show that the irreversible behavior of an observable is a fully objective property and has nothing to do with its micro- or macroscopic nature. In fact, we will show a situation where a system exhibits irreversibility at the micro-scale and reversibility at the macro-scale. In the second part of the talk, we propose a mechanism for creating giant fluctuations of an observable (hence, irreversibility) based on metastable states induced by symmetry breaking.