Theses Master's

Explaining Low Entropy: An Examination of the Efficacy of Cosmological Explanations for the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Dawborne, Miles Alexander

Given a low-entropy past state, statistical mechanics purportedly explains the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Modern cosmology furnishes this account with a low-entropy early universe. However, what explains this past state? One approach simply postulates this initial condition as a contingent fact or law. Alternatively, one can seek a dynamical solution. This paper assesses the explanatory efficacy some popular proposals. In particular, Carroll's multiverse hypothesis is critiqued and shown to be subject to similar problems faced by Boltzmann.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
April 21, 2016