Academic Commons

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.


  • thumnail for Thesis_Low_Entropy_revision_1.pdf Thesis_Low_Entropy_revision_1.pdf application/pdf 1.2 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
M.A., Columbia University
Published Here
April 21, 2016
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.