• Yilun (Allen) Wu
  • September 28, 1 PM
  • 2866 East Hall

After the molecular theory of the structure of matter attained a predominant position in physics, the appearance of a statistical framework for the understanding of thermodynamic phenomena became unavoidable. Ludwig Boltzmann pioneered the work in this area in the late nineteenth century. Unfortunately, a rigorous framework for probability theory wasn’t available at that time. Since its emergence, the subject of statistical mechanics has been flawed with imprecise assumptions and vague arguments. In this series of two talks we will examine the mathematical foundation of classical statistical mechanics through a brief introduction to ergodic theory as well as an application of the central limit theorem. We will start with the Hamiltonian formulation of classical mechanics and end with a demonstration of the first and second laws of thermodynamics.