Colloquium: Jos Uffink, Philosphy, UMN
Thermodynamics, a venerable physical theory from the 19th century, is nowadays often regarded as just a limiting case of the various theories in statistical physics in the “thermodynamical limit”; not as a physical theory on its own. Nevertheless, there are arguments to take the approach of the 19th century founders of this theory (Clausius, Kelvin, and Planck a.o.) seriously even today as thermodynamics is being applied to more exotic objects like black holes.
I will in this talk review the foundational assumptions of classical thermodynamics and problems and the disputes surrounding them until today.