Gravity, Entropy, and Cosmology: in Search of Clarity
Abstract
I discuss the statistical mechanics of gravitating systems and in particular its cosmological implications, and argue that many conventional views on this subject in the foundations of statistical mechanics embody significant confusion; I attempt to provide a clearer and more accurate account. In particular, I observe that (i) the role of gravity in entropy calculations must be distinguished from the entropy of gravity, that (ii) although gravitational collapse is entropyincreasing, this is not usually because the collapsing matter itself increases in entropy, and that (iii) the Second Law of thermodynamics does not owe its validity to the statistical mechanics of gravitational collapse.
 Publication:

British Journal for Philosophy of Science
 Pub Date:
 April 2010
 DOI:
 10.1093/bjps/axp048
 arXiv:
 arXiv:0907.0659
 Bibcode:
 2010BJPS...61..513W
 Keywords:

 Condensed Matter  Statistical Mechanics;
 Astrophysics  Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics;
 General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology
 EPrint:
 25 pages