The fact that macroscopic systems approach thermal equilibrium may seem puzzling, for example, because it may seem to conflict with the time-reversibility of the microscopic dynamics. We here prove that in a macroscopic quantum system for a typical choice of 'nonequilibrium subspace', any initial state indeed thermalizes, and in fact does so very quickly, on the order of the Boltzmann time τB :=h/ (kBT). Therefore what needs to be explained is, not that macroscopic systems approach thermal equilibrium, but that they do so slowly.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)