E. T. Jaynes: Papers on Probability, Statistics and Statistical Physics
Editors: Rosenkrantz, R.D. (Ed.)
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The first six chapters of this volume present the author's 'predictive' or information theoretic' approach to statistical mechanics, in which the basic probability distributions over microstates are obtained as distributions of maximum entropy (Le. , as distributions that are most noncommittal with regard to missing information among all those satisfying the macroscopically given constraints). There is then no need to make additional assumptions of ergodicity or metric transitivity; the theory proceeds entirely by inference from macroscopic measurements and the underlying dynamical assumptions. Moreover, the method of maximizing the entropy is completely general and applies, in particular, to irreversible processes as well as to reversible ones. The next three chapters provide a broader framework  at once Bayesian and objective  for maximum entropy inference. The basic principles of inference, including the usual axioms of probability, are seen to rest on nothing more than requirements of consistency, above all, the requirement that in two problems where we have the same information we must assign the same probabilities. Thus, statistical mechanics is viewed as a branch of a general theory of inference, and the latter as an extension of the ordinary logic of consistency. Those who are familiar with the literature of statistics and statistical mechanics will recognize in both of these steps a genuine 'scientific revolution'  a complete reversal of earlier conceptions  and one of no small significance.
 Table of contents (14 chapters)


Introductory Remarks
Pages 13

Information Theory and Statistical Mechanics I (1957)
Pages 416

Information Theory and Statistical Mechanics II (1957)
Pages 1738

Brandeis Lectures (1963)
Pages 3976

Gibbs vs Boltzmann Entropies (1965)
Pages 7786

Table of contents (14 chapters)
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Bibliographic Information
 Bibliographic Information

 Book Title
 E. T. Jaynes: Papers on Probability, Statistics and Statistical Physics
 Editors

 R.D. Rosenkrantz
 Series Title
 Synthese Library
 Series Volume
 158
 Copyright
 1989
 Publisher
 Springer Netherlands
 Copyright Holder
 Kluwer Academic Publishers
 eBook ISBN
 9789400965812
 DOI
 10.1007/9789400965812
 Softcover ISBN
 9780792302131
 Edition Number
 1
 Number of Pages
 458
 Number of Illustrations
 1 b/w illustrations
 Topics