Hello! I’m a research fellow on Al Wilson’s ERC-funded project, FraMEPhys at the University of Birmingham. The project looks at case studies of non-causal explanation in physics, and, at the moment, I am particularly interested in the autonomy of the special sciences.
I did my PhD at the University of Cambridge. My research focuses on the relationships between different physical theories, especially the relationship between thermodynamics and the underlying microphysics.
My thesis considered questions such as:
(i) Can thermodynamics be reduced to statistical mechanics? The situation is more complicated than frequently caricatured: for instance, temperature is not identical to mean kinetic energy (this is only true for the special case of the ideal gas!).
(ii) How does the time-asymmetry of macroscopic processes (such as eggs smashing and gases expanding) arise from the underlying time-symmetric microscopic processes? I’ve argued that there is a solution to this, and consequently the time-asymmetry should be considered weakly emergent (See here).
(iii) What is the domain of thermodynamics? Is the law of entropy increase a universal principle? For example, does it explain the pattern of stars in the night sky ?