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A Mereological Interpretation of the Phase Rule
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2010 (English)In: Philosophy of science (East Lansing), ISSN 0031-8248, E-ISSN 1539-767X, Vol. 77, no 5, 900-910 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Gibbs's phase rule treats mixtures by relating the number of independent variables governing their state to the numbers of phases and independent substances. For the case of a single substance, it provides a criterion of purity. But where more substances are involved, the notion of independent substance is less readily understood. Textbook writers sometimes use algebraic terminology in ways that are suggestive but cannot be taken as literally accurate. I suggest that a mereological interpretation applies to these cases, as it captures more concisely the insights underlying the use of algebraic terminology and illuminates the general notion of substance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 77, no 5, 900-910 p.
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Theoretical Philosophy
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-52425OAI: diva2:387490
Available from: 2011-01-14 Created: 2011-01-14 Last updated: 2011-04-11Bibliographically approved

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Needham, Paul
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