Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

For $N$ non interacting spinless particles in a volume, we have $3N$ degrees of freedom and we can divide the phase space into $6N$ dimensional cells of volume $h^{3N}$.

Each cell represents a state of the system. That means the system can be in any of those cells.

How can a cell be visualized? Is it combination of many volumes of the individual particles where the particles might be in? Fixing one particle in its one of the individual states (i.e., in one cell when the system is only one spinless particle) and all the possible combination of the other particles in their cells, does this represent one cell for the $N$ particle system?

share|improve this question
Why are we dividing phase space into cells in the first place? My guess is whatever reference told you to do that didn't give a particularly compelling reason. –  DanielSank Jul 24 at 21:39

1 Answer 1

the cell can be visualized if we consider the heisenberg uncertainity principle dx*dp=h. so with a system in a 6N dimensional phase space the fundamental volume that can be associated with a single microstate is (h)^3N. because within this volume the various states will be non distinct.

see statistical mechanics R.K.Pathria Third Edition ch-2 pg-35

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.