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36
votes
4answers
2k views

How exact is the analogy between statistical mechanics and quantum field theory?

Famously, the path integral of quantum field theory is related to the partition function of statistical mechanics via a Wick rotation and there is therefore a formal analogy between the two. I have a ...
23
votes
4answers
1k views

The unreasonable effectiveness of the partition function

In a first course on statistical mechanics the partition function is normally introduced as the normalisation for the probability of a particle being in a particular energy level. ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a way to obtain the classical partition function from the quantum partition function in the limit $h \rightarrow 0$?

One would like to motivate the classical partition function in the following way: in the limit that the spacing between the energies (generally on the order of $h$) becomes small relative to the ...
9
votes
3answers
724 views

Why is the canonical partition function the Laplace transform of the microcanonical partition function?

This web page says that the microcanonical partition function $$ \Omega(E) = \int \delta(H(x)-E) \,\mathrm{d}x $$ and the canonical partition function $$ Z(\beta) = \int e^{-\beta H(x)}\,\mathrm{d}x ...
9
votes
0answers
174 views

Measure of Lee-Yang zeros

Consider a statistical mechanical system (say the 1D Ising model) on a finite lattice of size $N$, and call the corresponding partition function (as a function of, say, real temperature and real ...
8
votes
4answers
249 views

Why is the partition function divided by $(h^{3N} N!)$?

When computing partition functions for classical systems with $N$ particles with a given Hamiltonian $H$ I've seen some places writing it as $$Z = \dfrac{1}{h^{3N} N!}\int e^{-\beta H(p,q)}dpdq$$ ...
8
votes
3answers
876 views

The Chern-Simons/WZW correspondence

Can someone tell me a reference which proves this? - as to how does the bulk partition function of Chern-Simons' theory get completely determined by the WZW theory (its conformal blocks) on its ...
6
votes
2answers
498 views

Branch-point twist fields and operator insertions on a Riemann manifold

I am having trouble understanding how Eq (2.6) in this paper (PDF) $$Z[\mathcal{L},\mathcal{M}_{n}]\propto\langle\Phi(u,0)\tilde{\Phi}(v,0)\rangle_{\mathcal{L}^{(n)},\mathbb{R}^{2}}$$ generalizes to ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

Uses for Action from Lagrangian Mechanics

In my course on Lagrangian/Hamiltonian mechanics I noticed that we dealt with finding the stationary point of the change in action $ \delta S $ and we were never really doing anything with $ S $ ...
6
votes
2answers
258 views

Classical and Semi-classical treatments of the ideal gas

In the semi-classical treatment of the ideal gas, we write the partition function for the system as $$Z = \frac{Z(1)^N}{N!}$$ where $Z(1)$ is the single particle partition function and $N$ is the ...
6
votes
0answers
283 views

Partition Functions in (A)dS/CFT

I'm trying to understand some aspects of dS/CFT, and I'm running into a little trouble. Any help would be much appreciated. In arXix:1104.2621, Harlow and Stanford showed that the late-time ...
5
votes
1answer
298 views

Strange definition of microcanonical partition function

I always thought that the microcanonical partition function would measure the number of states that correspond to some fixed energy. Despite, I found in this paper (equation 3.4) that we integrate ...
5
votes
1answer
364 views

Taking the continuum limit of $U(N)$ gauge theories

I would like to draw your attention to appendix $C$ on page 38 of this paper. The equation $C.2$ there seems to be evaluating the sum $\sum_R \chi _R (U^m)$ in equation 3.16 of this paper. I ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

Separation of perturbative and non-perturbative contributions in partition function computation

The following is defined, where $\epsilon \to 0^+$ is a cutoff: $$ \mathcal{F}(Z)=\int_{\epsilon}^\infty \frac{\mathrm{d}s}{s} \frac{1}{\sinh^2 s/2} e^{-sx}. $$ Question: how do we see that ...
5
votes
2answers
303 views

Is there a physical motivation to study finite fields?

Clearly finite groups are of immense value in physics and these are also substructures of fields. However I never came across any computations involving finite fields at university and so I never ...
4
votes
2answers
355 views

Continuous phase transition only hold for infinite systems. Real systems are finite, hence, a paradox

Second-order or continuous transitions are usually identified with non-analyticies within the free energy (which is proportional to the logarithm of the sum of exponentials). Such singularities are ...
4
votes
3answers
358 views

Completing the square for Grassmann variables

When working with path integrals of both bosonic and fermionic field variables, I'm a bit unsure of how to do the usual complete the square trick when an interaction between the two is concerned. Say ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

Same partition functions, different theories

I am reading the book "Basic Concepts of String Theory" by Blumenhagen, Lust and Theisen and in page 290 they say: "It follows that the $E8\times E8$ and the $SO(32)$ heterotic string theories have ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Helmholtz Free Energy, Partition Function

I'm trying to develop some basic intuition here, so this comes mostly as a jumble of commentary/questions. Hope its acceptable. Helmholtz Free Energy: $A = -{\beta ^{-1}}lnZ$. I find this statement ...
4
votes
1answer
510 views

Integration of partition-function over many momentum variables

My integral looks like $$Z(\beta) = \frac{1}{h^3}\int d^3p\ \exp{\left(-\frac{\beta}{2m}\sum^{3N}_{i=1}p_i^2\right)}.$$ I'm confused about how to integrate over seemingly 3N variables in only a ...
4
votes
1answer
966 views

How do I calculate the probability that the oscillator is in a certain state using partition function?

So let's say I have a single ($N=1$) quantum harmonic oscillator and the energy is determined by $E_n = (n + 1/2) \cdot \hbar \omega$ (where $n$ is the quantum number and $n$ = $0, 1, 2, \ldots$) ...
4
votes
0answers
106 views

Wilson's Renormalization Group and Lie's Third Theorem

If you think of a one-parameter group of transformations along a curve in the plane as a (Lie) group, and the tangent vector to the curve as a generator of the curve we can intuitively understand ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you determine the value of the degeneracy factor in the partition function?

In the partition function, expressed as $$Z = \sum_j g_je^{-\beta E_j}$$ I'm wondering what determines the $g_j$ factor. I've been trying to look around the internet for an explanation of it but I ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What does third law of thermodynamics tell us?

I just have a question concerning the third law of thermodynamics. The third law describes that the entropy should be a well defined constant if the system reaches the ground state which depends ...
3
votes
1answer
261 views

From spectrum/dispersion relation to the partition function

I know the spectrum/dispersion relation for a bosonic system. $$E \left( \mathbf{k} \right) = \cdots$$ Is there a general method for writing down the partition function when the spectrum of the ...
3
votes
1answer
92 views

Grand Canonical Partition Function

I'm looking over posted lecture notes for a course, and this derivation of the Grand Canonical Partition function eludes me. It goes like this: occupation numbers $n_{α}=0,1,…$, Total particle number ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

partition function for Wightman and Haag-Kastler QFT

From what I hear, some modern mathematical approach quantum field theory uses the following definition "A $d$-dimensional $S$-structured quantum field theory $Q$ is a mathematical object, ...
3
votes
2answers
795 views

Canonical partition of a boson gas

I have a 1D gas made of $N$ particles placed in a harmonic potential well, so the Hamiltonian is: $$ \mathcal H = \sum_{j=1}^N \left ( \frac{p_j^2}{2m} + \frac{1}{2}m\omega^2 x_j^2 \right )$$ The ...
3
votes
0answers
115 views

Fluctuation spectrum of lipid bilayer membranes

I am interestend in calculating the fluctuation spectrum of a thermally fluctuating 2d membane which is only subject to a surface tension $\sigma$. ($\mathcal{H}=\sigma\int\mathrm{d}A$) Depending in ...
3
votes
0answers
61 views

Is there a reasonable lower bound for free energy per site of the 2D Ising model in the presence of an external field?

Given the standard Ising partition function: $$Z(\theta ,h) = \sum\limits_{\bf{x}} {\exp \left\{ {\theta \sum\limits_{(i,j) \in E} {{x_i}{x_j}} + h\sum\limits_{i \in V} {{x_i}} } \right\}}, $$ is ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Partition function of bosons vs fermions

I have two atoms, both of which are either bosons or fermions, with four allowed energy states: $E_1 = 0$, $E_2 = E$, $E_3 = 2E$, with degeneracies 1, 1, 2 respectively. What's the difference between ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

Quantum Stat-Mech Proof of an Inequality for the Partition Function

I have the following problem that I was unable to solve for class, but I had a couple first steps that I started with that I am unable to finish. I know I can't get this since it's already been ...
2
votes
1answer
306 views

Negative energies and a partition function

I'm writing down the partition function for a system, for which I know the dispersion relation $$E \left( \mathbf{k} \right) = \sqrt{ \left| \mathbf{k} \right|^2 + m^2 + \cdots }$$ The exact form is ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Multiplicity vs Partition function

I'm a little confused between all the different notations for the multiplicity and partition function. They're not the same thing, are they? I know that entropy can be expressed as $ S = k \ln\Omega ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Expansion of Onsager's Exact Partition Function for 2D Ising Model

We have a question where we are given the exact expression for the 2D Ising model partition function: $$\frac{1}{N}\ln Z ~=~ \ln(2 \cosh^2(\beta J)) $$$$+ ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Einstein model for thermal capacity of solids and indistinguishability of the oscillators

Albert Einstein's theory of thermal capacity of a solids makes the assumption that a crystal is made up from oscillators which of course oscillate, in all three directions. Thus, for N atoms of the ...
2
votes
1answer
213 views

Expectation value of $a_i^\dagger a_i$ for thermal density matrix

Suppose we have some heat bath with Hamiltonian, $$H=\sum_n \left(a^{\dagger}_na_n+\frac{1}{2}\right)\hbar\omega_n$$ and a density matrix $\rho=Z\exp(-\beta H)$ for some normalisation $Z$. ...
2
votes
1answer
625 views

Accessible microstates of harmonic oscillator in microcanonical enemble

While reading up on statistical physics, I am going through the calculation of the partition function of the harmonic oscillator in the microcanonical ensemble. The result for the partition function ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Calculating partition function of ultra-relativistic 1D gas

This is a problem (Problem 3.16) from the book Statistical Mechanics 2nd Ed. by Pathria. In the problem I have to calculate the partition function of an ultra-relativistic 1D gas ($E_i=cp_i$) ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

Partition function of an interacting gas

By reading an article, I found a partition function that, according to the author, describes an interacting with random variables as coupling constant. $$Z =\int \mathrm{d} \lambda_i ...
2
votes
1answer
221 views

About the factorial N! in the partition function

After reading these posts: Why is the partition function divided by $(h^{3N} N!)$? , What is the resolution to Gibb's paradox?, and some of these: http://arxiv.org/abs/1012.4111 , ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

manipulations with SU(N) Nekrasov partition function

Think of a Young tableau $R$ as collection of rows $y_1 \geq ... \geq y_d > y_{d+1}=0$ and all others zero, with $\ell(Y):= \sum_j y_j$ and for a box $s=(i,j)\in R$ we have $a_Y(s):=y_i-j$ and ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

CFT calculation of the Partitionfunction of $2+1$ dimensional gravity

I want to reproduce formula (4.29) in http://arxiv.org/abs/0804.1773v1 given by: $$ Z=Tr(q^{L_{0}}\bar q^{\bar L_{0}})=|q|^{-2k} \prod^{\infty}_{n=2}\frac{1}{|1-q^{n}|^{2}} $$ Where the trace is ...
2
votes
0answers
119 views

Number theoretical function applied in physics? [closed]

I have a series of number theoretic phenomena (mathematics) that I can describe exactly by the superpositions or linear combination of the below function (I know it is an inverse Fourier type). Does ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

About deriving the multi-trace index in terms of the single-trace index

This question is in reference to this paper Combining their equations 5.2, 5.3, 5.6 and 5.7 one seems to be looking at the integral/partition function, $Z(x) = \prod_{n=1}^{n =\infty}\left [ \int ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Voros onde dimensional zeta function

in the paper http://arxiv.org/pdf/math-ph/0005029v2.pdf formula 23 Voros evaluate and get the following spectral theta /(semiclassical) function $ \sum (E_{n}+\lambda )^{-s}= \frac{\Gamma ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

How to prove useful property of logarithm of generating functional in QFT?

How to prove that $\ln(Z(J))$ generates only connected Feynman diagrams? I can't find the proof of this statement, and have only met its demonstrations for case of 2- and 4-point.
1
vote
3answers
163 views

Proof of Connected Diagrams

If $Z[J]$ is the generating functional for the path-integral, could any prove (or more reasonably, refer me to a proof) that $$W[J]\equiv\frac{\hbar}{i}\log\left(Z[J]\right)$$ "generates" only ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

Why is the canonical partition function an exponential?

It makes intuitive sense that micro-states of higher energy occur with a lower probability and the exponential function has reasonable properties. However can a physical explanation be given to why ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

canonical ensemble that is quantum mechanical and continuous?

I do not understand what the following statements from Wikipedia mean For a canonical ensemble that is quantum mechanical and continuous, the canonical partition function is defined as $$ Z = ...