A notional even-dimensional space representing all relevant states of a dynamical system; it normally consists of all components of position and momentum/velocity involved in that unique specification. Use for both classical and quantum physics.

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Is there a physical system whose phase space is the torus?

NOTE. This is not a question about mathematics and in particular it's not a question about whether one can endow the torus with a symplectic structure. In an answer to the question What kind of ...
19
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1answer
652 views

Sympletic structure of General Relativity

Inspired by physics.SE: http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/15571/does-the-dimensionality-of-phase-space-go-up-as-the-universe-expands/15613 It made me wonder about symplectic structures in ...
17
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2answers
590 views

Topology of phase space

Context: From Liouville's integrability theorem we know that: If a system with $n$ degrees of freedom exhibits at least $n$ globally defined integrals of motion (i.e. first integrals), where all ...
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349 views

Is particle number a problem for formulating statistical physics in a mathematically rigorous manner?

Quantities like the chemical potential can be expressed as something like $$\mu=-T\left(\tfrac{\partial S}{\partial N}\right)_{E,V}.$$ Now the entropy is the log some volume, which depends on the ...
9
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1answer
710 views

Universality in Weak Interactions

I'm currently preparing for an examination of course in introductory (experimental) particle physics. One topic that we covered and that I'm currently revising is the universality in weak ...
8
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348 views

Does Hamilton Mechanics give a general phase-space conserving flux?

Hamiltonian dynamics fulfil the Liouville's theorem, which means that one can imagine the flux of a phase space volume under a Hamiltonian theory like the flux of an ideal fluid, which doesn't change ...
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Non-Integrable systems

Integrable systems are systems which have $2n-1$ time-independent, functionally independent conserved quantities (n being the number of degrees of freedom), or n whose Poisson brackets with each other ...
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1answer
3k views

Poincaré maps and interpretation

What are Poincaré maps and how to understand them? Wikipedia says: In mathematics, particularly in dynamical systems, a first recurrence map or Poincaré map, named after Henri Poincaré, is ...
7
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382 views

Phase Space Flow

Phase space flow shares characteristics with fluid flow such as incompressibility by Liouville's theorem. Extending the similarities one might be curious, does phase space flow have a characteristic ...
7
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1k views

Postulate of a-priori probabilities

In Statistical Mechanics, we often postulate that for an isolated system, the phase-space density of all accessible microstates (i.e all microstates consistent with the energy) is the same. This is ...
6
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2answers
300 views

Extending the ergodic theorem to non-equilibrium systems

I try to make this as short and concise as possible. For equilibrium systems in statistical mechanics, we have the Liouville's theorem which says that the volume in phase space is conserved when the ...
6
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1answer
71 views

Phase space appellation

Does anyone know why they called the momentum-position space the phase space in the first place? To clarify what I mean a bit more, I'll give you an example: The name configuration space for the ...
6
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1answer
183 views

What is the relation between phase space formulation with Wigner quasi-probability distributions and path integral formulation of quantum mechanics?

I am trying to conceptually connect the two formulations of quantum mechanics. The phase space formulation deals with Wigner quasi-probability distributions on the phase space and the path integral ...
6
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228 views

Why are we living in the $q$ part of the phase space?

In Hamilton mechanics and quantum mechanics, $p$ and $q$ are almost symmetric. But in the real world, the $p$ space isn't as intuitive as the $q$ space. For example, We can uniquely identify a person ...
6
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1answer
615 views

Is there any uncertainty between mass and proper length or time?

I was trying to naively draw a parallel between special relativity and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. I try to understand uncertainty principle as a consequence of 4-position and 4-momentum ...
5
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1answer
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Phase space in quantum mechanics and Heisenberg uncertainty principle

In my book about quantum mechanics they give a derivation that for one particle an area of $h$ in $2D$ phase space contains exactly one quantum mechanical state. In my book about statistical physics ...
5
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3answers
147 views

Necessary and sufficient conditions for a function to be the Wigner function of state

For any quantum state defined with a continuous position, the Wigner function is a quasiprobability distribution on phase space. It has many properties, such as that its marginal are probability ...
5
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2answers
567 views

When can phase trajectories cross?

It's said in elementary classical mechanics texts that the phase trajectories of an isolated system can't cross. But clearly they can, for example for the pendulum, the trajectories look like this: ...
5
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3answers
332 views

What are some mechanics examples with a globally non-generic symplecic structure?

In the framework of statistical mechanics, in books and lectures when the fundamentals are stated, i.e. phase space, Hamiltons equation, the density etc., phase space seems usually be assumed to be ...
5
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413 views

Other application of Liouville's theorem besides thermodynamics

Are there any other important practical and theoretical consequences of Liouville's theorem on the conservation of phase space volume besides the calculation of the microcanonical potential in ...
5
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2answers
476 views

What would happen if energy was conserved but phase space volume wasn't? (and vice-versa)

I'm trying to understand the relationship between the two conservation laws. As I understand, Liouville's result is a weaker condition: it relies merely on the particular form assumed by Hamilton's ...
5
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2answers
162 views

What is the correct relativistic distribution function?

General Statement and Questions I am trying to figure out the proper way to model a velocity/momentum distribution function that is correct in the relativistic limit. I would like to determine/know ...
4
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3answers
641 views

number of microstates associated with two-level quantum systems

this is a very simple question, but apparently one that has no simple answer, at least from standard quantum mechanics theory I'm trying to figure the number of simple quantum states (microstates) of ...
4
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1answer
126 views

Equilibrium in Stat Mech and Phase space density

I was wondering if there is any relationship between equilibrium in Stat Mechanics and the phase space density of a system? This does not seem to be completely independent, as Entropy is maximized in ...
4
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1answer
114 views

Probablity density function $f(\mathbf{x},\mathbf{v},t)$

The phase density function is usually denoted as $f(\mathbf{x},\mathbf{v},t)$ which gives probable number of particles moving with velocity $ \mathbf{v}$ at position $\mathbf{x}$ at time t. Also we ...
4
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1answer
238 views

Peculiar Hamiltonian Phase space

I was solving an exercise of classical mechanics : Consider the following hamiltonian $H(p,q,t) = \frac{p^2}{2m} + \lambda pq + \frac{1}{2}m\lambda^2\frac{q^6}{q^4+\alpha^4}$ Where ...
4
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1answer
96 views

Calculating the number of particles in phase space

I'm looking at the first part of question 7 here (I'm a mathematician trying to self teach some physics, this isn't a homework assignment so I'm just in need of hints)! I'm struggling to make sense of ...
4
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How to check whether a given $W(x,p)$ represents a Wigner function of a physical state? [duplicate]

For simplicity let us consider one-dimensional quantum-mechanical systems only. Given any state $\rho\in\mathcal{B}(\mathcal{H})$ and its Wigner function $W_\rho(x,p)$, there are several properties it ...
3
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2answers
412 views

Why is the phase space a symplectic manifold rather than a manifold with a metric?

Why does phase space require a symplectic geometry rather than a metric? Is there some scenario where a metric is unable to describe the notion of length in phase space, specifically in relation to ...
3
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1answer
167 views

How to show period is defined by $T=dS/dE$ (V.I. Arnold Mathemtical Physics)

I'm looking at a book by VI Arnold on mathematical physics and I've hit a roadblock pretty early on. I'll quote the question: "Let $S(E)$ be the area enclosed by the closed phase curve ...
3
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2answers
207 views

Examples of Weyl transforms of nontrivial operators

I've been able to find examples of Weyl transforms of operators like $\hat{x}$,$\hat{p}$, and $\hat{1}$, but not anything more complicated. Are there derivations of the Weyl transforms of more ...
3
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2answers
334 views

Why doesn't phase space contain acceleration/forces?

I'm watching some Physics lectures on the internet by Leonard Susskind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyX8kQ-JzHI&feature=BFa&list=PL189C0DCE90CB6D81&lf=plpp_video In this lecture, and ...
3
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1answer
180 views

Planck's constant and phase space in quantum mechanics

During my undergrad physics classes, I've come across several seemingly related phenomena dealing with $h$ and phase space in quantum mechanics. Let $T_x$ be a translation operator by $x$ in ...
3
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2answers
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What is the difference between configuration space and phase space?

What is the difference between configuration space and phase space? In particular, I notices that Lagrangians are defined over configuration space and Hamiltonians over phase space. Liouville's ...
3
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1answer
98 views

Are the Wigner and Husimi transforms injective?

I am wondering if the Wigner function is injective. By injective I mean, that, for every density matrix $\rho$, there is a different Wigner distribution. The same question applies to the Husimi ...
3
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0answers
47 views

Liouville's theorem for systems with dissipation described by a single hamiltonian

Following this link, one can treat dissipation in the lagrangian by using a factor $e^{\frac{t \beta}{ m}}$ in addition to the Lagrangian $L_0$ of a system without disspation: $ L_0[q, \dot{q}] = ...
2
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3answers
313 views

Liouville's Theorem and Boltzmann equation for plasma

The Boltzmann equation for a plasma can be thought of as coming from a continuity equation in the 6 dimensional phase space of the plasma with coordinates $\left\{x,y,z,v_x,v_y,v_z \right\}$. So ...
2
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4answers
533 views

Books on Hilbert space and phase space?

Can you recommend books or papers that highlight or discuss extensively, or at least more than average, the similarites/differences between phase space and Hilbert space? I am primarily interested in ...
2
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1answer
72 views

conservation of volume in phase space

I was reading through a proof of Liouville's theorem on conservation of volume in phase space from David Tong's lecture notes (Chapter 4: "Hamiltonian formalism") and on page 89 it says that ...
2
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2answers
158 views

Why aren't classical phase space distribution functions always delta functions?

The phase space distribution function (or phase space density) is supposed to be the probability density of finding a particle around a given phase space point. But, classically, through Hamilton's ...
2
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3answers
320 views

Probability distribution in phase space and Liouville's theorem?

We can define a probability distribution over phase space (say 1D) $\rho(x,p)$ such that, for example, $$\langle x\rangle = \int x \rho(x,p) dxdp$$ etc. It can be shown here that such a distribution ...
2
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1answer
67 views

Volume as a choice of measure in phase space

For equilibrium systems, we expect the Liouville theorem to hold. This theorem states that the density function of the states of the system is a constant of motion, which in turn can be translated ...
2
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1answer
117 views

Deriving probability distributions from the Wigner distribution

I know that I can calculate the probability distributions of $x$ and $p$ from the Wigner quasiprobability distribution, and I can calculate the probability distributions of other operators by ...
2
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2answers
114 views

Angular momentum and the Units

I'm just curious about why many physical identities build relationship with the same units as angular momentum like the action, Lagrangian$\cdot$time, Hamiltonian$\cdot$time, phase space area etc?
2
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1answer
152 views

Bopp operators and Wigner-Weyl representation

I am learning about the Wigner-Weyl transformations to move a $c$-number Lindblad operator $A(x,p)$ back into operator form. As far as I know, to move back and forth normally requires a four variable ...
2
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1answer
62 views

All angle dependence in $\mathrm{d}LIPS_2$?

Recall that $\mathrm{d}LIPS_2$ (one particle decaying into two particles of the same mass) is given by $$\mathrm{d}LIPS_2 = \frac{\vert{\bf k_1'}\vert}{16\pi^2\sqrt{s}}\mathrm{d}\Omega_{cm}.$$ In a ...
2
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2answers
348 views

Phase volume contraction in dissipative systems

I am confused about phase-volume contraction in dissipative systems. Please help me catch the flaw in my understanding. From a macroscopic point of view I understand that a dynamic system tends to go ...
2
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1answer
102 views

Area of phase space of Harmonic oscillator

We all know that the phase trajectory of an undamped linear harmonic oscillator is an ellipse. But when we calculate the area of the ellipse we find it does not depend of mass of the particle. Why is ...
2
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1answer
75 views

What is the effect of squeezing on the Husimi phase space representation or Q-function?

The effect of the squeezing operator \begin{equation} S = e^{- r (a^2 + a^{\dagger 2}) / 2} \end{equation} on a Wigner phase space representation or W-function of a system with density matrix $\rho$ ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Is Liouville's theorem valid for dimensionally restricted systems?

Liouville's theorem states that the phase space volume of a system is conserved over time. Intuitively, this seems to imply that if a system is at some time constrained to, say, a curve in phase ...