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21
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
18
votes
1answer
534 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
375 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
560 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
328 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
962 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
268 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
votes
1answer
833 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
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
219 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
votes
1answer
536 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
votes
2answers
228 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
votes
3answers
295 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
votes
1answer
59 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
352 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
votes
2answers
393 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
votes
0answers
52 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
915 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
601 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
votes
2answers
212 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
107 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
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
302 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
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
37 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
82 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
votes
0answers
61 views

How to check whether a given $W(x,p)$ represents a Wigner function of a physical state?

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
57 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
votes
2answers
94 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
votes
3answers
226 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
votes
4answers
418 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
votes
1answer
57 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
votes
2answers
286 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
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

Is it possible for the phase of electric charge to change over large general relativistic distances?

Jackson provides examples of how magnetic charge and electric charge form together to create complex charge, \begin{align} \rho = \rho_e+i\rho_m \end{align} which gives rise to the complex faraday ...
2
votes
4answers
473 views

Proof of Liouville's theorem: Relation between phase space volume and probability distribution function

I understand the proof of Liouville's theorem to the point where we conclude that Hamiltonian flow in phase-space is volume preserving as we flow in the phase space. Meaning the total derivative of ...
2
votes
1answer
138 views

Where is the critical moment where the microcanonical ensemble enters the justification for the equilibium state?

As explained in many books, for the microscopic justification of the second law of thermodynamics (lets formulate it as the total entropy takes maximum among all possible exchanges of two systems), ...
2
votes
0answers
14 views

Time responses (position and speed) of system

This is a basic question regarding state space representation and differential equations. I want to find the time response of states $x_{1} = x$ and $x_{2} = \dot{x}$ of the following system: $$ ...
2
votes
0answers
96 views

A question on Lagrangian dynamics an the velocity phase space

I've struggled in the past with understanding why we can treat position and velocity as independent variables in the Lagrangian, but I think I may have finally become a bit more enlightened on the ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Hodge dual and the Moyal bracket? Any link? [closed]

I have already asked this on the mathematics Stack exchange but I thought I'd try it here too! The Hodge star operator $\star$ is a linear map between $\bigwedge ^pV$ and $\bigwedge ^{n-p}V$ for an ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

Group of translations in two dimensions - A weird treatment

Again, as usual Schwinger leaves me startled as he writes, the Hermitian displacement operator in 2D is $$ G = p_1\delta x_1 +p_2 \delta x_2 $$ Now, we know clearly that this group is an Abelian ...
1
vote
3answers
98 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
204 views

Phase Plot for Harmonic Oscillator

This is probably gonna be a dumb question but I don't know exactly where I am making the mistake. I have been taught in highschool that simple harmonic oscillator phase plot is the $sin(\omega t)$: ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

How do we find the phase space density from the Hamiltonian?

How do we find the phase space density from the Hamiltonian? For example: Consider a classical gas made of N identical non-interacting particles in 1d. Each molecule is characterised by centre mass ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Doubts regarding dimension of a system:Definitions and algorithms

I need to do phase reconstruction from time series data. In doing so, I encountered Takens' embedding theorem and Cao's minimum embedding dimension $d$ by nearest neighbor method. In paper "Optimal ...
1
vote
1answer
631 views

Ensemble of harmonic oscillators

I have some problems with problem 2.3 from Reif's Fundamentals of statistical and thermal physics: Consider an ensemble of classical one-dimensional harmonic oscillators. a) If we assume ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Time evolution of the density of phase points for an ensemble

I want to calculate the time evolution of the density of phase points for an ensemble of N harmonic oscillators. However, I intended to do so without using the Liouville equation. Sure, I want to ...
1
vote
0answers
36 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

Reduced phase space density

I have a dimensional problem with the single particle phase space density The partition function in the microcanonical ensemble is of course dimensionless Thus $$ \rho ( q, p ) = ...
1
vote
0answers
74 views

Meaning of phase space density

I am trying to understand Liouville's theorem physically. It says that $\frac{\partial \rho}{\partial t} + \{\rho,H\} = 0$. Thus, we have $\frac{d \rho(q(t),p(t),t)}{dt}=0$. I would like to ...