2
votes
1answer
163 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Canonical ensemble, energy, heat bath

I am studying through the book Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics by Walter Greiner and I’ve got a couple of doubts when I was reading about the classical ensembles, specially the Canonical ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Can statistical mechanics be formulated generally in terms of phase space?

In many statistical mechanics books, notably Landau and Lifschitz' volume in the course on theoretical physics, the quantities central to statistical mechanics such as entropy are defined in terms of ...
1
vote
0answers
124 views

phase-space volumes or cells for N particle system

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 raised to power 3N. And each cell ...
1
vote
1answer
439 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
264 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
689 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
554 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
245 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
495 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
300 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
130 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), ...
1
vote
0answers
190 views

What does it mean for a phase space trajectory to be “long” and “stable”?

What does it mean for a phase space trajectory to be "long" and "stable"? I understand the concept of a trajectory in phase space but not how these adjectives can be applied to one. Thanks.