# Tagged Questions

134 views

### Why is Entropy's Definition Useful?

I have somewhat of an understanding for other physical quantities, but as far as entropy goes I only know it to be "disorder". Why is the change in entropy formula an appropriate/useful definition, ...
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### Is thermodynamic free energy and potential energy the same thing?

The equation for free energy $F$ and potential energy $E_{pot}$ are: $$F=U-TS \\ E_{pot} = E_{tot} -E_{kin}$$ But the temperature $T$ is proportional to the average kinetic energy of a system. So ...
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### Ergodic Hypothesis; canonical ensemble

I'm currently studying for an exam in thermodynamics/classic statistical mechanics and 2 things came up which are confusing me. First the ergodic hypothesis states that it is equal to take the mean ...
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### What conditions do a bunch of atoms need to satisfy to have a temperature?

What conditions do a bunch of atoms need to satisfy to have a temperature? Suppose that we have a beam of helium atoms travelling in a common straight line, equally spaced with the same velocity. If ...
186 views

### Mathematical proof of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Is there some book or paper that formalizes statistical mechanics, like some people have done with relativity, and proves the second law of thermodynamics from more foundational axioms?
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### 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 ...
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### Problems with units of entropy in statistical thermodynamics

The statistical thermodynamics definition of entropy: $S = kN \ln (W)$ troubles me a lot with the problem of dimenstions. where $S$ is entropy; $k$, the Boltzmann constant; $N$ the number of particles ...
157 views

### Existence of negative temperatures and the definition of entropy

How negative temperatures can be possible has been treated on StackExchange before (several times in fact), but in light of some recent academic discussion, most of these answers seem to be possibly ...
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### In what limit do we *really* get Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics from Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac?

Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein energy occupation number $n(\epsilon)$ in natural units ($[T]=[\epsilon]$) read $$n(\epsilon) = \frac{D(\epsilon)}{e^{(\epsilon-\mu)/T}\pm 1},$$ where $D(\epsilon)$ is ...
158 views

### What's the most fundamental definition of temperature?

What's the most fundamental definition of temperature? Is it the definition concern about average energy, number of micro states, or what? By "fundamental", I mean "to be applied" in such general ...
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### Free energy a continuous function of temperature but may not be differentiable everywhere?

So according to my understanding, the free energy of the system should be a continuous function of temperature. This is because if the free energy is not continuous at temperature T, then at this ...
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### Question on entropy

All of my textbooks mention, that entropy-change of all spontaneous physical, and chemical processes is positive, and that such processes need another condition to fulfill- decrease in the net ...
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### Effusion of particles from one box to another - pressure calculation

Suppose we have a container divided into equal halves. Right half is fixed at temperature $T$, volume $\frac{V}{2}$. Initially it has pressure $P_0$, a hole of area $A$ is opened between them. I ...
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### What would be non-ergodic physics processes?

As the title says, what would be non-ergodic processes that occur in statistical physics? Many textbooks do not really cover ergodicity really well so I ask this question. I can't suddenly remember ...
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### Calculating heat capacity from the equation of state

It is known that within thermodynamics alone, given the equation of the state of a system, one cannot explicitly determine the heat capacity. What is the mathematical reason for this? Intuitively, it ...
63 views

### Calculation of the differential of the entropy

In this review (for those who wants a precise reference see page 8 eq 21), the Author says that: \begin{equation*} S=-\sum_{i}P\left(i\right)\ln P\left(i\right) \end{equation*} and using the ...
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### Entropy is constant. How to express this equation in terms of pressure and density?

In hydrodynamics of an ideal, non-compressive flow we use 5 variables: pressure $p$, density $\rho$ and velocity field $\mathbf{v}$. So we need 5 equations. Landau's "Hydrodynamics" states that the ...
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### Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero?

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero? I just do not see why our model must work the way ...
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### Flory-Huggins ternary phase diagram with a neutral component

I am searching the literature for the Flory-Huggins phase diagram with the following components : polymer, solvent, and a third component that does not interact with the other components (just entropy ...
3k views

### Homemade salad dressing separates into layers after it sits for a while. Why doesn't this violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics?

The oil, vinegar and other liquids in homemade salad dressing separate into layers after sitting for a while, making the mixture become more organized as time evolves. Why doesn't this violate the ...
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### Is there an equation to calculate the average speed of liquid molecules?

I seem to remember from first year physics that we can calculate the RMS speed of a stationary, ideal gas with $v=\sqrt{\frac{3RT}{M}}$. Does a similar equation exist for liquids?
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### Chemical potential in Thermodynamics

In many scenarios, on computing the partial derivative of the internal energy (U) with respect to mole number (N) is negative. This implies that adding more moles of the substance decreases the U of ...
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### Landau free energy

I am reading the statistical mechanics by Pathria in Chap 12. I have a question about the Landau free energy. What is the physical reasoning for that the free energy could be a functional of the order ...
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### In thermodynamic systems why must the free energy of the system be minimized?

Is this somehow a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics?
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### Is there an upper limit to temperature in thermodynamics or statistical mechanics

In many presentations of statistical mechanics where we have a system of particles having mass, such as the molecules of an ideal gas, the temperature is often equated to the average relative velocity ...
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### What precisely does the 2nd law of thermo state, considering that entropy depends on how we define macrostate?

Boltzmann's definition of entropy is $\sigma = \log \Omega$, where $\Omega$ is the number of microstates consistent with a given macrostate. If I understand correctly, this means that it only makes ...
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### Quantum entaglement and the arrow of time

I have seen several claims to that quantum mechanics is required to explain the arrow of time which I take to mean the macroscopic irreversibility of physical systems. This is presumably to resolve ...
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### Chemical potential of photons [duplicate]

Why do photons have zero chemical potential and what is its the physical significance? From what I know the chemical potential could be interpreted as the energy per unit particle that is put into a ...
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### Thermodynamics, chaperones : How to model polymer fragmentation

Living polymers are well described by equilibrium statistical physics. Now I would like to consider a case were living polymers undergo fragmentation due to chaperones. I can think of a kinetic ...
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### Quantum Fourier Transform and Entropy

QFT is a nonlocal unitary transformation and so can generate entanglement in a system. It means a separable pure state can be converted into an entangled pure state. Now since the presence of ...
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### Is there an analogue to the role of vapor in liquids and gases, but for solids and liquids?

It seems common for an ordered phase to have some amount of disorder present. For example, the average moment of a ferromagnet is less than maximum except at T=0 due to the presence of fluctuations. ...
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### A real gas with gravitation-like interaction

Consider a system (a gas) of point-like particles with a gravitation-like interaction (potential) $V(r) \sim \frac{1}{r}$ between pairs of them. One can rule out statistically that two particles will ...
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### How can point-like particles in an ideal gas reach thermodynamical equilibrium?

Having learned that the particles of an ideal gas must be point-like (for the gas to be ideal) I wonder how they can reach thermodynamical equilibrium (by "partially" exchanging momentum and energy). ...
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### What is Fermi energy and Fermi level? [duplicate]

What is meant by Fermi level and Fermi energy? And what is the difference between the two?
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### Nonequilibrium thermodynamics in a Boltzmann picture

The Boltzman approach to statistical mechanics explains the fact that systems equilibriate by the idea that the equillibrium macrostate is associated with an overwhelming number of microstates, so ...
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### Why must the particles of an ideal gas be point-like?

Why is a gas of elastically colliding hard balls of finite size not ideal? Respectively: Why is it essential that the particles of an ideal gas are point-like? Especially: Which ...
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### System in mechanical but not thermal equilibrium

Let's say there are two systems which can interact by a moving wall but cannot exchange heat. Then the system will be in mechanical, but not necessarily in thermal equilibrium. The maximality of ...
156 views

### Why is the Gibbs Free Energy $F-HM$?

With magnetism, the Gibbs Free Energy is $F-HM$, where $F$ is the Helmholtz Free Energy, $H$ is the auxiliary magnetic field, and $M$ is magnetization. Why is this? Normally, in thermodynamics, we ...
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### Lennard-Jones induced pseudo-molecules

It can be shown that the Lennard-Jones potential - which describes the interaction between particles in non-ideal gases - gives rise to pseudo-molecules: after a triple "collision" of three ...
384 views

### Physical significance of negative temperature

I read some answers regarding negative temperatures but I think my question is new. I want to know that what is the physical significance of negative temperature. Suppose I say a body has ...
138 views

### Understanding collision terms in Boltzmann equation

I am reading a paper that deals with the Boltzmann equation. They add a collision which is supposed to account for collisions which happen when particles are within a radius of $d$ from each other. ...
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### What is the resolution to Gibb's paradox?

This question is essentially a duplicate of Gibbs Paradox - why should the change in entropy be zero?. The question concerns the following situation: I have some gas of identical particles and they ...
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### How do we know that the Virial Expansion exists?

How do we know that the Virial Expansion exists? How do we know that we may always write $\frac{p}{kT}$ as a power series in $\frac{N}{V}$? That is, how do we know that there exists $B_{i}$ so that ...
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### Why is $B(T)\approx b(T-T_C)$ near critical point $T_C$ in Landau theory?

In Peskin&Schroeder page $270$ equation $(8.4)$ you see that they approximate the function $B(T)$ near the Curie temperature as $$B(T)\approx b(T-T_C)$$ i.e. they omit $B(T_C)$ in the Taylor ...
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### Law of equipartition

Law of equipartition predicts the heat capacity of gases correctly. It assumes that inter-molecular attraction in gases is negligible (which is true). But for solids, inter-molecular attraction is not ...
440 views

### Does it take infinite energy to create a perfect vacuum?

Question is inspired by a recent burst of perpetuum mobile-type questions. It would be nice if one could simply discard them all by an argument that shows it's impossible to create a perfect vacuum. ...
50 views

### Temperature limit on entropy of a paramagnet

We have $$S=Nk_B[\ln(2 \cosh(x)) - x \tanh(x)]$$ where $$x = \frac{\mu B}{k_BT}$$ In need to show that at low temperatures entropy $$S \approx Nk_B2xe^{-2x}$$ I wrote out the $\cosh(x)$ in terms of ...
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### On the distinction of past and future: could one theoretically reverse direction of particles and cause time to appear to go backwards?

Based on my understanding of physics after seeing The Distinction of Past and Future on Project Tuva, there is no distinction between past and future on a fundamental level- all particle interactions ...
A chain has N segments which can be oriented in either the x or y directions. For each segment oriented along y, there is an energy penalty of $\epsilon$. We also know the end segment is at \$(L_x, ...