The study of large systems through coarse graining microscopic descriptions, providing a more detailed understanding of thermodynamics.

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3answers
328 views

Physical intuition for independence of components of velocity in derivation of Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution

Maxwell derived the shape of the probability distribution of velocity of gas particles by starting with just two assumptions. These are: The probability distribution is rotation invariant. The ...
3
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1answer
599 views

1D Ising Model (NN and NNN interactions) with 2 transfer matrices

I've tried an alternative solution for finding the partition function of this model. So is what I've done correct? If it isn't then please prove and explain why not. (I'm pretty sure I made a ...
2
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1answer
181 views

Does non-conservation of number of particles imply zero chemical potential?

In the systems like photon gas in a cavity and phonon gas in a solid number of particles is not conserved and chamical potential is zero. Is this a general rule? If yes, how zero chemical potential is ...
3
votes
1answer
495 views

Math needed for undergrad Statistical Mechanics/Thermal Physics

A professor recommended me to take a course on Statistical Physics as preparation for agent-based computing in social sciences. Now I have no experience in physics beyond basic highschool, and ...
3
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2answers
155 views

Reference request for exactly solved models

Can someone recommend a textbook or review article that covers exactly solved models in statistical mechanics, such as the six- or eight-vertex models? If there is literature at the undergraduate ...
0
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1answer
93 views

In calculating entropy, why can the partitioning of an ensemble into microstates be chosen “somewhat arbitrarily”?

I'm confused by statistical entropy. It seems to me like the number of microstates for a given macrostate would increase without bound as finer partitionings of the phase space are chosen. Why is it ...
36
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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 ...
4
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0answers
100 views

Free path distribution

I'm studying statistical mechanics, and I'm trying to resolve some problem known from my thermodynamics course. So I want to calculate mean free path for particles with a concentration $n$ and ...
1
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1answer
355 views

Partition function for classical particle and quantum particle are the same?

Permutation for classical particle $$\Omega=\frac{N!}{\Pi n_i!}$$ By using Lagrange method of undetermined multiplier, we get $$n_i=Ae^{\frac{-E}{kT}}$$ Probability, $$p=\frac{n_i} {Z}$$ where we ...
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1answer
286 views

Semiclassical Approximation

In many books I read about semiclassical approximation applied to the field of Bose-Einstein condensation. But I don't understand what it really means. For example I read that an expression like this ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Motivation for the use of Tsallis entropy

Every now and again I hear something about Tsallis entropy, $$ S_q(\{p_i\}) = \frac{1}{q-1}\left( 1- \sum_i p_i^q \right), \tag{1} $$ and I decided to finally get around to investigating it. I haven't ...
2
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2answers
567 views

Probability of Different States - Canonical Ensemble - Partition Function

Consider a canonical ensemble of $N$ ideal gas atoms, which could have spin up or spin down. Why is it that the probability of finding the particle in a spin up state generally only involves the ...
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0answers
178 views

Average number of spin up particles

In a paramagnetic system, where $N = N_\uparrow + N_\downarrow$ is fixed, how does one calculate the average number of spin-up particles $\langle N_\uparrow \rangle$? You can assume we have the ...
2
votes
1answer
986 views

Partition Function for Two Level System

I have a system with $N_s$ sites and $N$ particles, such that $N_s >> N >> 1$. If a site has no particle, then there is zero energy associated with that site. The $N$ particles occupy the ...
5
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0answers
552 views

Is Feynman talking about the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics?

In Volume 1 Chapter 39 of the Feynman Lectures on Physics, Feynman derives the ideal gas law from Newton's laws of motion. But then on page 41-1, he puts a caveat to the derivation he has just ...
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2answers
206 views

Paramagnetism and large N

In a paramagnetic system, we have: $$N = N_\uparrow + N_\downarrow$$. If we have a large system, with $N >> 1$, is it generally okay to assume $N_\uparrow \approx \frac{N}{2}$ and ...
3
votes
3answers
327 views

Distinguishable, Indistinguishable Paramagnetic Ideal Gas

In the canonical ensemble, the partition function for an ideal gas is given by: $$\frac{Z}{N!}$$ The factor $N!$ accounts for the indistinguishability of the particles of the ideal gas. What ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Can I express the heat flow of a fluid in terms of estabilshed characteristics of the velocity distribution?

If $\rho$ is the mass density of a fluid and $A({\bf v})$ is an function of the velocity, which is distributed according to $f({\bf v})$, we have an averaging process $A\mapsto \langle A\rangle:=\int ...
0
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1answer
148 views

General way to model baths? Harmonic Oscillators valid?

I am trying to model an open system interaction without making strong assumptions on coupling strength or temperature. In general i understand that open systems are modeled by a Lindbladian, but as ...
19
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0answers
506 views

Can Lee-Yang zeros theorem account for triple point phase transition?

Now the prominent Lee-Yang theorem (or Physical Review 87, 410, 1952) has almost become a standard ingredient of any comprehensive statistical mechanics textbook. If the volume tends to infinity, ...
8
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8answers
1k views

Entropy increase vs Conservation of information (QM)

Unitarity of quantum mechanics prohibits information destruction. On the other hand, the second law of thermodynamics claims entropy to be increasing. If entropy is to be thought of as a measure of ...
4
votes
1answer
683 views

Paramagnetism Spin-1/2 Particles - Partition Function

I'm trying to come up with an expression for the partition function of a system of spin-1/2 ideal gas particles on a line of length $L$. The total number of particles $N$ is fixed, with $N = ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a phase transition between a gas and plasma?

Does a phase transition occur as a gas is heated to create a plasma? If so, is this a first or second order phase transition? Also, does the presence of a phase transition depend on the pressure or ...
5
votes
2answers
166 views

What information is lost in the symmetrization necessary to derive the BBGKY hierarchy?

The book on Kinetic theory I'm reading derives the BBGKY hierarchy after introducing the reduced distribution functions $f_s(q^1,p_1,q^2,p_2,\dots,q^s,p_s):=\int\ \rho\ \ \mathrm d q^{s+1} \mathrm d ...
2
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1answer
132 views

Ergodicity of the Drude model

The Drude model of electric conduction in solids deals with independent free electrons subject to random collisions with the crystal lattice (the direction where the electrons are scattered after a ...
2
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3answers
352 views

How does that Boltzmann distribution interact with entropy?

In an ideal gas, the Boltzmann distribution predicts a distribution of particle energies $E_i$ proportional to $ge^{-E_i/k_bT}$. But, doesn't entropy dictate that the system will always progress ...
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1answer
463 views

Logical understanding of the canonical probability distribution (canonical ensemble) [duplicate]

I am having problems in understanding the logic of this distribution: $P(\Psi_{j})=\displaystyle\frac{e^{-E_{j}/kT}}{\displaystyle\sum_{j'}e^{-E_{j'}/kT}}$ The book I am studying use the case of a ...
9
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3answers
1k views

What is the relationship between Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics and the grand canonical ensemble?

In the grand canonical ensemble one derives the expectation value $\langle \hat n_r\rangle^{\pm}$ for fermions and bosons of sort $r$: $$ \langle \hat n_r\rangle^{\pm} \ \propto \ ...
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0answers
66 views

What is known about the statistical mechanics of systems with normally distributed energies?

Consider a system taking on N states with energies $\epsilon \sim \mathcal{N}(\mu,\sigma^2)$. Are such systems well-studied in any context? I ask because I'd like to be able to take certain ...
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3answers
339 views

Is there really such a thing as an irreversible process?

If an isolated system goes from a state A to B, will it always eventually fluctuate back to state A? If not, give an simple example. Is it right to say that entropy only says that the probability ...
-1
votes
1answer
181 views

How does physicists calculate the gravitational self collapsing force of a star?

The nuclear fusion taking place inside the stars opposes its gravitational self collapsing force. But, how does physicists calculate it? I just know the classical gravitational theory and not a bit of ...
1
vote
2answers
437 views

Why doesnt this violate 2nd law of thermodynamics?

Consider an ideal gas in a cylindrical container in a gravitational field, with a piston on top pushing down by gravity. The piston has some locking mechanism that locks it in place if it is displaced ...
2
votes
3answers
223 views

Configuration space of particles in the box

The notion of entropy says that we can count microstates that correspond to macrostate. But, I do not understand how this can be done. Does it imply that the state space is discrete (finite or ...
-1
votes
1answer
261 views

What is the difference between scale-free network and small-world network? [closed]

What is the difference between scale-free network and small-world network? I can't understand from the definitions around the web if they are both the same name for one thing. Do both follow a ...
3
votes
1answer
250 views

Percolation and number of phases in the 2D Ising model

Update. As my previous figure had conceptual mistakes I decided to change the picture to another, more instructive. After a long time I came back to try to understand an article on the Ising model. ...
7
votes
1answer
581 views

``What is life?'' by a physicist definition [closed]

The question is about defining ``What is life?'' in the field of Physics. Whether there is any (insightful) way of defining ``What is life?'' from physicists. There are pioneer works, including ...
2
votes
1answer
168 views

Meaning of Lagrange Multiplier in Ou-Yang and Helfrich's Shape equation for Membrane

Dear people in Physics Stackexchange, My question is mostly related to the following papers: U. Seifert, Z. Phys. B 97, 299 (1995). "The concept of effective tension for fluctuating vesicles". U. ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Why isn't absolute $0 K$ temperature possible?

So $T$ is defined as $$T = \left(\frac{\partial E}{\partial S}\right)$$ and $S$ is defined as $$S = k_B \ln \Omega$$ where $\Omega$ is the number of accessible states of the system for a given ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

How do you prove the second law of thermodynamics from statistical mechanics?

How do you prove the second law of thermodynamics from statistical mechanics? To prove entropy will only increase with time? How to prove? Please guide.
2
votes
0answers
99 views

How to formally write down the Boltzmann equation?

Can someone write down the Boltzmann equation, not neglecting any of the variables of the involved functions and integrals? Specifically, how to concisely capture the "primed" variables in a sensible ...
7
votes
1answer
383 views

The virial theorem and a delta function potential

So the virial theorem tells us that: $2\langle T\rangle = \langle \textbf{r}\cdot\nabla V\rangle$. Now I was wondering what would happen if V has te form: $V(\textbf{r}-\textbf{r}') = ...
2
votes
1answer
956 views

Equation of state of a rubber band

I have the following question that I attached in png format. I have done part (a), but I am having difficulties in part (b) when I proceed according to the book. I have non zero tension at ...
6
votes
1answer
231 views

Is it always possible to express an operator in terms of creation/annihilation operators?

I'm referring to "Path integral approach to birth-death processes on a lattice", L. Peliti, J. Physique 46, 1469-1483 (1985), available at: http://people.na.infn.it/~peliti/path.pdf The article is ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What are the six degrees of freedom of the atoms in a solid?

A monoatomic ideal gas has heat capacity $C_v=1.5$ which comes from the three translational degrees of freedom. For solids at high temperature, $C_v=3$, implying six degrees of freedom. What are ...
13
votes
1answer
401 views

Does this type of phase transition exist?

The short version of this question is: Is there, or could there be, a system with a phase transition where adding a small amount of heat causes a discontinuous jump in its temperature? Below are ...
1
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2answers
415 views

naive question on Boltzmann equation and conservation laws

The Boltzmann equation in absence of external force reads: $\frac{\partial f}{\partial t} + \vec{v} \cdot \frac{\partial f}{\partial \vec{r}} = \left( \frac{\partial f}{\partial t}\right)_{coll}$ ...
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2answers
175 views

Entropy Maximization using undetermined multipliers

This is from Problems in Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics by P.T. Landsberg A system can be in any one of N states. Using the method of undetermined multipliers to show for the maximum ...
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0answers
68 views

Is it possible to derive fermi-dirac or bose-einstein statistics using quantum operator formulations?

I've been looking through theory on identical particles to get a better grasp of the uncertainty principle but it would be very interesting if these results could be extracted from the formalism as ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

Justifications for different Monte Carlo trial moves

Why do we perform different trial moves in Monte Carlo simulations in Statistical Mechanics? For example, in NVT ensemble simulations, Why only atom displacement moves? In NPT ensemble, why do we need ...
17
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4answers
14k views

First and second order phase transitions

Recently I've been puzzling over the definitions of first and second order phase transitions. The Wikipedia article (at the time of writing) starts by explaining that Ehrenfest's original definition ...