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

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The Preference for Low Energy States

The idea that systems will achieve the lowest energy state they can because they are more "stable" is clear enough. My question is, what causes this tendency? I've researched the question and been ...
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128 views

Ising Hamiltonian for relativistic particles

An Ising system is described by the simple Hamiltonian: $$H = \sum\limits_{i} c_{1i} x_{i} + \sum\limits_{i,j} c_{2ij} x_i x_j \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,(1)$$ Here the $x_i$ are spins (+1 or -1 in units ...
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5answers
498 views

If particles can find themselves spontaneously arranged, isn't entropy actually decreasing? [duplicate]

Take a box of gas particles. At $t = 0$, the distribution of particles is homogeneous. There is a small probability that at $t = 1$, all particles go to the left side of the box. In this case, entropy ...
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1answer
131 views

What is the interface tension between ordered and disordered phases of the Potts model?

I read in these papers(1,2) the concept of interface tension. I can't understand its definition. I can hardly imagine there is some tension in a model. Any help will be appreciated.
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3answers
495 views

Mathematical proof of non-negative change of entropy $\Delta S\geq0$

I understand that we can prove that for any process that occurs in an isolated and closed system it must hold that $$\Delta S\geq0$$ via Clausius' theorem. My question is, how can I prove this in a ...
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1answer
64 views

Temperature of a small system

What is wrong if I define temperature of a small system (I mean, a system which has not a large number of particles) by $$1/T = dS/dE$$ ?
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1answer
884 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 ...
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2answers
109 views

Independent systems and Lagrangians

Definition 1: The notion of independent systems has a precise meaning in probabilities. It states that the (joint) probability or finding the system ($S_1S_2$) in the configuration ($C_1C_2$) is ...
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104 views

Monte Carlo for Random Bond Ising ferromagnet

The set-up: Consider the Ising model on an $L \times L$ square lattice, where the coupling of each bond is chosen to be $+J$ (ferromagnetic) with probability $(1-p)$ and $-J$ (antiferromagnetic) with ...
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3answers
229 views

Microscopic picture of an inductor

I have a good understanding of how inductors behave in electrical circuits, and a somewhat rough-and-ready understanding of how this behaviour arises from Maxwell's equations. However, what I don't ...
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2answers
685 views

Calculating the change in entropy in a melting process

I have a homework question that I'm completely stumped on and need help solving it. I have a $50\, \mathrm{g}$ ice cube at $-15\, \mathrm{C}$ that is in a container of $200\, \mathrm{g}$ of water at ...
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3answers
910 views

Is there a way to obtain the classical partition function from the quantum partition function in the limit $h \rightarrow 0$?

One would like to motivate the classical partition function in the following way: in the limit that the spacing between the energies (generally on the order of $h$) becomes small relative to the ...
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0answers
59 views

Lambda transition data points of $\require{mhchem}\ce{^4He}$

I'm looking to get some data on the lambda transition of $\require{mhchem}\ce{^4He}$. I need the data points of the specific heat vs. temperature graph, if that makes sense.
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1answer
108 views

Number of particles in a microcanonical ensemble

Is it always assumed that, in a microcanonical ensemble, the number of particles is $N \gg 1$ ? If no, are all the theorems related to the microcanonical description true even if the number of ...
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6answers
3k views

Why does the Boltzmann factor $e^{-E/kT}$ seem to imply that lower energies are more likely?

I'm looking for an intuitive understanding of the factor $$e^{-E/kT}$$ so often discussed. If we interpret this as a kind of probability distribution of phase space, so that $$\rho(E) = ...
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1answer
290 views

Motivation for the Deformed Nekrasov Partition Function

I have recently been doing research on the AGT Correspondence between the Nekrasov Instanton Partition Function and Louiville Conformal Blocks (http://arxiv.org/abs/0906.3219). When looking at the ...
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2answers
164 views

Error in variance

I've been exploring techniques in statistical physics, specifically applying them to spin ices. I'm in the canonical ensemble. By using the fluctuation dissipation theorem you can extract useful ...
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1answer
245 views

Energy density of a quantum mechanical ensemble

How do we determine the energy density of a given system? I have seen that the density operator $$\rho~=~\frac{\exp(-\beta \hat{H})}{\text{tr}(\exp(-\beta \hat{H}))}.$$ What does this mean exactly ...
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1answer
200 views

Basic energy calculation for N identical spin system

We have a system that has N identical spins $n_i$, and each spin can be in state 1 or 0. The overall energy for the system is $\epsilon\sum_{i=1}^{N}n_i$. My understanding: There is only one ...
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1answer
134 views

Bose-Einstein condensate for general interacting systems

There is Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) for non-interacting boson systems. Can we prove the existence of BEC for interacting systems?
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1answer
145 views

Neutron scattering for a critical magnetic-ordering system : what about critical opalescence?

Liquid-gas transition critical point is believed to share the same universality class as the 3D Ising model. We know that the liquid-gas transition is characterized by a phenomenon called critical ...
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1answer
40 views

How can I find the temperature of this system?

A system was given a small amount of thermal energy dE, and its number of states G grew by 25%. How can I find the system temperature? The system contains gas particles, I know that $dE << ...
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1answer
407 views

Mean-field theory and spatial correlations in statistical physics

In statistical physics, mean-field theory (MFT) is often introduced by working out the Ising model and it's properties. From a spin model point of view, the mean-field approximation is given by ...
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1answer
132 views

Deriving the change in the Helmholtz free energy in the context of the free energy perturbation method

I am reading Free Energy Calculations: Theory and Applications in Chemistry and Biology by Chipot and Pohorille. At the beginning of the text (page 19, for example), the authors define the Helmholtz ...
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2answers
76 views

Has anyone studied a statistical scaling law for the universe? [closed]

How do named objects in the universe scale? Is there a predictable curve for an ordered list, say {atom, animal, planet, solar system, galaxy, etc}? Can you then use the analysis to predict when the ...
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Does quark color contribute to “spin degeneracy” for QGP calculations?

Like the title say, does quark color matter in counting contributions in a early universe plasma (QGP), as when adding up the total plasma energy density, or is it just spin? The book I have (Pathria) ...
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1answer
550 views

Accessible microstates of harmonic oscillator in microcanonical enemble

While reading up on statistical physics, I am going through the calculation of the partition function of the harmonic oscillator in the microcanonical ensemble. The result for the partition function ...
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1answer
158 views

Uncertainty and Thermodynamics

Dilemma The uncertainty principle of energy and the 2nd law of thermodynamics don't add up : the uncertainty principle of energy says that $\Delta \tau \cdot \Delta E \ge \frac{h}{4\pi} = ...
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1answer
175 views

Maximizing Multiplicity of Einstein Solid == (Temperature = $\infty$)?

If I have a system consisting of 2 Einstein solids (A and B) is it equivalent to say that maximizing the multiplicity of the ...
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0answers
64 views

Increase in number of micro states explanation or restatement of second law?

Is the boltzmann's expression of entropy as log of micro states leading to the formulation that system is more likely to be in a macrostate with more no. Of micro states really is an explanation or ...
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600 views

Spontaneous conversion of heat into work at negative temperatures

Consider a heavy macroscopic object moving in a gas. Friction causes its kinetic energy to be converted into heat. Thermodynamically, there is (effectively) no entropy associated with the kinetic ...
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2answers
379 views

Energy of particle in electric field

I'm taking a physics class and the professor teaches us really basic things in lecture and then gives homework way beyond what he taught in lecture. Obviously I need to find some resource other than ...
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1answer
551 views

Why the chemical potential of massless boson is zero? [duplicate]

In Bose-Einstein condensation, the chemical potential is less than the ground state energy of the system($\mu<\epsilon_g$). But why does the massless boson such as photon have zero chemichal ...
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1answer
494 views

Pauli paramagnetism for electrons with external magnetic field

Apparently it is to be shown that for electrons under an external magnetic field, in the limit as $B\to 0 $ $$ \chi = \frac{dM}{dB} \approx \frac{n\,\mu^{*^2}}{k\,T}\,\frac{f_{1/2}(z)}{f_{3/2}(z)} $$ ...
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3answers
783 views

Does entropy really always increase (or stay the same)? [duplicate]

Consider this image. If the big (grey) molecules were all to spontaneously move to the left, and the small ones were to move to the right, there would be an increase in order. While unlikely, ...
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1answer
164 views

classical quantum particles in grand canonical ensemble

To derive Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distribution, we need to apply grand canonical ...
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1answer
568 views

Differences between hard-core boson and fermion

Hard boson has strong repulsion with each other just like fermion. What is the differences between hard-cord boson and fermion. Which materials are hard-core bosons?
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1answer
185 views

Change of variables, Fermi Integral

This is a really basic question, but I'm kind of confused. I have this integral $$\int_{0}^{\infty}\frac{p^{2}dp}{e^{\alpha+\beta p^{2}/2m}+1}$$ where ...
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2answers
334 views

What is wrong with these ways of determining the mean occupation number?

Could anyone point out what went wrong in this argument? Setup: We have a system with 2 energy levels say with energies $0,e$ respectively. We consider the grand canonical ensemble for the system ...
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0answers
34 views

Is there anything to prevent paired-up neutrons from a complete overlap

The reason "neutrons don't overlap", as DarenW explained it, has to do with intricate forces at play that take into account the spins, iso-spins and symmetry of the wavefunctions. However, assume I ...
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1answer
208 views

Local minima in Ising model in a Monte Carlo simulation

Is there any way to check whether in a Monte Carlo simulation using Ising model is stuck in any (false) local minima of energy or not, particularly in 3D system ?
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1answer
921 views

Bohr-van Leeuwen theorem and quantum mechanics

Preamble: If one considers an ideal gas of non interacting charged particles of charge $q$ in a uniform magnetic field $\mathbf{B} = \mathbf{\nabla} \wedge \mathbf{A}$, then the classical partition ...
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1answer
249 views

Math for Thermodynamics Basics

I am studying Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics from a book that i am not sure who has written it, because of its cover is not present. There is a section that i can not understand: ...
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2answers
417 views

Erogodicity in a Monte Carlo simulation

Q1: What is the ergodicity and ergodicity breaking in a Monte Carlo simulation of a statistical physics problem? Q2: How does one ensure that the ergodicity is maintained ?
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165 views

Probabilistic vs Statistical interpretation of Double Slit experiment

Why is it assumed that the results seen in the double slit experiment are probabilistic and not just a statistical result of some unknown variable or set of variables within the system.
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1answer
409 views

How to define the order parameter of the q-state Potts model?

The order parameter of Ising model can be defined as $m=\frac{N_1-N_2}{N}$, if $N$ is the total number of lattice points, $N_1$ and $N_2$ is the number of lattice points spin up and down respectively, ...
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3answers
527 views

Is there a mechanism for time symmetry breaking?

Excluding Thermodynamic's arrow of time, all mathematical descriptions of time are symmetric. We know the arrow of time is real and we know the equations describing physics are real so is there any ...
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1answer
477 views

Third-order phase transition in Landau theory

$F=\frac{a}{2}m^2+\frac{u}{4}m^4+\frac{v}{6}m^6-hm$, where F is the free energy, m is the order parameter, h is the external field, $a=a_0(T-T_c)$, and $a_0>0,u>0$ and $v>0$.We know this free ...
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2answers
683 views

Dispersion relation and Heat Capacity

I have seen case studies of the 3D Debye model where the vibrational modes of a solid is taken to be harmonic with dispersion relation $\omega = c_sk$. It is said that for temperatures much less than ...
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1answer
156 views

Semi-conductors

Suppose there is a semiconductor with Fermi energy $E_f$ and that there are $N$ bound electron states. I'd like to know why the mean number of excited electrons takes the form $$\bar n={N\over ...