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

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Is it possible to cool magnetic dipoles with a magnetic static field?

Suppose you have a bath of magnetic dipoles, with a common mean rotational kinetic energy. Now you apply a very strong magnetic field so that the dipoles align with the field, thus "losing" their ...
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1answer
526 views

Calculation of the partition function for a classical 2D gas lying on the surface of a sphere of constant radius $R$

I'm kind of confused with this system. My first question is. Is the Hamiltonian of one particle of this gas the following? $$H(x,y,z,p_{x},p_{y},p_z)=\frac{1}{2m}\left(p_{x}^{2}+p_{y}^{2}+p_{z}^{2}\...
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251 views

Why are the eigenvalues of a linearized RG transformation real?

The RG transformation $R_\ell$ maps a set of coupling constants $[K]$ of a model Hamiltonian to a new set of coupling constants $[K']=R_\ell[K]$ of a coarse-grained model where the length scale is ...
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2answers
193 views

Why the self-information is -log(p(m))?

Why is self-information given by $-\log(p(m))$? Shannon derived a measure of information content called the self-information or "surprisal" of a message $m$: $$I(m) = \log \left( \frac{1}{p(...
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4answers
379 views

Liouville's theorem and the preservation of topology

What might be a simple proof showing that the time evolution of the phase space volume can't lead to splitting off of the phase space volume? By Liouville's theorem, the total phase space volume is ...
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63 views

compressibility of cold atoms in optical lattices

The compressibility of cold bosons in an optical lattice is defined as $\kappa = \frac{\partial \langle n\rangle}{\partial \mu}$, where $\langle n\rangle$ is the density and $\mu$ is the chemical ...
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1answer
246 views

MIcrocanonical and Canonical - The thermodynamic limit

Considering a two level system with energies $ 0 $ and $ \epsilon$, we write out the single particle partition function with ease to be, also N-particle partition function for non-interacting ...
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322 views

How does statistical mechanics predict that hot air rises?

Does hot air rise -- from a statistical-mechanical viewpoint Question #6329 asks whether and why hot air rises. The consensus answer is straightforward: - hot air is less dense than cold air - ...
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323 views

Why do phase transitions even exist? Why not smooth density change curves?

Why do phase transitions even exist? Why not smooth density change curves? What properties of matter, quantum or otherwise, predicts that matter will undergo phases at different pressures and ...
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423 views

Strange definition of microcanonical partition function

I always thought that the microcanonical partition function would measure the number of states that correspond to some fixed energy. Despite, I found in this paper (equation 3.4) that we integrate ...
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5answers
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Is there a classical analog to quantum mechanical tunneling?

In comments to a Phys.SE question, it has been written: 'Tunneling' is perfectly real, even in classical physics. [...] For sufficiently large temperatures this can put the system above a hump in ...
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1answer
181 views

How is free energy built into a Metropolis Monte Carlo simulation of an Ising model?

In the Metropolis algorithm, the change in the energy given by the hamiltonian is compared for flipping a spin. This is not the free energy, but for systems above absolute zero you are trying to ...
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229 views

H-theorem and Boltzmann equation applied to Boltzmann distribution

Using the Boltzmann equation: $$ \frac{dH}{dt} = \int_0^{\infty} dr \int_0^{\infty} ds W(r,s)[p_r - p_s][\ln{p_r} - \ln{p_s}],$$ and assuming $p_r = e^{-\beta r}$, the equation looks like $$ \frac{...
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1answer
59 views

How can entropic effects be prevalent at low temperatures?

I read in a book that at low temperature the hydrophobic effect (for example) is entropic but at high temperatures it is enthalpic. I thought that entropy should decrease at very low temperatures. ...
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1answer
466 views

Helmholtz free energy from a relation for entropy

The Legendre transformation defines the helmholtz free energy (at least according to my lectures) as: $F(T,V,N)=E-TS$ It also says to start with $E(S,V,N)$ and $T=\frac{\partial{E}}{\partial{S}}$ ...
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3answers
147 views

Why does the Metropolis algorithm allow changes even for ∆E > 0?

In the Metropolis Monte Carlo algorithm, why can you accept changes even for ∆E > 0 (provided that a random number is less than a given probability ratio, e.g. exp(-β∆E))?
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1answer
344 views

Definition of entropy in nonequilibrium states

Thermodynamical definition of entropy $$S(p)=-\int p\ln p~dx$$ is defined only on equilibrium system. But why can't we use it for non-equilibrium system? Is there a well-accepted definition for it?
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1answer
166 views

Spontaneity / Free Energy of Non-Isothermal Process

I'm trying to determine a lower bound for the work input necessary to make an entropy-reducing process "spontaneous" in the sense that the 2nd law is not violated. For a constant temperature and ...
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1answer
328 views

The BBGKY Hierarchy

The collision term in the Boltzmann equation can be derived from the BBGKY hierarchy. Wikipedia says: In statistical physics, the BBGKY hierarchy [...] is a set of equations describing the ...
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1answer
114 views

Statistical mechanics: What is a “microscopic realization” of a system?

What is a "microscopic realization" of a system? The context is statistical mechanics. The microscopic system consists of many atoms (too many to track individually) with an assigned probability ...
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82 views

Question about Metropolis Monte Carlo in the case of equal energies

If configuration A is equal to configuration B in a Metropolis Monte Carlo method, do you still do the attempted update?
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2answers
1k views

Statistical mechanics: Meaning of “accessible” in “accessible microstates”

What does "accessibility" mean in statistical mechanics? Is it an equivalent concept to accessibility in mathematical control theory? I'll provide an example: When two systems A and B interact on a ...
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1answer
128 views

Basics of osmosis. What about excluded volume?

I may not understand osmosis very well. Let us suppose two compartments filled with water, separated by a semi-permeable membrane. At equilibrium, both levels are equals. Let us introduce now a given ...
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0answers
50 views

How do you obtain the fluctuation spectrum of a tubular membrane?

I am reading through a paper. A tubular membrane, submitted to tension $\sigma$ acting as a Lagrange multiplier to conserve area, fluctuates around a cylindrical shape of length L and radius R. ...
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2answers
267 views

What does the behavior of the pair correlation function look like in the vicinity of the critical point?

What does the g(r) look like near the critical point? I know what the pair correlation function (radial distribution function) should look like for a solid, which has regular packing and therefore ...
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2answers
88 views

Can an Ergodic dynamical system approach equilibrium?

An ergodic dynamical system $(\Omega,\phi^t,\mu)$ is such that the time average $\bar{f}$ of every function $f\in L_1(\Omega,\mu)$ equal the space average $\langle f \rangle_\mu$, i.e. the system ...
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1answer
860 views

How to calculate the ground-state energy for the Ising model?

I'm learning about the 2D ferromagnetic Ising model in zero field and trying to verify what I know by calculating the ground-state energy for the state with all 'up' spins in a 3x3 lattice. $$H = -J\...
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2answers
98 views

Does the entropy of a system vary in the equilibrium?

I am not physicist and this question may seem trivial. But I understand that in the equilibrium the magnitudes such as temperature or volumen do not vary. Is the same for entropy? My logical says that ...
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3answers
561 views

Axioms behind entropy!

The concept of entropy is very ubiquitous, we learn about its uses starting from Information Theory (Shannon entropy) up to its basic definition in statistical mechanics in terms of number of micro-...
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0answers
68 views

Entropy of an oscillator in Einstein's solid

This is a homework problem and I need help with it. A solid's (Einstein's model) oscillators are in the first excited state on average. How much entropy does one oscillator have? What I've tried so ...
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0answers
71 views

Thermal fluctuations in metals

My professor said that the $k_BT$ displacement in the energy levels of the band electrons is due to the space-thermal displacement of the potential of the ion host. I think that this displacement is ...
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3k views

Do all liquids boil in a vacuum?

Water boils at positive temperatures when put into a vacuum. Is this the case with all liquids, e.g. mercury?
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319 views

Who invented the perfume bottle thought experiment?

A common thought experiment used to explain the second law of thermodynamics, the "arrow of time", etc. is perfume escaping from an opened perfume bottle; the perfume is likely to diffuse into the ...
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2answers
323 views

Is a superposition of (anti)symmetric states (anti)symmetric?

Let's say we have the following wavefunction of two identical particles, $A$ and $B$: $$\frac{1}{2}[(\chi(A)\psi(B)\pm\psi(A)\chi(B))+(\phi(A)\eta(B)\pm\eta(A)\phi(B))]$$ Is this properly (anti)...
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56 views

Average ocupancy in an ideal gas at high-temperature

In David Chandler's 'intro to statistical mechanics' he states that for an ideal gas at high-temperature $$ \langle n_j\rangle=\langle N\rangle\frac{e^{-\beta \epsilon_j}}{\sum e^{-\beta \epsilon_j}} ...
2
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2answers
244 views

How do you measure numerically the central charge of a system?

Let's say that you are doing some Monte-Carlo simulations of a statistical system on a lattice and you observe scale invariance, meaning that you are at a conformal point. Can you get a numerical ...
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67 views

probability of sequence for given rate constants

lets consider a copolymer, $C_{r,s}^A$ containing r number of A monomers and s number of B monomers with A at the reactive end of the polymer. The equilibrium constant for A-A, A-B, B-A, and B-B bonds ...
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0answers
85 views

Use of Boltzmann over Maxwell distribution

Why is the Boltzmann distribution used over the Maxwell distribution in many cases such as the derivation of Plancks law of thermal radiation, derivation of Einstein A and B coefficients, Langevin ...
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1answer
258 views

Grand partition function of gas of non-interacting spin-1 bosons in magnetic field

Consider a gas of non-interacting spin 1 bosons in a uniform B field, each subject to a Hamiltonian of the form: $ H(\vec{p},s_z) = \frac{p^2}{2m} - \mu_0 s_z B$ where $s_z$ can take the three ...
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408 views

Dimensionless entropy interpretation

Measuring temperature in joules instead in the artificial units of Kelvin would render entropy as a dimensionless quantity. This is quite appealing since entropy has always been quite a misterious ...
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2answers
512 views

Proof of Loss of Lorentz Invariance in Finite Temperature Quantum Field Theory

In the standard quantum field theory we always take the vacuum to be a invariant under Lorentz transformation. For simple cases, at least for free fields, is very simple to actually prove this. Now ...
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10answers
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What is entropy really?

On this site, change in entropy is defined as the amount of energy dispersed divided by the absolute temperature. But I want to know: What is the definition of entropy? Here, entropy is defined as ...
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2answers
109 views

Resources on Master Equations

Presently I am reading about "Introduction to dynamical process theory and simulation" which uses the notion of Master Equations to solve Markov process. I am very new to this. Can someone provide me ...
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1answer
370 views

The Equation of State for a Degenerate Fermi gas

I have read in Chandrasekhar's paper The highly collapsed configurations of a stellar mass Appendix I the equation of a degenerate Fermi gas as follows: $$n=\frac{8\pi}{h^3}\int^{p_0}_0 p^2dp$$ and ...
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2answers
162 views

What materials are used in non thermal plasma?

While reading about non-thermal plasmas, I came across their ionization potentials(~1%), and other capabilities, such as their non Maxwellian energy distributions. At what temperatures, and pressures ...
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0answers
126 views

Finding the moments of the Boltzmann/Gibbs Distribution

I am trying to compute the moments of the Boltzmann distribution using a moment generating function, by taking the Fourier transform of the distribution and then taking derivatives to find the ...
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0answers
186 views

Fluctuation interaction between two uncharged spheres

TL;DR: The problem is to determine force, acting between two uncharged conducting spheres, induced by correlated fluctuations of charge densities in these spheres. I've got stucked along the way and ...
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1answer
628 views

Entropy of a two-level system

Consider a two-level system with energies and degeneracies $\epsilon_0 = 0, g_0=1$ and $\epsilon_1 = \epsilon, g_1=4$. I can show that the temperature at which both levels are equally populated is ...
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100 views

What excactly is a “fourier component of a density fluctuation”?

Light scattering texts say depending on the scattering angle, you are seeing a certain fourier component of a density fluctuation. This density fluctuation varies sinusoidally due to Brownian motion ...
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1answer
82 views

Time homogeneous Markov chain for Axelrod's model

I am reading paper Axelrod's model of dissemination of culture , I am unable to understand the transition probabilities of time homogeneous Markov chain for this model. Can some one please explain it ...