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

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Calculating energy U from $\partial U/\partial q$

Imagine $N$ oscillators with only two possible energies, $\epsilon_0$ and $ \epsilon_1$, with $\epsilon_1 > \epsilon_0$. Taking $\epsilon_0 = 0$ for now I showed $\Omega(q\epsilon_1) = ...
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1answer
248 views

Canonical partition sum for two fermions in harmonic potential

In an old exam, I found the following problem: Two Particles in a potential well We look at a onedimensional harmonic potential well that hold two spinless particles that do not interact with ...
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2answers
281 views

Why does $S = k_B \ln W$ not always apply?

I thought for a long time that the Boltzmann formula for entropy, $S = k_B \ln W$, was a universally true statement, or rather the definition of entropy from the perspective of statistical mechanics. ...
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168 views

Infinite heat capacity or susceptibility means fluctuation on all scales

I remember reading in an introductory text to phase transition (sorry I don't remember the name) that at a second order phase transition the specific heat and the magnetic susceptibility become ...
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3answers
552 views

When to use the Boltzmann distribution and the chemical potential?

How do you know when to use the Boltzmann distribution for a particular problem? I have many polymers connected together in many different possibilities by connector agents. All are in a solvent. I ...
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98 views

Some questions about the large-N Gross-Neveu-Yukawa model

Consider the following action with a fermionic field $\psi$ and a scalar field $\sigma$, $S = \int d^dx \{ -\bar{\psi}(\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu +\sigma )\psi + \Lambda^{d-4}[ \frac{(\partial_\mu ...
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1answer
101 views

Spin version of Maxwell's demon: Where's the energy?

I have confused myself about the following variant of Maxwell's demon and I can't seem to find out where the energy went. Consider this: You have a chain (one dimension) of spins (up/down) with a ...
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1answer
113 views

(Euclideanized) QFT on $S^d$ vs $S^{d-1}\times S^1$

Broadly I would like to understand what is the difference in the physical interpretation of a (Euclideanized) QFT which is on space-time $S^d$ and which is on a space-time $S^{d-1}\times S^1$. In ...
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1answer
134 views

What is the difference between thermodynamical equilibrium and statistical equilibrium?

I am trying to understand what is the different between thermodynamical equilibrium and statistical equilibrium, for example, between photons and electrons at the early universe. (I read through paper ...
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3answers
662 views

Temperature; Why A Fundamental Quantity?

Temperature is just an indication of the combined property of mass of the molecules and their random motion. We can explain no effective energy transfer between two conducting solid bodies in contact ...
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1answer
126 views

Relation between a Quasistatic and a reversible process

Why is it that if a process is reversible, it is quasi-static? Does it mean that then the process is also non-dissipative if it is quasistatic?
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624 views

About Boltzmann H-theorem

What is the assumption for Boltzmann H-theorem? One can derive it just from the unitarity of quantum mechanics, so this should be generally true, does it imply a closed system will always thermalize ...
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160 views

Prefactor for phase space integration

When calculating the canonical partition sum, we had the following: $$ Z_\text C = \sum_{\vec p} \sum_{\vec x} \exp(-\beta H(\vec p, \vec x)) $$ Now, since $\vec p$ and $\vec x$ are pretty much ...
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59 views

Maximising entropy when energy is shared between systems

This is a problem to do with statistical physics, and the exchange of energy when we have two microcanonical ensemble. I don't understand why there should be a minus sign in the middle, if Energy* ...
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0answers
111 views

Motivation of the Heisenberg model of ferromagnetism

In the Heisenberg model of ferromagnetism the atoms are assumed to be arranged in a lattice. The $i$-th atom has a spin operator $\vec S_i$ (here $i$ belongs to the lattice). The Hamiltonian is given ...
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2answers
1k views

If quantum gas goes below 0K, is calling 0K absolute zero irrelevant?

Lord Kelvin defined the absolute temperature scale in the mid-1800s in such a way that nothing could be colder than absolute zero. Physicists later realized that the absolute temperature of a gas is ...
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3answers
784 views

Boltzmann–Gibbs-distribution as resulting from a limiting density of states?

I'm interested in the relation between the probability distribution $p_i$ over states of a system on the one side and the density of states $\rho(\eta)$ of its environment. (Meaning, ...
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1answer
329 views

“Pressure - Average Energy” ratio of ideal quantum gas?

Classically, one can easily show the following relation using a straightforward canonical ensemble computation for a non-interacting gas: $$\frac{PV}{\langle E\rangle}=\frac{2}{3}$$ Now, apparently ...
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40 views

A condition for relative gas

Consider an ideal gas in a box. we know (no matter what, right?) that each massive particle's energy holds $E^2=c^2p^2+m^2c^4$ . how come that the condition for that gas to be relativistic is ...
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2answers
171 views

Bolzmann entropy [duplicate]

The Boltzmann entropy is defined as the logarithm of the phase space volume (E). Is there a reference, book, paper which shows where this definition comes and how it is equal to the phase space ...
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1answer
590 views

Connection between Kolmogorov entropy and Boltzmann entropy

http://math.stackexchange.com/questions/527384/what-is-the-connectivity-between-boltzmanns-entropy-expression-and-shannons-en mentions a relationship between Shannon entropy and Boltzmann entropy. Is ...
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2answers
365 views

Statistical Entropy and Information theory

I am having trouble in understanding the following concepts : Pg 231 Appendix B of the link ...
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0answers
314 views

Free Energy of N Spin 3/2 Particles

This question is from the book "Introductory Statistical Mechanics" by Bowley and Sanchez. The question is as follows: Calculate the free energy of a system with N particles, each with spin 3/2 with ...
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1answer
156 views

General Thermodynamic equation of state

I heard my professor saying that the equation $$ PV = \frac{2}{3}U $$ is valid for any non-relativistic gas, be it Ideal or Real gas(includes quantum ideal gases). Is this true, If it is how can we ...
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43 views

Flammability and statistical mechanics

I am wondering to what extent the flammability can be predicted from the statistical properties of an ensemble. Given the partition function of an ensemble, can we in principle predict this property? ...
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2answers
78 views

Modeling a list with a tunable degree of disorder/shuffling

Imagine we have a list of ordered numbers $L = (1, 2,\dots, N)$. I want to add an arbitrary amount of "disorder" to that list. For instance: Adding a little bit of disorder would permute a few ...
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212 views

Phonon mode in canonical and grand canonical ensemble

I derived the averaged energy for phonon mode with frequency $\omega$ in canonical ensemble and in grand canonical ensemble. Averaged energy derived in canonical ensemble is ...
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237 views

Is mean field theory self-consistency analogous to string theory consistency?

My question is vague, so I'm hoping the answers will help me ask more concrete questions and maybe produce some interesting discussion. In mean field theory, say for the Ising model, we treat the ...
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658 views

Classical regime for Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein gases

I'm studying statistical mechanics, in particular classical regime for Fermi Dirac and Bose Einstein gases. Time average value for occupation numbers in FDBE statistics: $$ \langle ...
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75 views

What is the probability that all the air ends up in the upper right corner of the room and we suffocate

Since someone commented this on this question(What is the probability of ice in boiling water?), I would like to ask what is the probability that all the air ends up in the upper right corner of the ...
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1answer
165 views

What is the probability of ice in boiling water?

Ice crystals are spatially ordered, and in every randomness there is a low possibility of temporarily order. If given enough boiling water, and sufficient time, could local clusters water molecules ...
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225 views

What is the physical interpretation of the Papadodimas/Raju mirror operators?

In this paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.6335, the authors discuss the firewall problem and contruct so called mirror operators appearing in the correlation function. The key part seems to be (2.6) ...
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1answer
640 views

'Fermi-Dirac'-like occupation probability at high temperature

Consider an ensemble of $N\to\infty$ free particles, each of which can assume energy states $E_i\in\{0,E\}$. Using the canonical ensemble one can compute the occupation probability for a single of ...
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1answer
121 views

How is domain wall formation related to spontaneous symmetry breaking?

It is said that domain wall formation is the signature of in spontaneous symmetry breaking but not explicit symmetry breaking. Why is this so?
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1answer
1k views

Probability of finding n particles in a volume v

I'm trying to calculate the probability of finding $n$ particles in a certain volume $v$ in a system with a total of $N$ particles and total volume of $V$. My problem is that I've tried two approaches ...
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2answers
323 views

Moving between degenerate vacua?

In spontaneous symmetry breaking, moving round the circular valley of Mexican hat potential doesn’t cost energy. These angular excitations are called Goldstone bosons. But doesn't the angular ...
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1answer
203 views

Questions about Statistical Mechanics

For grand partition ensemble, is it true that the introduction of chemical potential allows us to have the sum of number of the particles in each state to be the total number of particles ("On ...
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2answers
166 views

Non-Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics

Can anybody please explain what is the difference between equilibrium state and steady state, as quoted by book by Degroot and Mazur. Also, does violation of Principle of Detailed Balance means the ...
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4answers
5k views

Meaning of the chemical potential for a boson gas

My lecturer told me that the mu is the Chemical potential is zero or negative, in the following example, mathematically it acts as a Normalisation constant. But is there any Physical insight about why ...
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1answer
268 views

Density of states (treating states in continuum)

If we have a particle in a 3D infinite square well box, with length $L$, e.g. an electron in a conduction metal. By solving the Time independent Schrodinger equation, we can get the formula of ...
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2answers
178 views

Where does the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution come from?

I understand that Maxwell-Boltzmann distributions arise for distributions of weakly interacting particles at equilibrium. But I'd like to know if there's a deeper reason behind why they are ...
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1answer
121 views

Do we have a fundamental Hamiltonian for the system of H$_2$O molecules?

From the quantum mechanics(QM) viewpoint, does there exist a Hamiltonian $H$ for the system of H$_2$O molecules? Assume that the number of H$_2$O molecules is fixed. Imagine that by calculating the ...
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1answer
70 views

Find out ground sates for large 2D classical spin model

Reaching the ground state of a large 2D classical spin model (e.g. classical Heisenberg model) might be a relatively difficult task while using conventional "flip/reject" Monte Carlo method. The ...
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2answers
784 views

Quantum Quench Problem

I read about the quantum quench problem in condensed matter physics. But what does really mean? Has anybody a good explanation about the origin of quantum quench problem?
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2answers
148 views

Probability of having energy $E$ when $E$ is bounded

For a canonical ensemble the probability of a system to have energy $E$ is $P(E)=e^{-\beta E}$. For that we consider the that the system can have any energy between $0$ to $\infty$. What will be the ...
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1answer
478 views

A question about Fermi-Dirac Distribution function

It seems more like a mathematical question, about the property of Fermi-Dirac Distribution function $$f=\frac{1}{e^{(E-\mu)/k_BT}+1}$$ where $\mu$ is the chemical potential and $k_B$ is the Boltzmann ...
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3answers
1k views

Planck's distribution and Bose-Einstein distribution?

If the application of the Bose-Einstein distribution is in blackbody radiation, then what is Planck's distribution? Are they same? How did Planck know that he should use a Bose-Einstein distribution ...
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1answer
381 views

What is “number degrees of freedom for frequency ν”. Frequency is 1D right?

The book QM Demystified states this about black body radiation spectrum: An attempt to explain these results using classical theory was codified in the Rayleigh-Jeans formula, which is an ...
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1answer
522 views

Grand canonical ensemble: 0 particle state

The partition function of the grand canonical ensemble can be generally stated as $$ \mathcal{Z} = \sum_{r} e^{-\beta(E_{r} - N_r\mu)}\tag{1}$$ where $E_{r}$ is the energy of the micro-state $r$ of ...
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331 views

Why Landau Level quantization is observed only in low temperature and strong magnetic field in real experiment?

I know that Quantum Hall Effect and Fractional Quantum Hall Effect origin from Landau Level quantization. In magnetic field, the energy of in-plane(plane perpendicular to magnetic field) degree of ...