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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

35
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
476 views

The “replica trick” initial formula?

In Spin-glass theory for pedestrians by Castellani and Cavagna, the initial formula used to introduce the replica trick is written as: $$\overline{\log ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

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?
1
vote
0answers
151 views

Understanding the product of partition functions by making sense of the maths and the physics

I have $N$ distinguishable particles in a 1D harmonic oscillator potential with 'proper' frequency $\omega$. The particles also have internal spin-$\frac12$ degrees of freedom in a magnetic field $B$ ...
8
votes
2answers
628 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
639 views

Interpreting the Partition Function and Free Energy Mathematically

Given that The partition function in statistical mechanics tells us the number of quantum states of a system that are thermally accessible at a given temperature ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Definition of Information in Information Theory

I am not sure in which SE site I have to put this question. But since I have learnt Shannon Entropy in the context of Statistical Physics, I am putting this question here. In the case of Shannon ...
7
votes
2answers
235 views

Monte-Carlo and $O(n)$ models for non-integer n

$O(n)$ lattice statistical models can be generalized to non integer values of n, starting from their (expanded and resumed in graphs) partition function: $$Z = \sum_{\text{loop configurations}} n^{\# ...
0
votes
0answers
109 views

On the relationship between entropy and chaotic noise

I have few conceptual questions related to application of chaos in communications. Kolmogorov-Sinai Entropy1 , Kolmogorov-Sinai Entropy2 and Kolmogorov-Sinai Entropy3 KS is an entropy metric for ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Condensate fraction and single-particle density matrix

In Bose–Einstein condensation (BEC), how to prove the largest eigenvalue of the single-particle density matrix $$\rho_{ij}=\frac{\langle\Psi|a_i^{\dagger}a_j|\Psi\rangle}{N}$$ is ...
0
votes
2answers
83 views

Would it be possible to measure the change of entropy of a system? why?

To be more specific, what I mean is to measure it in a experiment. And if the answer is no, I want to know if it is principally impossible, or just impossible due to the technic limitation of our ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

What happens to the free energy of the two-dimensional ising model with vortices?

The classical 2d Ising model has a Hamiltonian of the form: \begin{equation} H = -\sum_{m,n = 0}^{M,N} J_1 x_{m,n}x_{m+1,n} + J_2 x_{m,n}x_{m,n+1} \end{equation} The partition function for the model ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Solving non-linear ODE for divalent solution at a 1-D surface boudary

I am trying to solve the following equation for a positively charged plane with charge density $\sigma$ at $z = 0$. $$ \phi''(z)=-\frac{e}{\epsilon \epsilon_0} \big(z_+n_{+} e^{-\beta z_+ ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

Vanishing Planets?

If we put a solid sphere in space, it will lose some molecules which will form a sort of an atmosphere around it so that we have the required vapour pressure for solid-vapour equilibrium (Temp. of ...
6
votes
2answers
189 views

In thermodynamic systems why must the free energy of the system be minimized?

Is this somehow a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics?
3
votes
3answers
826 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
207 views

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
777 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
144 views

Ising model. What is large fluctuations of magnetization?

My background is in mathematics. I have studied the Ising model in $\mathbb{Z}^2$. The main model of statistical mechanics. Yesterday, I was reading the preliminary notes of the book Statistical ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
278 views

Free electron gas in two dimensions

Can someone give a qualitative description on why the density of states for a two dimensional free electron gas is independent of energy while it is not in one and three dimensions? In one dimension ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Probability distribution of two particle types system

Suppose that particles of two different species, A and B, can be chosen with probability $p_A$ and $p_B$, respectively. What would be the probability (and distribution) $p(N_A;N)$ that $N_A$ out of ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Statistical count

I am reading the book"Heat and Thermodynamics" by Mark Waldo Zemansky and Richard Dittman. In the chapter "Statistical Mechanics" it says if I have $N_{i}$ distinguishable particles in any of $g_{i}$ ...
4
votes
1answer
163 views

Is there a known equation for evolution of classical particle probability density?

Suppose we have some very imprecise knowledge of classical particle's coordinates and momentum: what we can only tell is the probability density to find it in some point of phase space. This is ...
1
vote
0answers
128 views

Is it possible to define a notion of temperature in a microcanonical ensemble?

I am thinking of a mircrocanonical ensemble as a finite system for which the number of particles, volume and the total energy is fixed. Is there a more refined view of this? Can I think of ...
4
votes
0answers
153 views

What real experimental systems are well-described by Glauber-Ising spins?

I'm hoping for references to actual physical systems in which all or at least most of the following can be simultaneously characterized: the spin flip rate, the temperature, and a relaxation or ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

RMS Free Path vs Mean Free Path

I am trying to determine the mathematical difference between mean free path and root-mean-square free path. For an ideal gas, the relaxation time is $$\tau=\frac{1}{\sqrt2 \pi nd^2 \bar v}$$ and the ...
2
votes
0answers
285 views

Statistical mechanics of a coin toss

I'd like to ask some questions about flipping two coins related to statistical mechanics, e.g. microcanonical distribution, phase space distribution function etc... after I rephrase the coin flipping ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
158 views

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 ...
3
votes
2answers
215 views

Three-body correlation function in kinetic theory

In Kinetic Theory, one studies the evolution of a system of $N$ particles interacting with each other. We use the notation $\boldsymbol{w}_{i}$ to describe the coordinates in phase-space of each ...
3
votes
3answers
180 views

Statistical Mechanics - Distribution of Energies

Consider a state space $\mathbb{X}$. The probability density function under a canonical ensemble is given by the Boltzmann distribution $$\pi_{\mathbb{X}}(x)=\frac{e^{-\beta ...
4
votes
2answers
500 views

Connection between QFT and statistical physics of phase transitions

I have heard that there is a deep connection between QFT (emphasized by its path-integral formulation) and statistical physics of critical systems and phase transitions. I have only a basic course in ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

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. ...
1
vote
0answers
457 views

Boltzmann distribution: derivation from canonical distribution

I'm trying to understand the Maxwell-Boltzman Distribution, and in particular the derivation from the boltzman distribution for energy. I have successfully created an incorrect derivation, but I'm not ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Can electrons coincidentally flow along a circuit to cause current?

My understanding of circuits which are not supplied an e.m.f. is that the electrons randomly just flow about in random directions, and since there's so many of them, probability dictates that any ...
9
votes
5answers
185 views

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). ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

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?
1
vote
2answers
149 views

How are degrees of freedom and energy related in classical theory?

How are degrees of freedom and energy related in classical theory? How do we come to know that each quadratic degree of freedom classically contributes a factor of $\frac{k_{B}T}{2}$.
6
votes
1answer
296 views

Which transformations are canonical?

Which transformations are canonical? Why do canonical transformations preserve the measure of integration in phase space?
10
votes
2answers
339 views

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

What is conductivity?

I read that if we have spin $\frac{1}{2}$-particle, where a magetic force acts on, then the force is given by a drift speed times a conductivity. This conductivity is determined to be $\frac{kT}{D}$, ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

Spin drift velocity?

I am currently reading this Phys Rev paper by H C Torrey. In this paper, he derives the Bloch equations with an additional diffusion term. He says that the current density is given by $$\mathbf ...
8
votes
3answers
829 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
360 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Relation between solutions to Yang-Baxter equations, integrability and exact solvability?

Wikipedia mentions that there is an implication: Yang-Baxter solutions yield integrable models, what 1D systems concerns. In arbitrary dimensions, what is the relation, if any, between solutions to ...
6
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
273 views

Fugacity of the fermi gas

It can be shown that in the high temperature exploration of the Fermi gas, the Fermi function may be expanded to second order in $e^{\beta \mu}$, where $\beta = 1/kT$ and $\mu$ is the chemical ...
2
votes
0answers
103 views

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 ...