Tagged Questions

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

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113 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
71 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
41 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
57 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
41 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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1answer
69 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
129 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
37 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
31 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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1answer
74 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 ...
2
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1answer
44 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
69 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 = ...
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3answers
297 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 ...
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0answers
41 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
56 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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2answers
130 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
78 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 ...
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2answers
51 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}} ...
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0answers
59 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
61 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
67 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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2answers
68 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
185 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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9answers
2k views

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
75 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
56 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
63 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
48 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
110 views

Fluctuation interaction between two uncharged spheres

I'm trying to figure out quantitatively what is the force, acting between two uncharged conducting spheres and I've got stuck. It is not a kind of homework - it is just a simple act of curiosity. I'd ...
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1answer
129 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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0answers
47 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
62 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 ...
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0answers
63 views

How to numerically solve a complex equation? [closed]

I want to know that if you are given a very complex equation g(x)=A(T). How could you solve for x, which is a function of variable T. To be more specific, I encounter a polylogarithmic function I need ...
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3answers
625 views

Why is Avogadro's law always true?

Why is Avogadro's law always true? How and why do equal volumes of gases at equal pressure and temperature contain equal number of molecules? I know it is a fundamental principle in chemistry but I ...
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0answers
67 views

What algorithms can be used to compute the binodal in a ternary Flory-Huggins theory?

What are the most popular algorithms used to obtain a binodal curve for the ternary mixture (starting from Flory-Huggins theory)? I would like to obtain a plot similar to the one calculated here ...
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2answers
976 views

Temperature of a neutron star

In our everyday experience termperature is due to the motion of atoms, molecules, etc. A neutron star, where protons and electrons are fused together to form neutrons, is nothing but a huge nucleus ...
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0answers
43 views

Partition function of classical quadrupole in an electric field

The partition function of a dipole in an electric field is a well-known problem, analytical solvable (nice integral, can be calculated with pen and paper), for example in the Langevin treatment of ...
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0answers
83 views

Why is there a 'loophole' in Mermin Wagner for rotations?

I'm just starting out in my mathematics career by looking at some simple stuff on broken symmetries in statistical mechanics. Since 3D is 'hard' it would be very nice to look at 2D toy models of ...
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1answer
52 views

Which function denotes the energy of thermal motion within a system?

In thermodynamics, the heat $Q$ is defined as a type of energy in transfer, and is not a state function, which function denotes the energy of thermal motion within a system? 1) $TS$, (there is a ...
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1answer
49 views

Why does nuclear matter tend to maximize pressure?

I'm reading a text about equations of state of dense nuclear matter. It is often stated that the phase with maximum pressure is preferred. Why is that?
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2answers
115 views

Phase space derivation of quantum harmonic oscillator partition function

I would like to derive the partition function for the quantum Harmonic oscillator from scratch: $$\tag{1} Z = \int dp \, dx\, e^{-\beta H}.$$ The free particle appears in many textbooks. $H = ...
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0answers
33 views

How to calculate the partial entropy in a fully connected ising system

I'm trying to reproduce a calculation that should lead to the partial entropy in a fully connected ising model for the high-temperature range ($\beta < 2$) in the thermodynamic Limit ($N ...
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0answers
21 views

Molecular field meaning in Liquid Crystal Theory

Given the Frank-De Gennes free energy $F = \int f(\boldsymbol{p},\nabla\boldsymbol{p}, ...)\ d\boldsymbol{x},$ for liquid crystals (see De Gennes-Prost, p. 107, formula 3.21), the vector ...
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1answer
101 views

Can statistical mechanics explain the second law completely? [duplicate]

Statistical mechanics is restricted to the postulate of the equal a priori probability, but this postulate does not need to be considered for thermodynamics, so the valid ranges of statistical ...
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1answer
53 views

What is the relation between entropy and mass of black hole?

What is the relation between entropy and mass of black hole? And what is the relation between symmetry of physics operation and entropy?For instance,measuring or doing measure on state of quantum ...
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1answer
57 views

Thermal Velocity

What is thermal velocity? What is it's physical significance? Wikipedia says: The thermal velocity or thermal speed is a typical velocity of the thermal motion of particles which make up a gas, ...
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0answers
52 views

Help with deriving an asymptotic expression

Note: I don't know if this is the best place for this question, because it is very specific. However, I'm not sure of a better place to go (apart from one of the other SE's). If you have a ...
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3answers
159 views

Why is Entropy's Definition Useful?

I have somewhat of an understanding for other physical quantities, but as far as entropy goes I only know it to be "disorder". Why is the change in entropy formula an appropriate/useful definition, ...
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1answer
188 views

Proof of Liouville's theorem: Relation between phase space volume and probability distribution function

I understand the proof of Liouville's theorem to the point where we conclude that Hamiltonian flow in phase-space is volume preserving as we flow in the phase space. Meaning the total derivative of ...
4
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2answers
163 views

Counting Problems in Physics

What are some classic counting problems in physics? I'm trying to think of interesting examples to give in a math class on the matter, and I feel as if physics should have some ones to offer.