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

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For an isolated system, can the entropy decrease or increase?

In any sizable system, the number of equilibrium states are much, much greater then the number of non-equilibrium states. Since each accessible micro state is equally probably, it is overwhelmingly ...
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2k views

Why should the Fermi level of a n-doped semiconductor be below the one of a p-doped?

In a pn-junction, the difference in Fermi level between the p doped and the n doped regions causes the apparition of a built-in electric field at equilibrium. This electric field goes from the n to ...
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Constant pressure and temperature mixing of 2 different ideal gases - possible work and heat?

A simple question I hope... Initially, have two separate containers of 2 different ideal gases, 1.) N1, P, T, V1 and 2.) N2, P, T, V2. After mixing, the pressure and temperature are still P and T, ...
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Partition function for quantum harmonic oscillator

Hi guys I'm currently trying to solve a mock exam for an exam in a few days and am a bit confused by the solutions they gave us for this exercise: Exercise: A solid is composed of N atoms which ...
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1answer
231 views

Nonpertubative renormalization in quantum field theory versus statistical physics

I am trying to work my head around how renormalization works for quantum field theory. Most treatments cover perturbative renormalization theory and I am fine with this approach. But it is not the ...
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566 views

What are the differences between indistinguishable and identical?

What is the difference between indistinguishable particles and identical particles?
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874 views

Postulate of a-priori probabilities

In Statistical Mechanics, we often postulate that for an isolated system, the phase-space density of all accessible microstates (i.e all microstates consistent with the energy) is the same. This is ...
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Stat mech explanation for separation of one liquid from another in gravity?

If one mixes two distinct ideal gases above the Earth's surface, one with a higher molecular mass than the other, then at equilibrium, their number density gradients will be such that at low heights, ...
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928 views

Maximum Principle vs. Minimum Principle in Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics

Prigogine's Min. principle states that in steady-state non-equilibrium systems the entropy generation rate is at a minimum, i.e., a system will seek a steady-state that has min entropy generation. ...
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Does chaos theory occur in quantum mechanics? Or in any non-newtonian physics?

Does chaos theory occur in quantum mechanics? Or in any non-newtonian physics? Apart from perhaps thermodynamics?
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Is there a Lagrangian formulation of statistical mechanics?

In statistical mechanics, we usually think in terms of the Hamiltonian formalism. At a particular time $t$, the system is in a particular state, where "state" means the generalised coordinates and ...
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Can a first order phase transition have an order parameter?

Order parameter is used to describe second order phase transition. It seems that in some papers it is used in the first order phase transitions. Can first order phase transition have an order ...
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226 views

Are isolated many-particle quantum systems always in a pure state?

I am trying to understand pure and mixed states better. If I have N quantum particles in an isolated system. The many-particle state is a superposition of the product of single-particle states by the ...
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Any new texts directly on second law of thermodynamics? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Recommendations for Statistical Mechanics book Is anyone aware of any recent text that summarises the research and arguments on second law of thermodynamics and also on ...
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359 views

Examples of systems with energy as an intensive variable

I need to consider a couple of examples of systems which have energies that are intensive variables - not extensive. I'be been thinking about this and I am not coming up with anything. My ...
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2answers
3k views

Calculate temperature of the earth through blackbody radiation

I don't understand the solutions to a problem about blackbody radiation and was wondering if anybody could help me out. Here is the question: The sun can be considered as a blackbody radiation ...
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1answer
123 views

Where and how is the entropy of a black hole stored?

Where and how is the entropy of a black hole stored? Is it around the horizon? Most of the entanglement entropy across the event horizon lies within Planck distances of it and are short lived. Is ...
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548 views

Could temperature have been defined as $-\partial S/\partial U$?

When coming up with a definition of temperature, it's typical to start with an empirical definition that a system with a hotter temperature tends to lose heat to a system with a colder temperature. ...
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3answers
617 views

What are thermal energy distributions?

I am trying to understand the photoelectric-effect deeply. My teacher used the Planck's law and integrated it to deduce the Stefan-Boltzmann law. He somehow showed some quantum-physical ...
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144 views

Thermal equilibrium and non correlations

I read in a book on quantum fluctuations and quantum noise that, at thermal equilibrium the classical canonical variables are uncorrelated, ie: $$\langle xp\rangle=\langle x\rangle\langle p\rangle$$ ...
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299 views

Reasons for violation of universality in statistical mechanics

The Universality in statistical mechanics is nicely explained by the renormalization group theory. However, there are fair amount of numerical and theoretical studies show that it can be violated in ...
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1answer
1k views

Helmholtz Free Energy, Partition Function

I'm trying to develop some basic intuition here, so this comes mostly as a jumble of commentary/questions. Hope its acceptable. Helmholtz Free Energy: $A = -{\beta ^{-1}}lnZ$. I find this statement ...
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1answer
126 views

Parameter determining argon phase

Currently I am working a molecular simulation to determine phases of an argon NPT ensemble using Lennard Jones potential. Mainly I use the radial distribution function to determine solid, liquid, or ...
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2answers
241 views

Computing microstate probabilities based on Boltzmann distribution for chemical systems - Is it rigorous?

One approach to predicting the folded structure of a polymer (DNA, RNA, protein) is to compute the probability that any particular part of the polymer $x_i$ is "paired" with another part of the ...
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helmholtz free energy of a polymer

You have a polymer chain of $N$ units, which is represented by $N$ independent springs in series. The springs are Hookean, with spring constant $L$, and the end to end vector is $\mathbf r$. So the ...
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2answers
299 views

Phase volume contraction in dissipative systems

I am confused about phase-volume contraction in dissipative systems. Please help me catch the flaw in my understanding. From a macroscopic point of view I understand that a dynamic system tends to go ...
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3answers
2k views

Fermi's Golden Rule and Density of States

I know Fermi's Golden Rule in the form $$\Gamma_{fi} ~=~ \sum_{f}\frac{2\pi}{\hbar}\delta (E_f - E_i)|M_{fi}|^2$$ where $\Gamma_{fi}$ is the probability transition rate, $M_{fi}$ are the transition ...
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113 views

Freedom in the Choice of a Beta Functions in RG

Assume we're given a certain statistical model, say the infinite range Ising model \begin{equation} H_{N}\{\vec\sigma_{N}\}~=~ - \frac{x_{N}}{2N} \sum_{i,j =1}^{N} \sigma_{i} \sigma_{j} ...
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Is $k_B \rightarrow 0$ the classical limit of stat. mech., as $\hbar \rightarrow 0$ is in QM?

I hear very often among my peers and seniors that just as how $\hbar\rightarrow0$ takes me to classical mechanics from quantum mechanics, $k_B\rightarrow0$ will take me to classical thermodynamics ...
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1answer
371 views

How much energy Maxwell's demon will earn?

Suppose we have one mole of one-atom ideal gas at temperature $T$. Suppose Maxwell's daemon has separated molecules into two sections, one with speed below mean and another with speed above mean. ...
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1answer
261 views

Why does Physica A journal contain economics papers? [closed]

Why does Physica A journal contain economics papers? Like this: Steve Keen, Russell Standish. Profit maximization, industry structure, and competition: A critique of neoclassical theory. Physica A ...
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1answer
346 views

few fermions in a harmonic trap — position density matrix from diagrammatics

I'm trying to calculate the momentum distribution of a 1D system of non-interacting identical fermions in a harmonic trap. Given Feynman's answer (from his Statistical Mechanics book) for the ...
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0answers
73 views

Why is the transition into N proportional to N+1?

I am having trouble understanding the origin of the bosonic stimulated emission. How can I qualitatively understand why bosons Boson's attract each other into similar quantum states. The furtherst I ...
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1answer
202 views

Ways to experimentally control the chemical potential of a solid state system

When working in the grand canonical ensemble we write the grand potential as $\Omega = \Omega (T,V,\mu)$. In this case we are taking the chemical potential $\mu$ to be an independent variable. This ...
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Influence of choice of statistics on gas kinetics

In the derivation of distributions over energy states, a common assumption made is that under normal conditions (normal from a fluid dynamics standpoint, so > 300K typically) the energy states are ...
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316 views

The strong Markov property of Gibbs measures in 2D Ising Model

My background is that of a mathematician. I have a question about the two Dimensional Ising Model. I think the terminology I use is similar to the physical. I'm trying to understand the following ...
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1answer
176 views

Why can we not reduce the size of a system below the correlation length without qualitatively changing its properties?

This question is posed in the context of thermodynamics/statistical mechanics. Suppose we define the correlation length as the $\xi$ in the exponential factor $e^{-r/\xi}$ that appears in the ...
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1answer
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Partition function of bosons vs fermions

I have two atoms, both of which are either bosons or fermions, with four allowed energy states: $E_1 = 0$, $E_2 = E$, $E_3 = 2E$, with degeneracies 1, 1, 2 respectively. What's the difference between ...
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1answer
940 views

How do I calculate the probability that the oscillator is in a certain state using partition function?

So let's say I have a single ($N=1$) quantum harmonic oscillator and the energy is determined by $E_n = (n + 1/2) \cdot \hbar \omega$ (where $n$ is the quantum number and $n$ = $0, 1, 2, \ldots$) ...
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1answer
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A problem from Pathria, canonical ensemble, how to calculate $\left\langle \left(\Delta E\right)^{3}\right\rangle $

This is problem 3.18, from the book Statistical Mechanics by Pathria. Show that for a system in the canonical ensemble $$\left\langle \left(\Delta E\right)^{3}\right\rangle =k^{2}\left\{ ...
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1answer
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Calculating partition function of ultra-relativistic 1D gas

This is a problem (Problem 3.16) from the book Statistical Mechanics 2nd Ed. by Pathria. In the problem I have to calculate the partition function of an ultra-relativistic 1D gas ($E_i=cp_i$) ...
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1answer
632 views

Relating the variance of the current operator to measurements

(EDIT: Thanks to Nathaniel's comments, I have altered the question to reflect the bits that I am still confused about.) This is a general conceptual question, but for definiteness' sake, imagine a ...
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1answer
302 views

Spectrum of quantum fluctuations in a harmonic oscillator

If we have a harmonic oscillator and look at it on small scale the energy is quantized and we can calculate the different eigenstates. In general the energy eigenvalues are given by $$E_n = ...
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1answer
543 views

Velocity of real gas molecules?

It is known that the velocity of ideal gas molecules can be computed using Maxwell-Boltzmann law of distribution of molecular velocities, with average velocity given as: ...
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5answers
944 views

General relativity and the microscopic/macroscopic distinction

Here is Wikipedia's diagram of the stress-energy tensor in general relativity: I notice that all of its elements are what would be termed "macroscopic" quantities in thermodynamics. That is, in ...
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1answer
189 views

What does Metric Transitivity Mean?

Jaynes In his paper "Information theory and Statistical mechanics" says "Previously, one constructed a theory based on equations of motion, supplemented by additional hypothesis of ergodicity, ...
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The analogy between temperature and imaginary time

There are many statements about the relation between time and temperature in statistical physics and quantum field theory, the basic idea is to interpret (inverse) temperature in statistics as "time" ...
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2answers
1k views

Physics-based derivation of the formula for entropy

I am looking for a derivation of the formula $$S~=~-\Sigma_ip_i \log (p_i).$$ for entropy, from first principles. I only wish to assume the laws of physics, and without involving concepts in ...
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161 views

Fock picture of bosonification in condensates

I want to understand how bosonification in a condensate must be interpreted in the Fock states picture Say i have uncoupled fermions in a set of states $E_1$, $E_2$ ... over the vacuum $E_0$. They ...
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1answer
688 views

Limit of Fermi-Dirac distribution as $T$ goes to zero

Hopefully this is a simple question, I just can't seem to get my mind around it. I'm to take the limit of the Fermi-Dirac distribution for $T \rightarrow 0$. In this limit the chemical potential is ...