# Tagged Questions

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

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### Does high entropy means low symmetry?

According to Bogolubov postulate (various texts name it differently) in Non-equilibrium thermodynamics, the number of needed parameters to describe our system is decreasing with time, and finally at ...
78 views

### Edwards-Anderson Hamiltonian of a Hopf link

I was calculating the Edwards-Anderson Hamiltonian of a Hopf link. A hopf link is like attachment 1. I have drawn the Seifert surface of that link. The surface is shown in attachment 2. It also ...
229 views

### Is it possible to find the number of gas atoms/molecules in a box when the number is small?

Given very low number of particles in a system (e.g. in the 100s), is there a way to accurately measure the number of particles in the system? Assume temperature, pressure and volume is constant and ...
515 views

### Why can $\beta$ not be linearly proportional to $T$, that is $\beta = constant \times T$?

$\beta$ in statistical mechanics is equal to $\frac{1}{k_BT}$ in in thermodynamics, but I do not understand why $\beta\propto T^{-1}$ instead of, say, $\beta\propto T$?
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### Formal demonstration that minimizing the free energy equals maximizing the entropy

I never had great intuition when it came to thermodynamic concepts and potentials even though reading a textbook and completing the exercises has never been a huge problem. In one of them, I was ...
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### Why does the law of increasing entropy, a law arising from statistics of many particles, underpin modern physics?

As far as I interpret it, the law of ever increasing entropy states that "a system will always move towards the most disordered state, never in the other direction". Now, I understand why it would ...
230 views

### Can closed loops evade the spin-statistic theorem in 3 dimensions?

The famous spin-statistics result asserts that there are only bosons and fermions, and that they have integer and integer-and-a-half spin respectively. In two-dimensional condensed matter systems, ...
316 views

### Simulating quantum network of harmonic oscillators

Let's say that I have a system of $n$ particles $p_1,\ldots,p_n\in\mathbb{R}^3$ (where $n$ here is on the order of 10,000). Furthermore, suppose we have a graph $G=(V,E)$ describing some network, ...
1k views

### What is a bulk phase transition?

I have been able to google "bulk phase transition" and get plenty of results that verify that something called a bulk phase transition exists, however, I cannot seem to find a precise definition of ...
349 views

### Why does bad smell follow people (assuming they are not the source)?

When you are sitting in a room where there is a source of bad smell, such as somebody smoking or some other source of bad smell, it is often a solution to simply move to another spot where bad smell ...
417 views

### Chemical reaction as state transition?

When considering diffusion of chemicals, the reaction part is business of chemical kinetics, where the relevant characteristics of different substances come from collision theory together with some ...
185 views

### How to interpret a negative failure rate?

In statistical engineering the "hazard rate" of a distribution is defined as: $$r(x)=\frac{f(x)}{1-F(x)}$$ where $f(x)$ and $F(x)$ are the PDF and CDF. Basically $r(x)$ is the odds that, having ...
1k views

### Confusion about Free Energy and the Hamiltonian

I'm probably making a relatively basic mistake here, but I'm a bit confused about the relation between the Hamiltonian and Helmholtz free energy. From what I can see, the free energy can be written ...
174 views

### Pair interactions on finite square lattice

I am looking for an exact or approximate solution to a statistical lattice-particle problem: Given a lattice of size $L\times L$ where $\rho\cdot L^2$ particles are randomly distributed, calculate ...
21k views

### What is a microstate, macrostate and thermodynamic probability in statistical mechanics?

Currently I am learning Maxwell-Boltsmann distribution (MBD) and in that I am learning about microstate, macrostate and thermodynamic probability (TDP). I understood the derivation of MBD but I am ...
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### What are some of the best books on complex systems?

I'm rather interested in getting my feet wet at the interface of complex systems and emergence. Can anybody give me references to some good books on these topics? I'm looking for very introductory ...
585 views

### Ideal gas and diatomic gas with same temperature

If a box of ideal gas and another box of diatomic gas are in thermal equilibrium, does it mean that the average translational energy of ideal gas particle (A) is the same as that of diatomic gas ...
199 views

### Diffusion of probability amplitudes

Let's say I have a probability amplitude $\psi:\Sigma\rightarrow\mathbb{C}$ for some domain $\Sigma$ (so, $\psi$ satisfies $\int_\Sigma |\psi|^2=1$). Is there a way to use $\psi$ as initial ...
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### Physics of a burning log of firewood

According to my knowledge, heat is nothing but the result of the vibrations of atoms and molecules. I guess this mean that in heating up a gas or liquid, we are increasing the rate at which the ...
172 views

### Graph Invariants and Statistical Mechanics

Many intuitive knot invariants including Jones' polynomial are inspired by statistical mechanics. Further profound connections have been explored between knot theory and statistical mechanics. I was ...
165 views

### Similarity of probability amplitude functions

Let's say I have two probability amplitude functions given by $\psi_1$ and $\psi_2$. That is, $\psi_i:\Sigma\rightarrow\mathbb{C}$ for some domain $\Sigma$ with $\int_\Sigma|\psi_i|^2=1$ for ...
264 views

### Open boundary condition and Glauber Dynamics

Warning: by background is in math, not physics. I've just recently started working with things that are close to theoretical physics. So please note that I'm still very confused by the jargon. Maybe ...
330 views

### Mathematical probabilistic interepretation of probability amplitude

As a warning, I come from an "applied math" background with next to no knowledge of physics. That said, here's my question: I'm looking at the possibility of using probability amplitude functions to ...
898 views

### Are negative temperatures typically associated with negative absolute pressures?

Negative temperatures and negative absolute pressures are both possible in physical systems. Negative temperatures arise in (for example) populations of two-state systems, which have a maximum amount ...
219 views

### What is the simplest system that has both, discontinous and continous phase transitions?

I am looking the simplest system that has both discontinous phase transition and a continous phase transition between the same phases (you can change one parameter). discontinous transition: first ...
430 views

### Black hole entropy

Bekenstein and Hawking derived the expression for black hole entropy as, $$S_{BH}={c^3 A\over 4 G \hbar}.$$ We know from the hindsight that entropy has statistical interpretation. It is a measure ...
199 views

### Why are topological solitons present in some phases for lattice models?

Over a spatial continuum, it is easy to see why some topological solitons like vortices and monopoles have to be stable. For similar reasons, Skyrmions also have to be stable, with a conserved ...
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### Micro-canonical ensemble and classical reality

I seem to find a contradiction in the notion of probability density used by Landau and the notion of micro-canonical ensemble. To see this, take an isolated classical system and we know ...
2k views

### Why is the partition function called ''partition function''?

The partition function plays a central role in statistical mechanics. But why is it called ''partition function''?
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### State-dependent diffusions: Fick's law vs. Fokker-Planck's, which and why?

Consider a "state-dependent diffusion": a diffusion process for which the diffusion coefficient $D(x)$ depends on the (stochastic) state $x$ of the system. (An example is provided by the diffusion of ...
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### What are distinguishable and indistinguishable particles in statistical mechanics?

What are distinguishable and indistinguishable particles in statistical mechanics? While learning different distributions in statistical mechanics I came across this doubt; Maxwell-Boltzmann ...
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### Why is the $\langle v_{x}^{2} \rangle=\frac{1}{3} \langle v^2 \rangle$?

For a randomly moving particle. Or, I suppose that 1/3 could generalise to 1/n, where n is the non rotational degrees of freedom for that particle. Related reference Kinetic Theory of Gasses.
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### Relation between statistical mechanics and quantum field theory

I was talking with a friend of mine, he is a student of theoretical particle physics, and he told me that lots of his topics have their foundations in statistical mechanics. However I thought that the ...
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### Pressure change due to fan removing air from a non-airtight room

The following problem occurred to me today: Suppose a $100\mathrm{cfm}$ fan is pushing air out of a large room which is airtight except for a $10 \mathrm{cm}^2$ hole. The air pressure outside the ...
111 views

### What is meant by correlation propagation?

What is meant by correlation propagation in physics? I have an intuitive understanding but are there any introductory notes ( more mathematical oriented) and with some physical examples?
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### Entropy: two explanations for the same quantity?

I studied thermodynamics and I saw the following definition for entropy: $$\Delta S = \int_1^2 \frac{\text{d}Q}{T}$$ that we use to calculate $\Delta S$ for different types of transformations. In ...
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### Entropy, flow of informations and fundamental theories

In the hierarchy of theories, first comes hamiltonian theory, from which one deduces kinetics theory, and at last thermodynamics and fluid theories. From a kinetics point of view, entropy and ...
861 views

### Why doesn't the percentage of oxygen in Earth's atmosphere diminish significantly with altitude?

According to numerous sources online, the percentage of oxygen is approximately the same at sea level and 10,000 meters. Since oxygen is heavier than nitrogen, shouldn't the percentage of oxygen ...
232 views

### What is theory of Free Energy Perturbation? How is it applicable to chemical science?

What is theory behind free energy perturbation? Is it way too difficult to understand? Can someone explain it in simple terms.
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### number of microstates associated with two-level quantum systems

this is a very simple question, but apparently one that has no simple answer, at least from standard quantum mechanics theory I'm trying to figure the number of simple quantum states (microstates) of ...
963 views

### Is it wrong to talk about wave functions of macroscopic bodies?

Does a real macroscopic body, like table, human or a cup permits description as a wave function? When is it possible and when not? For example in the "Statistical Physics, Part I" by Landau & ...
94 views

### usage of partition function in some number of particles in one-dimensional axis

I just learned some introductory quantum meachnics, but not statistical mechanics, so I am curious how partition functions would be used in the following case: Suppose there are three particles in ...
1k views

### Is temperature an extensive property, like density?

I was thinking about it some time ago, and now that I've discovered this site I would like to ask it here because I couldn't work it out then. I know that the higher temperature the air in my room ...
575 views

### Time to establish saturated vapour pressure above liquid

Thought experiment - a liquid is in a closed container in equilibrium with its vapour, and then suddenly all the vapour is pumped away. Switch off the pump so that instantaneosuly there is no vapour ...
413 views

### Convergance of a system to Boltzmann distribution

Consider a system with finite-dimension state X and energy E(X), with dynamics which follow the Langevin equation $\frac{dX}{dt}=-\nabla_X{E(X)}+\eta(t)$ where $\eta$ is white noise ...
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### What does the concept of phase space mean in particle physics?

I came across the concept of phase space in statistical mechanics. How does this concept come about in particle physics? Why was it introduced and how is it used? What does it mean when ...
496 views

### Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution and total energy per unit volume

We know that $$n(E) ~=~ \frac {2 \pi (N/V)}{(\pi k_B T)^{3/2}} E^{1/2} e^{-E/(k_B T)} dE,$$ where $V$ is total volume. If then, how do we derive total energy per unit volume from this equation?
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### How is $\frac{dQ}{T}$ measure of randomness of system?

I am studying entropy and its hard for me to catch up what exactly is entropy. Many articles and books write that entropy is the measure of randomness or disorder of the system. They say when a gas ...
I place $N$ Brownian particles in $V$ liters of solution, shake until I assume that the particles are "well-mixed", and sample and randomly sample an $S$ liter volume. What is the probability ...