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

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Speed distribution in 1 dimension

In 3D, the maxwell velocity distribution is: $$f = \left(\frac{\alpha}{\pi} \right)^{\frac{3}{2}} e^{-\alpha v^2} d^3 \vec v$$ To get the speed distribution in 3D, we simply expand $d^3\vec v = 4\pi ...
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46 views

What's wrong with this simple derivation of energy flux in a photon gas?

In a photon gas, we know that pressure, $P$, and energy density, $u$, are related by: $$P=\frac{u}{3}$$ We also know from relativity that the momentum of a photon is $$p=\frac{E}{c}$$ Finally, the ...
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79 views

Reference for stochastic processes which helps moving from a basic level to a measure theory one

I'm looking for a reference (books, notes, lectures) which helps a physicist to understand the language of measure theory in the context of stochastic processes (in particular markov chains). I've ...
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33 views

state occupation rate $n_{i}=\frac{1}{e^{\beta (\varepsilon _{i}-\mu )}+{[1/-1/0]}}$ & density matrix $\rho _{m}=\frac{e^{-\frac{E_{m}}{kT}}}{Z(T)}$

Three kinds of distributions. The states occupation rates: F.D. $n_{i}=\frac{1}{e^{\beta (\varepsilon _{i}-\mu )}+1}$ B.E. $n_{i}=\frac{1}{e^{\beta (\varepsilon _{i}-\mu )}-1}$ Boltzmann ...
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Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero?

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero? I just do not see why our model must work the way ...
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32 views

How to load Bose-Einstein Condensates into an optical lattice?

In cold atom experiments, what techniques are used to load Bose-Einstein Condensates into an optical lattice??
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111 views

2d Ising model in CFT and statistical mechanics

When I recently started to read about conformal field theory, one of the basic examples there is the so called Ising model. It is characterized by certain specific collection of fields on the plane ...
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1answer
60 views

Partition function for composite systems

I want to understand the derivation of the partition function for two distinguishable non-interacting particles. Let the energy of particles $1$ and $2$ be $E_1$ and $E_2$ respectively. Setting ...
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104 views

Fluctuations in energy for macro and micro canonical ensembles

I was thinking about fluctuations in energy for a system in thermal equilibrium. I think that the Boltzmann distribution itself has an standard deviation approximately equal to the mean, as it is ...
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14 views

Rationale behind the 'joint cavity distribution'?

I have a question about equation (17) of this paper: http://arxiv.org/pdf/1009.1635v1.pdf First, I was hoping that someone could explain how it is arrived at. Second, I find the notation to be a bit ...
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1answer
62 views

what does “an average over noise” mean in Zwanzig's book

This is a very specific question about Robert Zwanzig's book Nonequilibrium Statistical Mechanics. Specifically, what is he talking about in equation 1.25 on page 10 that he calls "an average over ...
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20 views

Derivation of a formula concerning overlap between spin states

I am reading through Cavagna's Spin glass theory for pedestrians, but I am stuck at equation (35). I'll try to provide a little context. Given two spin configurations $\sigma$ and $\tau$, we define ...
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54 views

Minimum connectivity required for mean field to be a good approximation?

In spin models, it is known that mean field becomes a better approximation as the connectivity increases. My question is: Is there an estimate for the threshold connectivity (as a function of the ...
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2answers
124 views

Quantum entropy in term of density matrix

Why in von Neumann expression of quantum entropy we have trace of density matrix expression? Why don't off diagonal term play a role?
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44 views

Fluctuation-Dissipation theorems in an infinite quantum system

So for a quantum spin chain, one can easily prove via the partition function that you have a fluctuation-dissipation type relation between the magnetic susceptibility and the variance of the ...
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1answer
102 views

What is the phenomenological logic behind Fermi liquid theory

I am a super beginner when it comes to Solid State Physics and when wanting to learn more on the subject, I end up reading on Landau's Fermi liquid theory that supposedly justifies the quasi-free ...
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2answers
83 views

How can the microstates be measured with zero energy expenditure?

James P. Sethna. Statistical Mechanics. Exercise 5.2: What prevents a Maxwellian demon from using an atom in an unknown state to extract work? The demon must first measure which side of the ...
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114 views

Is temperature discrete

Because an object's temperature is inversely proportional to the wavelength of blackbody radiation which it emits, physicists have theorized the existence of Planck temperature at around $1.4×10^{32}$ ...
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223 views

Flory-Huggins ternary phase diagram with a neutral component

I am searching the literature for the Flory-Huggins phase diagram with the following components : polymer, solvent, and a third component that does not interact with the other components (just entropy ...
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1answer
114 views

Entropy and chemical potential of an ideal gas

I am reading Schroeder's book "Thermal Physics". One calculation in the text was not quite clear to me. The entropy of an ideal gas is given by the Sackur-Tetrode equation: $$ ...
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2answers
83 views

Classical and Semi-classical treatments of the ideal gas

In the semi-classical treatment of the ideal gas, we write the partition function for the system as $$Z = \frac{Z(1)^N}{N!}$$ where $Z(1)$ is the single particle partition function and $N$ is the ...
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2answers
285 views

Grand canonical partition functions for Bose-Einstein statistics vs. Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics

In Bose-Einstein statistics, the grand canonical partition function is $$\mathcal{Z}=1+e^{-\beta(\epsilon-\mu)}+e^{-2\beta(\epsilon-\mu)}+e^{-3\beta(\epsilon-\mu)}+\cdots$$ In Maxwell-Boltzmann ...
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175 views

Why are there gapless excitations in the anti-ferromagnetic Heisenberg model while the true ground state is a singlet?

The true ground state of the anti ferromagnetic quantum Heisenberg Model (nearest neighbor only)is known to be a singlet (I think this is Liebs theorem.) Since a singlet is invariant under rotations, ...
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94 views

I'm getting weird autocorrelations when simulating an Ising model below the critical temperature

So I'm simulating an Ising model using Monte Carlo and the Metropolis algorithm. After letting it reach equilibrium, I try to calculate the autocorrelation of the magnetization. As long as the system ...
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73 views

Intuitively, why does removing solutes cost $k_B T$ of free energy per molecule?

I can calculate that if you want to, for example, desalinate water, you will have to pay a free energy cost of $k_B T$ for each ion you remove. In other words, removing an ion from a volume of water ...
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125 views

Energy fluctuations in quantum canonical ensemble

How would you go about showing that in the quantum canonical ensemble (that is, in the density matrix and operator formulation), the energy fluctuations, namely $\langle H^2\rangle - \langle ...
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53 views

Is entropy a dynamical quantity [closed]

I am confused whether Entropy is a dynamical quantity or not. Gibbs entropy, and quantum mechanical Von Neumann entropy.
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7answers
3k 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 ...
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1answer
85 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 ...
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2answers
314 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?
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109 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 $B$ ...
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2answers
282 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 ...
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2answers
199 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 ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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223 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^{\# ...
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39 views

Two-dimensional atomic trap--how to set up the problem?

It is possible to trap neutral atoms between two solid surfaces in a potential of the form $V (x, y, z) = ax^2 + by^2$ where a and b are parameters. The allowed space for the gas extends to ...
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43 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 ...
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29 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 ...
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2answers
65 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 ...
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0answers
46 views

Landau free energy

I am reading the statistical mechanics by Pathria in Chap 12. I have a question about the Landau free energy. What is the physical reasoning for that the free energy could be a functional of the order ...
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1answer
92 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
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1answer
122 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_+ ...
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1answer
58 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 ...
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2answers
119 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?
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3answers
291 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 ...
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0answers
74 views

Questions on degenerate ground states and the thermodynamic limit?

For example, let's consider a $N$ spin-1/2 system on a lattice described by the Hamiltonian $H$. My questions are: (1) If $H$ has either global $SU(2)$ spin-rotation symmetry or time-reversal ...
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1answer
125 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 ...
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2answers
419 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 ...
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74 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 ...
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59 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 ...