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

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Physical intuition for independence of components of velocity in derivation of Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution

Maxwell derived the shape of the probability distribution of velocity of gas particles by starting with just two assumptions. These are: The probability distribution is rotation invariant. The ...
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70 views

Meaning of the 'deep lattice limit' and 'shallow lattice limit'?

In condensed matter literature, at many places, the phrase 'deep lattice limit' is used. Please tell what is the deep lattice limit and the shallow lattice limit?
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265 views

What would happen if energy was conserved but phase space volume wasn't? (and vice-versa)

I'm trying to understand the relationship between the two conservation laws. As I understand, Liouville's result is a weaker condition: it relies merely on the particular form assumed by Hamilton's ...
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334 views

Mean-field theory and spatial correlations in statistical physics

In statistical physics, mean-field theory (MFT) is often introduced by working out the Ising model and it's properties. From a spin model point of view, the mean-field approximation is given by ...
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194 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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441 views

Percolation in a 2D Ising model

For a 2D Ising model with zero applied field, it seems logical to me that the phases above and below T_c will have different percolation behaviour. I would expect that percolation occurs (and hence ...
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138 views

Is ground energy of interacting fermions always higher that that of bosons?

Consider two systems, each made of $N$ particles. In both systems particles interact pairwise and the interaction is given by the same Hamiltonian for both systems. Any other constraints and/or ...
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89 views

Is there any model in statistical physics which has the ratio of specific heat exponent to correlation length exponent, $\alpha/\nu \approx 2.44$?

I am simulating a disordered ising-like model in 2d whose phase transition is expected to be continuous, whose universality class is as yet unknown. By plotting the Specific heat scaling function, ...
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93 views

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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108 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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157 views

Duality between Euclidean time and finite temperature, QFT and quantum gravity, and AdS/CFT

The thoughts below have occurred to me, several years ago (since 200x), again and again, since I learn quantum field theory(QFT) and statistical mechanics, and later AdS/CFT. It is about the duality ...
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71 views

What is an intuitive explantion for the fact that the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of energies is independent of mass?

If you take the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of velocities (which depends on the mass) and substitute $v=\sqrt{\frac{2E}{m}}$ you get the distribution for the energies, which turns out to be ...
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69 views

Some questions about the large-N Gross-Neveu-Yukawa model

Consider the following action with a fermionic field $\psi$ and a scalar field $\sigma$, $S = \int d^dx \{ -\bar{\psi}(\gamma^\mu \partial_\mu +\sigma )\psi + \Lambda^{d-4}[ \frac{(\partial_\mu ...
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154 views

What is the physical interpretation of the Papadodimas/Raju mirror operators?

In this paper http://arxiv.org/abs/1310.6335, the authors discuss the firewall problem and contruct so called mirror operators appearing in the correlation function. The key part seems to be (2.6) ...
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448 views

Is Feynman talking about the Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics?

In Volume 1 Chapter 39 of the Feynman Lectures on Physics, Feynman derives the ideal gas law from Newton's laws of motion. But then on page 41-1, he puts a caveat to the derivation he has just ...
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99 views

Exact Beta Functions in Statistical Mechanics

I'm looking for analytically solvable models in statistical mechanics (classical or quantum) or related areas such as solid state physics in which the beta function for a certain renormalization ...
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111 views

What is the proper time used in relativistic non equilibrium statistical physics?

In the literature one often finds covariant relativistic generalizations of classical non equilibrium statistical equations (Boltzmann, Vlasov, Landau, fokker-planck, etc...) but I wonder what is the ...
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151 views

Applicability of Baxter's method for IRF models

In a interaction-round-a-face model of $n^2$ particles in a lattice, a weight $W(a,b,c,d)$ is assigned to each face in the lattice based on the spins $a,b,c,d$ (listed say from the bottom-left corner ...
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Is temperature in vacuum zero?

From Wikipedia entry on Kinetic Theory The temperature of an ideal monatomic gas is a measure of the average kinetic energy of its atoms. Now if I remove all the particles from the box shown ...
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659 views

Are the physical laws scale-dependent?

If you read the article "More Is Different", by P.W. Anderson (Science, 4 August 1972), you will find a deep question: are the physical laws dependent of the size of the system under study? As an ...
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Second law of Thermodynamics: Why is it only “almost” always true that entropy is non-decreasing? [duplicate]

Wikipedia - Second law of thermodynamics: ...the entropy of any closed system not in thermal equilibrium almost always increases. I understand that the second law of thermodynamics is based on ...
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359 views

How and why can random matrices answer physical problems?

Random matrix theory pops up regularly in the context of dynamical systems. I was, however, so far not able to grasp the basic idea of this formalism. Could someone please provide an instructive ...
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410 views

If particles can find themselves spontaneously arranged, isn't entropy actually decreasing? [duplicate]

Take a box of gas particles. At $t = 0$, the distribution of particles is homogeneous. There is a small probability that at $t = 1$, all particles go to the left side of the box. In this case, entropy ...
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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 ...
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153 views

Is there a phenomenon where physicists are only interested in the standard deviation of the quantity to be measured?

or a phenomenon where we can only measure the standard deviation ($\sigma_w$) of a variable $w$ and not the mean $\overline{w}$
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371 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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Existence of negative temperatures and the definition of entropy

How negative temperatures can be possible has been treated on StackExchange before (several times in fact), but in light of some recent academic discussion, most of these answers seem to be possibly ...
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694 views

Phase space in quantum mechanics and Heisenberg uncertainty principle

In my book about quantum mechanics they give a derivation that for one particle an area of $h$ in $2D$ phase space contains exactly one quantum mechanical state. In my book about statistical physics ...
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497 views

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 ...
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352 views

How many particles is needed to observe a phase transition?

This is a question that was rised when we were discussing "what is melting actually". How many particles you need to form a liquid or solid. I have some remarks to point out what I want to know. Q: ...
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291 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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393 views

Temperature; Why A Fundamental Quantity?

Temperature is just an indication of the combined property of mass of the molecules and their random motion. We can explain no effective energy transfer between two conducting solid bodies in contact ...
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360 views

The statistical nature of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics

Ok, so entropy increases... This is supposed to be an absolute statement about entropy. But then someone imagines a box with a 10 particle gas, and finds that every now and then all particles are in ...
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469 views

Is there a mechanism for time symmetry breaking?

Excluding Thermodynamic's arrow of time, all mathematical descriptions of time are symmetric. We know the arrow of time is real and we know the equations describing physics are real so is there any ...
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350 views

What are the differences between indistinguishable and identical?

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

What's the classical limit of the pressure of the ultrarelativistic Bose gas

The pressure for the ultrarelativistic Bose gas is $$p~=~U/(3V) ~\propto~ (kT)^4/(hc)^3.$$ It looks to me like it diverges for $h \to 0$. Looking at the derivation, it diverges because $h$ is the ...
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156 views

Strange definition of microcanonical partition function

I always thought that the microcanonical partition function would measure the number of states that correspond to some fixed energy. Despite, I found in this paper (equation 3.4) that we integrate ...
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Entropy increase vs Conservation of information (QM)

Unitarity of quantum mechanics prohibits information destruction. On the other hand, the second law of thermodynamics claims entropy to be increasing. If entropy is to be thought of as a measure of ...
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938 views

When is temperature not a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a substance?

I had always thought that temperature of a substance was a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in that substance: $E_k = (3/2) k_bT $ where $E_k$ is the average kinetic energy of ...
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341 views

Why is velocity normally distributed in a gas, but not energy?

If one looks at a cubic box of gaseous atoms all initially flying in the same direction at the same speed (but flying at an angle to the walls, so as not to reflect up-and-down against the box walls ...
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250 views

Continuous phase transition only hold for infinite systems. Real systems are finite, hence, a paradox

Second-order or continuous transitions are usually identified with non-analyticies within the free energy (which is proportional to the logarithm of the sum of exponentials). Such singularities are ...
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633 views

Does entropy really always increase (or stay the same)? [duplicate]

Consider this image. If the big (grey) molecules were all to spontaneously move to the left, and the small ones were to move to the right, there would be an increase in order. While unlikely, ...
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6k views

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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How to understand temperatures of different degrees of freedom?

So I'm reading this book, where after the preface and before the models there is a section called General Notions and Essential Quantities, which introduce some things I don't understand. They regard ...
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278 views

What does this observation of instantaneous velocity in Brownian particles mean?

I read this artice: Physicists Prove Einstein Wrong with Observation of Instantaneous Velocity in Brownian Particles “We’ve now observed the instantaneous velocity of a Brownian particle,” says ...
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264 views

What is the meaning of Boltzmann definition of Entropy?

I would like to ask if someone knows the physical meaning of Boltzmann's definition of entropy. of course the formula is pretty straightforward $$S=K_b\ln(Ω)$$ but what in the heck is the natural ...
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234 views

When to use the Boltzmann distribution and the chemical potential?

How do you know when to use the Boltzmann distribution for a particular problem? I have many polymers connected together in many different possibilities by connector agents. All are in a solvent. I ...
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273 views

The critical point of Bose-Hubbard model

The Hamiltonian of Bose-Hubbard model reads as $$H=-t\sum\limits_{<i,j>}b_i^{\dagger}b_j+h.c.+\frac{U}{2}\sum\limits_{i}n_i(n_i-1)-\mu\sum\limits_in_i$$. In the limit $t\ll U$, the ground ...
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439 views

Proving that the free energy is extensive

If I have two system of an Ideal gas $A$ and $B$ each of these system has a partition function: $Z_{A,B} = \left ( \frac{V_{A,B}}{\lambda_T} \right )^{N_{A,B}}$ Where: $\lambda_T = \left ( ...
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Mathematical proof of the Second Law of Thermodynamics [duplicate]

Is there some book or paper that formalizes statistical mechanics, like some people have done with relativity, and proves the second law of thermodynamics from more foundational axioms?