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

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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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208 views

Erogodicity in a Monte Carlo simulation

Q1: What is the ergodicity and ergodicity breaking in a Monte Carlo simulation of a statistical physics problem? Q2: How does one ensure that the ergodicity is maintained ?
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4k 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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1k views

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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255 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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138 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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123 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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1answer
213 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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108 views

Which transformations are canonical?

Which transformations are canonical? Why do canonical transformations preserve the measure of integration in phase space?
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169 views

A thermodynamic transformation that can be represented by a continuous quasistatic path in its state space may still be irreversible. Why?

A thermodynamic transformation that has a path (in its state space) that lies on the surface of its equation of state (e.g., $PV=NkT$) is always reversible (right?). However, if the path is a ...
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104 views

Independent systems and Lagrangians

Definition 1: The notion of independent systems has a precise meaning in probabilities. It states that the (joint) probability or finding the system ($S_1S_2$) in the configuration ($C_1C_2$) is ...
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162 views

Topological Phases and Confinement

I recently attended a talk in which the speaker defined a topological phase as "A phase which has a gap above the ground state for bulk excitations in the thermodynamic limit." I am interested in what ...
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202 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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238 views

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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226 views

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 ...
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1answer
360 views

Is there a fully quantum-field theoretic treatise of Planck's Law for black-body radiation?

I recall from my undergraduate statistical mechanics and QM classes that Planck's Law may be derived fairly straight-forwardly by considering the density of states of EM radiation in thermal ...
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691 views

For which systems is the equipartition theorem valid?

Under what conditions does a system with many degrees of freedom satisfy the equipartition theorem?
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546 views

Where can I find a good classification for phase transitions?

I'm having a hard time to find a good (and modern) classification scheme for phase transitions and related universality classes. Can someone recommend a paper/book/site? Detailed mathematical aspects ...
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1answer
99 views

Do we have a fundamental Hamiltonian for the system of H$_2$O molecules?

From the quantum mechanics(QM) viewpoint, does there exist a Hamiltonian $H$ for the system of H$_2$O molecules? Assume that the number of H$_2$O molecules is fixed. Imagine that by calculating the ...
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143 views

What information is lost in the symmetrization necessary to derive the BBGKY hierarchy?

The book on Kinetic theory I'm reading derives the BBGKY hierarchy after introducing the reduced distribution functions $f_s(q^1,p_1,q^2,p_2,\dots,q^s,p_s):=\int\ \rho\ \ \mathrm d q^{s+1} \mathrm d ...
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334 views

quantum mechanics current operators

How to derive the charge current and the energy current operators in second quantized form in Quantum mechanics ? Also if you could comment in a similar way on the entropy current operator, that will ...
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1answer
876 views

The definition of Density of States

The density of states (DOS) is generally defined as $D(E)=\frac{d\Omega(E)}{dE}$, where $\Omega(E)$ is the number of states. But why DOS can also be defined using delta function, as ...
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273 views

Partition function of a gas of $N$ identical classical particles

Partition function of a gas of $N$ identical classical particles is given by $$ Z~=~\frac {1}{N! h^{3N}} \int \exp[-\beta H(p_1.......p_n, x_1....x_n)]d^3p_1...d^3p_n,d^3x_1...d^3x_n $$ in this ...
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113 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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242 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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468 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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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 ...
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327 views

Integration of partition-function over many momentum variables

My integral looks like $$Z(\beta) = \frac{1}{h^3}\int d^3p\ \exp{\left(-\frac{\beta}{2m}\sum^{3N}_{i=1}p_i^2\right)}.$$ I'm confused about how to integrate over seemingly 3N variables in only a ...
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1answer
237 views

What is the mathematics behind artificially generated plasmas via electric fields?

The ionization degree of a plasma is given by the Saha equation, which depends on the temperature and the particle specific ionization energy. In thermal equilibrium, the relation between ionization ...
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46 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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1answer
74 views

A real gas with gravitation-like interaction

Consider a system (a gas) of point-like particles with a gravitation-like interaction (potential) $V(r) \sim \frac{1}{r}$ between pairs of them. One can rule out statistically that two particles will ...
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1answer
68 views

QHO in Microcanonical Ensemble: Problem with alternate derivation

I am working through Franz Schwabl's book on Statistical Mechanics, and he has a number of derivations of thermodynamic quantities that are different than those I have seen before. I am also having ...
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1answer
146 views

About Boltzmann H-theorem

What is the assumption for Boltzmann H-theorem? One can derive it just from the unitarity of quantum mechanics, so this should be generally true, does it imply a closed system will always thermalize ...
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First and second order phase transitions

Recently I've been puzzling over the definitions of first and second order phase transitions. The Wikipedia article (at the time of writing) starts by explaining that Ehrenfest's original definition ...
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392 views

Chemical Potential of Ideal Fermi Gas

In Wikipedia's article on Fermi Gases, they have the following equation for the chemical potential: $$\mu = E_0 + E_F \left[ 1- \frac{\pi ^2}{12} \left(\frac{kT}{E_F}\right) ^2 - \frac{\pi^4}{80} ...
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1answer
112 views

Neutron scattering for a critical magnetic-ordering system : what about critical opalescence?

Liquid-gas transition critical point is believed to share the same universality class as the 3D Ising model. We know that the liquid-gas transition is characterized by a phenomenon called critical ...
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384 views

Dispersion relation and Heat Capacity

I have seen case studies of the 3D Debye model where the vibrational modes of a solid is taken to be harmonic with dispersion relation $\omega = c_sk$. It is said that for temperatures much less than ...
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1answer
406 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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649 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 ...
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152 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 ...
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285 views

Friction at zero temperature?

By the fluctuation-dissipation theorem (detailed-balance for Langevin equation), $$\sigma^2 = 2 \gamma k_B T$$ where $\sigma$ is the variance of noise, $\gamma$ is a friction coefficient, $k_B$ is ...
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1answer
36 views

Connections of iterative solvers for large systems of equation in Physics?

I am trying to find the domains in physics where solving large systems of equations is computationally expensive. The sparse systems are of my particular interest, where the input matrix A is in GBs ...
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1answer
577 views

Energy per particle vs. chemical potential vs. evaporation energy

There is a system of N particles. They interact and are bound together with a binding energy Eb (or potential energy). To characterize the system there are multiple terms Energy per particle Eb(N)/N ...
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1answer
285 views

What are conditions for the existence of a critical value (for a phase transition)?

Can there only be a critical temperature if there is some natural unit for an observable in the model, i.e. if there is a natural scale for something? Otherwise I don't see how for a system there ...
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1answer
298 views

Renormalization Group: Different fixed points

Extending the Gaussian model by introducing a second field and coupling it to the other field, I consider the Hamiltonian $$\beta H = \frac{1}{(2\pi)^d} \int_0^\Lambda d^d q \frac{t + Kq^2}{2} ...
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42 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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73 views

Nonequilibrium thermodynamics in a Boltzmann picture

The Boltzman approach to statistical mechanics explains the fact that systems equilibriate by the idea that the equillibrium macrostate is associated with an overwhelming number of microstates, so ...
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60 views

(Euclideanized) QFT on $S^d$ vs $S^{d-1}\times S^1$

Broadly I would like to understand what is the difference in the physical interpretation of a (Euclideanized) QFT which is on space-time $S^d$ and which is on a space-time $S^{d-1}\times S^1$. In ...
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77 views

Free path distribution

I'm studying statistical mechanics, and I'm trying to resolve some problem known from my thermodynamics course. So I want to calculate mean free path for particles with a concentration $n$ and ...
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1answer
449 views

Paramagnetism Spin-1/2 Particles - Partition Function

I'm trying to come up with an expression for the partition function of a system of spin-1/2 ideal gas particles on a line of length $L$. The total number of particles $N$ is fixed, with $N = ...