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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
119 views

Ergodicity of the Drude model

The Drude model of electric conduction in solids deals with independent free electrons subject to random collisions with the crystal lattice (the direction where the electrons are scattered after a ...
2
votes
3answers
237 views

How does that Boltzmann distribution interact with entropy?

In an ideal gas, the Boltzmann distribution predicts a distribution of particle energies $E_i$ proportional to $ge^{-E_i/k_bT}$. But, doesn't entropy dictate that the system will always progress ...
1
vote
1answer
302 views

Logical understanding of the canonical probability distribution (canonical ensemble) [duplicate]

I am having problems in understanding the logic of this distribution: $P(\Psi_{j})=\displaystyle\frac{e^{-E_{j}/kT}}{\displaystyle\sum_{j'}e^{-E_{j'}/kT}}$ The book I am studying use the case of a ...
8
votes
3answers
550 views

What is the relationship between Maxwell–Boltzmann statistics and the grand canonical ensemble?

In the grand canonical ensemble one derives the expectation value $\langle \hat n_r\rangle^{\pm}$ for fermions and bosons of sort $r$: $$ \langle \hat n_r\rangle^{\pm} \ \propto \ ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

What is known about the statistical mechanics of systems with normally distributed energies?

Consider a system taking on N states with energies $\epsilon \sim \mathcal{N}(\mu,\sigma^2)$. Are such systems well-studied in any context? I ask because I'd like to be able to take certain ...
1
vote
3answers
307 views

Is there really such a thing as an irreversible process?

If an isolated system goes from a state A to B, will it always eventually fluctuate back to state A? If not, give an simple example. Is it right to say that entropy only says that the probability ...
-1
votes
1answer
145 views

How does physicists calculate the gravitational self collapsing force of a star?

The nuclear fusion taking place inside the stars opposes its gravitational self collapsing force. But, how does physicists calculate it? I just know the classical gravitational theory and not a bit of ...
1
vote
2answers
409 views

Why doesnt this violate 2nd law of thermodynamics?

Consider an ideal gas in a cylindrical container in a gravitational field, with a piston on top pushing down by gravity. The piston has some locking mechanism that locks it in place if it is displaced ...
2
votes
3answers
152 views

Configuration space of particles in the box

The notion of entropy says that we can count microstates that correspond to macrostate. But, I do not understand how this can be done. Does it imply that the state space is discrete (finite or ...
-1
votes
1answer
86 views

What is the difference between scale-free network and small-world network? [closed]

What is the difference between scale-free network and small-world network? I can't understand from the definitions around the web if they are both the same name for one thing. Do both follow a ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

Percolation and number of phases in the 2D Ising model

Update. As my previous figure had conceptual mistakes I decided to change the picture to another, more instructive. After a long time I came back to try to understand an article on the Ising model. ...
7
votes
1answer
398 views

``What is life?'' by a physicist definition [closed]

The question is about defining ``What is life?'' in the field of Physics. Whether there is any (insightful) way of defining ``What is life?'' from physicists. There are pioneer works, including ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Meaning of Lagrange Multiplier in Ou-Yang and Helfrich's Shape equation for Membrane

Dear people in Physics Stackexchange, My question is mostly related to the following papers: U. Seifert, Z. Phys. B 97, 299 (1995). "The concept of effective tension for fluctuating vesicles". U. ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Why isn't absolute $0 K$ temperature possible?

So $T$ is defined as $$T = \left(\frac{\partial E}{\partial S}\right)$$ and $S$ is defined as $$S = k_B \ln \Omega$$ where $\Omega$ is the number of accessible states of the system for a given ...
11
votes
6answers
781 views

How do you prove the second law of thermodynamics from statistical mechanics?

How do you prove the second law of thermodynamics from statistical mechanics? To prove entropy will only increase with time? How to prove? Please guide.
1
vote
0answers
86 views

How to formally write down the Boltzmann equation?

Can someone write down the Boltzmann equation, not neglecting any of the variables of the involved functions and integrals? Specifically, how to concisely capture the "primed" variables in a sensible ...
7
votes
1answer
300 views

The virial theorem and a delta function potential

So the virial theorem tells us that: $2\langle T\rangle = \langle \textbf{r}\cdot\nabla V\rangle$. Now I was wondering what would happen if V has te form: $V(\textbf{r}-\textbf{r}') = ...
2
votes
1answer
511 views

Equation of state of a rubber band

I have the following question that I attached in png format. I have done part (a), but I am having difficulties in part (b) when I proceed according to the book. I have non zero tension at ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

Is it always possible to express an operator in terms of creation/annihilation operators?

I'm referring to "Path integral approach to birth-death processes on a lattice", L. Peliti, J. Physique 46, 1469-1483 (1985), available at: http://people.na.infn.it/~peliti/path.pdf The article is ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the six degrees of freedom of the atoms in a solid?

A monoatomic ideal gas has heat capacity $C_v=1.5$ which comes from the three translational degrees of freedom. For solids at high temperature, $C_v=3$, implying six degrees of freedom. What are ...
13
votes
1answer
354 views

Does this type of phase transition exist?

The short version of this question is: Is there, or could there be, a system with a phase transition where adding a small amount of heat causes a discontinuous jump in its temperature? Below are ...
1
vote
2answers
324 views

naive question on Boltzmann equation and conservation laws

The Boltzmann equation in absence of external force reads: $\frac{\partial f}{\partial t} + \vec{v} \cdot \frac{\partial f}{\partial \vec{r}} = \left( \frac{\partial f}{\partial t}\right)_{coll}$ ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

Entropy Maximization using undetermined multipliers

This is from Problems in Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics by P.T. Landsberg A system can be in any one of N states. Using the method of undetermined multipliers to show for the maximum ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Is it possible to derive fermi-dirac or bose-einstein statistics using quantum operator formulations?

I've been looking through theory on identical particles to get a better grasp of the uncertainty principle but it would be very interesting if these results could be extracted from the formalism as ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Justifications for different Monte Carlo trial moves

Why do we perform different trial moves in Monte Carlo simulations in Statistical Mechanics? For example, in NVT ensemble simulations, Why only atom displacement moves? In NPT ensemble, why do we need ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
354 views

Why do pressure and chemical potential depend on temperature, instead of having symmetric definitions?

I'm following an introduction to statistical mechanics and have seen the following definitions for fundamental temperature, pressure and chemical potential respectively: $$\frac{1}{\tau} := \left( ...
2
votes
1answer
626 views

Practical difference between canonical and grand canonical ensembles

I'm currently doing some calculations which require evaluating various standard thermal expectation values in the canonical ensemble (both bosons and fermions). Now, in order to make my theoretical ...
0
votes
2answers
110 views

Grand canonical ensemble with interaction, simulation doubts

First of all, this is a follow-up of my first question. The idea is the same, every state would consist of some particles in a line (with an energy associated) and the particles can not be nearer than ...
10
votes
1answer
490 views

Definition of phase transitions in statistical mechanics

Phase transitions in statistical mechanics are usually taught by working through a bunch of examples. I decided to try and think about them from a more "fundamental" point of view - but I've run into ...
2
votes
1answer
796 views

What is off-diagonal long range order in superfluid?

From Wikipedia: [...]Off-diagonal long-range order (ODLRO) [...] exists whenever there is a macroscopically large factored component (eigenvalue) in a reduced density matrix of any order. How to ...
1
vote
1answer
289 views

Rate of effusion in kinetic molecular theory?

According to the kinetic molecular theory obeying Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of speeds, the rate of effusion through a pinhole of area $A$ is $$R=\frac{PA}{\sqrt{2\pi M R T}}$$ where $M$ is the ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

detailed balance in the context of the ising model

I am having a very basic problem understanding the idea of detailed balance, particularly in the context of the Ising model. Most references I have found contain the following phrase: "In ...
4
votes
0answers
79 views

Can the correlation for the Potts model be bounded?

I am studying a $d$-state Potts model. A configuration $\sigma$, which assigns for each $x\in \mathbb{Z}^2$ a value $\sigma(x)\in [1,2,\ldots,d]$, with the probability on a finite lattice defined as ...
7
votes
1answer
206 views

Any open areas to work in non equilibrium thermodynamics for a Phd student? [closed]

I see that many papers written on fundamentals of thermodynamics(theory) nowadays are by some old professors somewhere(there may be exceptions). Most active young faculty don't seem to be seriously ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

Is “detailed balance” equivalent with a continuity equation in state space?

I have a talk tomorrow in which detailed balance is needed and I don't want to bore my audience with elaborate explanations for it so I'm looking for simpler explanations. As far as I understood it ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Research on ground state configuration of Ising model

I want to do mathematical research (algorithm construction and mathematical analysis) on Ising model ground state configuration. From what I know, the state of art research is using graph theory ...
5
votes
4answers
523 views

Entropy as an arrow of time

From what I understand, entropy is a concept defined by the experimentalist due to his ignorance of the exact microstate of a system. To say the number of accessible microstates $W$ of the universe is ...
8
votes
2answers
258 views

Casimir effect as an entropic force

When I first learned about the depletion interaction, my initial reaction was that it looks very similar to the Casimir effect. On making this remark to the professor, he replied somewhat mystically: ...
0
votes
1answer
431 views

Calculating the ideal mixing entropy using Gibbs' entropy formula

Two distinguishable gases are in separate volumes $xV$ and $(1-x)V$ $(x\in [0,1])$ respectively, and the number of particles on each side is $xN$ and $(1-x)N$ respectively. The volumes are separated ...
0
votes
0answers
80 views

thermoelectric effect

The Absolute Seebeck effect states that an electric potential (voltage) is produced to any isolated conducting when subject to a temperature gradient.But why? My view of this is that when you apply ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

Boltzmann distribution with interaction between particles?

First of all, I would like to apologize in advance if I make stupid mistakes. I am a mathematician and I am trying to apply the Boltzmann distribution to places where I am not sure if it is applicable ...
4
votes
1answer
211 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
276 views

Should entropy have units and temperature in terms of energy? [duplicate]

I've been thinking about entropy for a while and why it is a confusing concept and many references are filled with varying descriptions of something that is a statistical probability (arrows of time, ...
1
vote
2answers
739 views

Must a reversible engine be a carnot engine?

I have this homework question: "Show that any reversible engine operating between T1 and T2 is a carnot engine." I think I have a solution, but it feels very hand-wavy. We know that any process that ...
1
vote
3answers
430 views

What is the energy of a standing EM wave? Is it probabilistic?

In a cavity, the standing wave will constructively interfere with itself, so its energy gets higher while the oscillator is still vibrating. Since the vibration time is not a constant value, and ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Can a distribution with sharper energy maximum than the exp-function give an equivalent theory?

Because for many particles the distribution $\varrho\sim\mathrm e^{-\beta\ H}$ has an extremely sharp maximum, the expectation values of the canonical ensemble agrees with that of the microcanonical ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

Ergodicity Breaking in Supercooled Liquids

What is a ergodic system? What is Onset temperature of ergodicity breaking in super cooled liquids when we go towards lower temperature?
2
votes
0answers
187 views

How to derive the two-term approximation for the Boltzmann equation?

Starting with the Boltzmann equation in terms of $f(t,\vec v,\vec x)$ or $f(t,\vec v)$ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_equation $$\left(\frac{\partial}{\partial t} + \vec{v} \, ...
0
votes
1answer
175 views

Entropy of a particle with two energy states [closed]

A particle has two energy states having energies $E_0$ and $E_1$ with degeneracies $g_0$ and $g_1$. The respective probabilities are $p_1$ and $p_2$. What is the entropy in terms of $p_1$, ...