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

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+100

What real experimental systems are well-described by Glauber-Ising spins?

I'm hoping for references to actual physical systems in which all or at least most of the following can be simultaneously characterized: the spin flip rate, the temperature, and a relaxation or ...
0
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1answer
21 views

Find an expression for S(T,x) from tension and specific heat

I'm working on a problem from a Statistical Mechanics lecture series online, and on the homework, I hit a bump in this problem. Here is the problem set, and I'm asking about #1.c. Short version, we ...
0
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2answers
46 views

Partition function of a 3D vibrating string

Is the partition function of a 3D vibrating string a sum of discrete energies, an integral of an energy continuum, or both? $$ Z_{\text{disc}} = \sum_{k=1}^{\infty}g_ke^{-\beta E_k} $$ or $$ ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Momentum distribution function for a particle in a 1D box

In these notes on statistical thermodynamics (pp. 62), I encountered this [topic: particle in a 1D box]: We shall adopt the initial condition that the probability distribution function has the ...
1
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1answer
104 views

What is the cause for mechanical equilibrium in statistical mechanics?

In classical thermodynamics, mechanical equilibrium is defined as the state of a system in which there is no net flow of volume as there should be no net pressure within the system. Ok. ...
0
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0answers
24 views

Can I measure the volume of a locked room by pumping gas through keyhole and measuring its entropy?

Suppose that I have a locked room and a keyhole in the door and I want to measure the room's volume. Suppose also that I have some "magical" "artificial" inert gas A that doesn't interact with ...
0
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1answer
90 views

Which function denotes the energy of thermal motion within a system?

In thermodynamics, the heat $Q$ is defined as a type of energy in transfer, and is not a state function, which function denotes the energy of thermal motion within a system? 1) $TS$, (there is a ...
2
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1answer
542 views

Pauli paramagnetism for electrons with external magnetic field

Apparently it is to be shown that for electrons under an external magnetic field, in the limit as $B\to 0 $ $$ \chi = \frac{dM}{dB} \approx \frac{n\,\mu^{*^2}}{k\,T}\,\frac{f_{1/2}(z)}{f_{3/2}(z)} $$ ...
3
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2answers
128 views

Spin drift velocity?

I am currently reading this Phys Rev paper by H C Torrey. In this paper, he derives the Bloch equations with an additional diffusion term. He says that the current density is given by $$\mathbf ...
2
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1answer
163 views

Thermodynamics, chaperones : How to model polymer fragmentation

Living polymers are well described by equilibrium statistical physics. Now I would like to consider a case were living polymers undergo fragmentation due to chaperones. I can think of a kinetic ...
1
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1answer
90 views

Total number of photons per unit volume in a box (extremely confusing)

This is a worked example from a text. a) Find an expression for the number of photons per unit volume with energies between $E$ and $E+dE$ in a cavity at temperature $T$. $$n(E)dE = g(E)f(E)dE = ...
17
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4answers
14k 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 ...
0
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1answer
31 views

from microscopic to kinetic transport theory

One way to model the dynamics of particles is to find the differential equation of motion of a particle. Of course, this will be nice and easy to do if we have only a few particles (like one-ish, ...
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2answers
95 views

Entropy and Gibbs Free Energy

I've been struggling with the notion of entropy and gibbs free energy for almost three days now. Different sources on and off the internet say different things about entropy. Gibbs Free Energy is ...
22
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4answers
2k views

Prove that negative absolute temperatures are actually hotter than positive absolute temperatures

Could someone provide me with a mathematical proof of why, a system with an absolute negative Kelvin temperature (such that of a spin system) is hotter than any system with a positive temperature (in ...
1
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2answers
45 views

Direct definition of density of states

I've been studying statistical mechanics and in the book there's something the author calls density of states which he introduced in a kind of indirect way. Basically, the author argues that if we ...
2
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0answers
49 views

Why we need to suppose the chemical potential is zero here?

I've been working on some statistical mechanics problems and one of them asks to compute the pressure with chemical potential zero of a boson gas whose particles do not interact and whose energies are ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

What is the difference between thermodynamical equilibrium and statistical equilibrium?

I am trying to understand what is the different between thermodynamical equilibrium and statistical equilibrium, for example, between photons and electrons at the early universe. (I read through paper ...
1
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1answer
102 views

Does time stand still at a phase transition?

For second order phase transition thermodynamic properties can be described in very general terms by their critical exponents. So at every transition the correlation length $\xi$ should diverge as ...
1
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2answers
107 views

Phase transition without the Peierls' counter argument

Is there any proof of the existence of phase transition in models of statistical mechanics of the Ising type models without using the Peierls' argument and its variations? By models of the Ising ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

Phase Transition at Zero Temperature (Not QPT)

As is well known the Ising model exhibits a phase transition, except the one dimensional case in which the phase transition occurs strictly at $T=0$. Now I have always thought that this makes the case ...
1
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1answer
100 views

Spontaneity / Free Energy of Non-Isothermal Process

I'm trying to determine a lower bound for the work input necessary to make an entropy-reducing process "spontaneous" in the sense that the 2nd law is not violated. For a constant temperature and ...
3
votes
3answers
327 views

Distinguishable, Indistinguishable Paramagnetic Ideal Gas

In the canonical ensemble, the partition function for an ideal gas is given by: $$\frac{Z}{N!}$$ The factor $N!$ accounts for the indistinguishability of the particles of the ideal gas. What ...
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0answers
20 views

What conditions are needed for Onsager reciprocal relations?

I often find a thorough discussion of the conditions that must hold for a theorem lacking, especially in the sense of what they actually mean physically. Could anyone write up what kind of systems ...
2
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1answer
164 views

Thermal radiation in the Unruh Effect

The following formula has been given in 't Hooft's black holes notes ($|\Omega \rangle$ is the vacuum state of Minkowski space, O is a operator): $$\langle \Omega| O|\Omega \rangle = \sum_{n \ge 0} ...
1
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1answer
249 views

Virial theorem and the energy in a gas

I clearly am interpreting the Virial Theorem incorrectly, but I don't know how. In dipole gases, the molecules can exhibit five kinetic modes, while they can only experience 2 potential modes. Doesn't ...
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0answers
48 views

Equipartition theorem and virial theorem differences?

The classical virial theorem and the classical equipartition theorem are clearly related. A version of the virial theorem is, \begin{equation} \bigg\langle \sum ^{3N}_{i=1} x_i\frac{\partial ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Physics-based derivation of the formula for entropy

I am looking for a derivation of the formula $$S~=~-\Sigma_ip_i \log (p_i).$$ for entropy, from first principles. I only wish to assume the laws of physics, and without involving concepts in ...
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3answers
89 views

Entropy change in an irreversible process between 2 equilibrium state

Calculating entropy change in an irreversible process between 2 states requires computing the change in entropy for any reversible process between the 2 same states, but why? If someone could provide ...
2
votes
2answers
129 views

Gaussian integral on a Riemannian manifold

How do I estimate the Gaussian integral $\int d^nx \sqrt{g(x)}~e^{-x^2} $ on a Riemannian manifold $(M,g=det~g_{\mu\nu})$? I've tried to consider $\sqrt{g(x)}$ as an analytic function and expanded it. ...
0
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0answers
22 views

Mean-field solution of Potts model

The mean-field equation for the three-state Potts model $H= -J∑δσiδσj$ can be derived as follows using this: a) show that $H$ is equivalent to $-J∑Si.Sj$ where, $Si=(1 0) , (-1/2 √3/2 ) , (-1/2 ...
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0answers
35 views

Time evolution of a classical system

For a harmonic oscillator the Liouville operator is given by $$L = p \partial_q- q \partial_p.$$ Now I have a phase space distribution $f(t,q,p)$ for which it holds (in general) $$f(t+\tau,q,p)= ...
1
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0answers
39 views

Statistical physics Susskind lecture question? Proof of Boltzmann distribution

In lecture 3 of the following series by Susskind on statistical physics, at 36 minutes in he takes the following step and spends the next 5 minutes discussing it, \begin{equation} f(P_i)=-N\sum ...
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3answers
440 views

Fermi-Dirac Statistics

In Fermi-Dirac statistics the probability of being in a certain energy state is $$f(E) = \left[1 + \exp\left(\frac{E-E_F}{k T}\right)\right]^{-1}$$ In the area that I'm looking at the texts always ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

Ising model on lattices with (vertical side length) $\neq$ (horizontal side length)

Consider the Ising model with nearest neighbours interactions on a rectangular lattice $L\times M$. If $L=M$ (2-dimensional square lattice), it is known (e.g. by Peierls argument or Onsager explicit ...
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0answers
17 views

Statistical field theories on topological defects

Systems like superconductors and superfluids are often treated by specifying some phenomenological mean field theory where the free energy is given as a functional of some order parameter field. Given ...
14
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6answers
5k views
0
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1answer
25 views

steady state and thermodynamic equilibrium

What is the difference between a system being in a steady state and thermodynamic equilibrium ? Can a system be in steady state but not in thermodynamic equilibrium and vice-versa?
2
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1answer
36 views

Fundamental assumption of statistical mechanics

I am confused about the statement of the 'fundamental assumption of statistical mechanics,' as one lecture would put it. For an isolated system in equilibrium, all accessible microstates are equally ...
0
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1answer
26 views

Partition function is simply temperature if possible sub system energy is continuous?

Partition function is $$Z=\sum_j\exp\left(-\frac{\epsilon_j}{kT}\right)$$ a sum over all possible energy levels $\epsilon_1,\epsilon_2, ..., \epsilon_M$. There must be a finite number of choices ...
0
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1answer
37 views

What is known about Renyi entropy of a probability density function?

I see most discussions about Renyi entropy to be using either of these two kinds of definitions, for $\alpha > 0, \alpha \neq 1$ $H_{\alpha}(p_i)=\frac{1}{1-\alpha}\log \sum p_i^{\alpha}$ for a ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Reaction coordinate as a function of atomic positions

I'm going over some (molecular dynamics) related literature - specifically the derivation of the Weighted Histogram Analysis Method (WHAM). As a quick backdrop WHAM is a method for stitching ...
0
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2answers
188 views

How does temperature relate to the kinetic energy of molecules?

In ideal gas model, temperature is the measure of average kinetic energy of the gas molecules. If by some means the gas particles are accelerated to a very high speed in one direction, KE certainly ...
0
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1answer
40 views

Boltzmann equation collisional operator in thermal equilibrium

Edited after Thomas' answer http://jila.colorado.edu/~ajsh/astr5770_14/grbook.pdf#section.30.5 Question 30.6. "Detailed balance": System is in thermal equilibrium, and the physics of the system is ...
4
votes
5answers
6k views

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 ...
0
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1answer
55 views

Is the Landau Free Energy U-TS or βH?

I'm having a hard time figuring out the physical meaning of the Landau Free Energy density: $$f(\phi,\nabla\phi,T) = \frac{1}{2}|\nabla\phi |^2 + \frac{a(T-T_c)}{2}|\phi |^2 + \frac{b}{4}|\phi |^4$$ ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

An integral involving the Bose-Einstein distribution

I'm trying to reproduce the following calculation from the book by Fetter and Walecka (eq. 55.37 and following ones), which represents the temperature dependance of the non-condensate part of a ...
1
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1answer
411 views

phase-space volumes or cells for N particle system

For N non interacting spinless particles in a volume, we have 3N degrees of freedom and we can divide the phase space into 6N dimensional cells of volume h raised to power 3N. And each cell ...
2
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0answers
25 views

Autocorrelation function corresponding to density of states with significant rotational motion

Most statistical physics textbooks (at least the ones I've found) state simply that the density of states of a system can be found as the temporal Fourier transform of the velocity autocorrelation ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Does the Unruh effect really describe a thermal bath?

If we consider a free (massless scalar) field $\phi$ in Minkowski space and look at it in Rindler coordinates (which correspond to what an accelerated observer sees), we find that the action of the ...