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An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics$
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Robert H. Swendsen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199646944

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646944.001.0001

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Quantum Canonical Ensemble

Quantum Canonical Ensemble

Chapter:
(p.258) 23 Quantum Canonical Ensemble
Source:
An Introduction to Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics
Author(s):

Robert H. Swendsen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199646944.003.0023

This chapter derives the canonical ensemble, which is arguably the most important concept in quantum statistical mechanics. The associated partition function leads to a quantum statistical mechanics expression for entropy. The origin of the Nernst postulate (third law of thermodynamics) then follows directly. The important special cases of two-level systems and simple harmonic oscillators are discussed in detail.

Keywords:   quantum canonical ensemble, partition function, entropy, Nernst postulate, thermodynamics, two-level systems, simple harmonic oscillators

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