Thermodynamics of Quantum Heat Bath

Brody, D C and Hughston, L P. 2016. Thermodynamics of Quantum Heat Bath. Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 49(42), 425302. ISSN 1751-8113 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

A model for the thermodynamics of a quantum heat bath is introduced. Under the assumption that the bath molecules have finitely many degrees of freedom and are weakly interacting, we present a general derivation of the equation of state of the bath in the thermodynamic limit. The relation between the temperature and the specific energy of the bath depends on (i) the spectral properties of the molecules, and (ii) the choice of probability measure on the state space of a representative molecule. The results obtained illustrate how the microscopic features of the molecular constituents determine the macroscopic thermodynamic properties of the bath. Our findings can thus be used to compare the merits of different hypotheses for the equilibrium states of quantum systems. Two examples of plausible choices for the probability measure are considered in detail.

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quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, large deviations, condensed matter, heat bath

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6 April 2016Submitted
3 August 2016Accepted
28 September 2016Published

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Date Deposited:

25 Oct 2018 15:29

Last Modified:

22 Feb 2022 11:10

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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