Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rutgers Researchers 'Rewrite The Book' In Quantum Statistical Physics

Date:
February 9, 2006
Source:
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
Summary:
An important part of the decades-old assumption thought to be essential for quantum statistical physics is being challenged by researchers at Rutgers University and colleagues in Germany and Italy. The researchers show that it is not necessary to assume that large collections of atomic particles are in a random state in order to derive a mathematical formula that conveys that smaller collections of those particles are indeed random.

An important part of the decades-old assumption thought to be essential for quantum statistical physics is being challenged by researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and colleagues in Germany and Italy.

In a journal article to be published in Physical Review Letters and now available online, the researchers show that it is not necessary to assume that large collections of atomic particles are in a random state in order to derive a mathematical formula that conveys that smaller collections of those particles are indeed random. While their proof is unlikely to change any of today's high-tech products and processes, it could nonetheless lead to rewrites of tomorrow's physics textbooks.

For decades, physicists believed that an assumption of randomness accounts for the canonical distribution formula at the heart of statistical mechanics, a field that helps scientists understand the structure and properties of materials. Randomness remains a necessary foundation to derive this formula for systems governed by the principles of classical mechanics. But the basic constituents of materials reside at the atomic and subatomic levels, where the principles of quantum mechanics take hold. The researchers have found that for quantum systems the situation is quite different than physicists had believed.

"What we have found is so simple that it is surprising that it was not discovered long ago," said Sheldon Goldstein, professor of mathematics and physics at Rutgers and one of the paper's four authors. "More surprising still is the fact that Erwin Schroedinger, one of the founders of quantum mechanics, had the essential idea more than fifty years ago, and this was entirely unappreciated."

###

The other authors of the journal article, titled "Canonical Typicality," are Joel Lebowitz, professor of mathematics and physics at Rutgers; Roderich Tumulka, assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Tuebingen in Germany; and Nino Zanghi, professor of physics at the University of Genoa in Italy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. "Rutgers Researchers 'Rewrite The Book' In Quantum Statistical Physics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 February 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060209184415.htm>.
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. (2006, February 9). Rutgers Researchers 'Rewrite The Book' In Quantum Statistical Physics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060209184415.htm
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. "Rutgers Researchers 'Rewrite The Book' In Quantum Statistical Physics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/02/060209184415.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins