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Statistical ensemble (mathematical physics)

In mathematical physics, especially as introduced into statistical mechanics and thermodynamics by J.

Willard Gibbs in 1878, an ensemble (also statistical ensemble or thermodynamic ensemble) is an idealization consisting of a large number of mental copies (sometimes infinitely many) of a system, considered all at once, each of which represents a possible state that the real system might be in.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Statistical ensemble (mathematical physics)", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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