Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Dr. R. K. Bhaduri
This thesis encompasses a number of problems related to the number fluctuations from the ground state of ideal particles in different statistical ensembles. In the microcanonical ensemble most of these problems may be solved using number theory. Given an energy E, the well-known problem of finding the number of ways of distributing N bosons over the excited levels of a one-dimensional harmonic spectrum, for instance, is equivalent to the number of restricted partitions of E. As a result, the number fluctuation from the ground state in the microcanonical ensemble for this system may be found analytically. When the particles are fermions instead of bosons, however, it is difficult to calculate the exact ground state number fluctuation because the fermionic ground state consists of many levels. By breaking up the energy spectrum into particle and hole sectors, and mapping the problem onto the classic number partitioning theory, we formulate a method of calculating the particle number fluctuation from the ground state in the microcanonical ensemble for fermions. The same quantity is calculated for particles interacting via an inverse-square pairwise interaction in one dimension. In the canonical ensemble, an analytical formula for the ground state number fluctuation is obtained by using the mapping of this system onto a system of noninteracting particles obeying the Haldane-Wu exclusion statistics. In the microcanonical ensemble, however, the result can be obtained only for a limited set of values of the interacting strength parameter. Usually, for a discrete set of a mean-field single-article quantum spectrum and in the micro canonical ensemble, there are many combinations of exciting particles from the ground state. The spectrum given by the logarithms of the prime number sequence, however, is a counterexample to this rule. Here, as a consequence of the fundamental theorem of arithmetic, there is a one-to-one correspondence between the microstate and the macrostate, resulting in the vanishing of number fluctuation for all excitations. The use of the canonical or grand canonical ensembles, on the other hand, gives a substantial number fluctuation from the ground state. For a related spectrum, that given by the logarithms of an integer n, the microcanonical number fluctuation is non-zero but the application of the other ensembles is still not valid. These two spectra are examples of systems where canonical and grand canonical ensembles averagings yield answers different from the microcanonical result. Some models in physics may be used to obtain formulae known in the theory of number partition. For the same problem of N ideal bosons in a one-dimensional harmonic oscillator potential mentioned earlier, it is well known that the asymptotic (N --> ∞) density of states is identical to the Hardy-Ramanujan formula for the number of partitions of an integer n. The same statistical mechanics technique for the density of states of bosons in a power-law spectrum yields the partitioning formula for the number of partitions of n into a sum of 8th powers of a set of integers. By considering only the particle sector of the fermionic spectrum, a formula for the number of distinct partitions of n is obtained. For the s = 1 case and for finite N, the Erdos-Lehner formula for the restricted partitions, and a new formula for the distinct and restricted partitions are derived. As a diversion, we discuss the microcanonical entropy which may be uniquely defined in terms of the macrostate, or equivalently the many-body degeneracy of the state, at a given energy. The many-body degeneracy factor, however, is exceedingly difficult to calculate in general. It is thus desirable to find a different way to calculate the micro canonical entropy. It has been recently suggested that the microcanonical entropy may be accurately reproduced by including a logarithmic correction to the canonical entropy. This claim is readily tested using some of the models mentioned above, where the many-body degeneracy may be determined exactly. In addition, we also consider a system of N distinguishable particles in a d-dimensional harmonic energy spectrum. In this case the many-body degeneracy factor can be obtained analytically in a closed form.
Tran, Muoi N., "Ground State Number Fluctuations of Trapped Particles" (2004). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1567.