Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 173, Issue 2, pp 285–294 | Cite as

How Does Pressure Fluctuate in Equilibrium?

  • Ken HiuraEmail author
  • Shin-ichi Sasa


We study fluctuations of pressure in equilibrium for classical particle systems. In equilibrium statistical mechanics, pressure for a microscopic state is defined by the derivative of a thermodynamic function or, more mechanically, through the momentum current. We show that although the two expectation values converge to the same equilibrium value in the thermodynamic limit, the variance of the mechanical pressure is in general greater than that of the pressure defined through the thermodynamic relation. We also present a condition for experimentally detecting the difference between them in an idealized measurement of momentum transfer.


Thermodynamic fluctuation theory in equilibrium Pressure fluctuation Landau-Lifshitz fluctuation theory Classical statistical mechanics 



The authors thank Yoshi Oono for his useful comments. The present work was supported by KAKENHI Nos. 25103002 and 17H01148.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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