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Approximate Embeddings in Statistical Mechanics

  • R. Werner

Abstract

It is part of the scientific folklore of industrial societies that macroscopic systems like gases and solids, stars, tables and animals are “composed of” atoms and molecules. Most of us are so accustomed to this atomistic view that we tend to overlook the conceptual problems inherent in the expression “composed of”. On second thought we are faced with two incommensurable views of the same individual systems: For example, when we use the microscopic description of a gas in terms of many atoms we are unable to say what the temperature of the gas at a given spatial point is. (Most of the time there won’t even be a single atom near that point.) On the other hand, when using a macroscopic (thermodynamic) description it is impossible to say where all the particles are. Yet there must be an intimate connection between the two descriptions: For example we are able to identify the substance “water” either by its macroscopic properties (density, viscosity, freezing and melting points etc.) or by the structure of its molecules (H2O).

Keywords

Statistical Mechanic Microscopic Theory Registration Procedure Macroscopic System Microscopic Description 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

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    Ludwig, G: The connection between the objective description of macro-systems and quantum mechanics of many particles. In: A. van der Merve (ed.): Essays in Honor of Wolfgang Yourarau, Plenum Press, N.Y. 1981 (to be published).Google Scholar
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    Ludwig, G: A Theoretical Description of Single Microsystems. In: W.C. Price, S.S. Chissick (eds.): The Uncertainty Principle and Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Wiley & Sons, London 1977.Google Scholar
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    Werner, R: Doctoral dissertation, in preparation.Google Scholar
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    Mayr, D: Article in this volume.Google Scholar
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    Ludwig, G: Article in this volume.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Werner
    • 1
  1. 1.Fachbereich PhysikOsnabrückFederal Republic of Germany

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