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Can a single particle be in equilibrium ?

  1. Sep 22, 2009 #1
    Can a single particle be in "equilibrium"?

    If a single particle is in a double potential well (with different depths), is it correct to say it is in "equilibrium" in the statistical mechanics sense of the word? The particle will bounce back and forth and be in each well with some probability which is independent of time, but it's unclear to me whether this is equilibrium or non-equilibrium steady state.

    What if there were many particles in the system with the same double well... would that change the answer?
     
  2. jcsd
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