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"degree of freedom" (singular)?

  1. Jan 22, 2015 #1

    Stephen Tashi

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    Is it common terminology to refer to a state variable as a "degree of freedom"?

    From the current Wikipedia article on degrees of freedom :
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_freedom_(physics_and_chemistry)

    Edit: Another example of using "degrees of freedom" to mean a set of variables:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave_function
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
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  3. Jan 22, 2015 #2

    Bystander

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    In thermodynamics, Gibbs' Phase Rule; describing states of other systems by specification of three coordinates and three momenta for every particle in the system, yes.
     
  4. Jan 22, 2015 #3

    Stephen Tashi

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    It's interesting that "degrees of freedom" has two different definitions. In some contexts, it means the cardinality of the set of state variables. (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Degrees_of_freedom_(mechanics) ) rather than the set of state variables itself.
     
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