1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Partition function & Boltzman, Maxwell distri

  1. Jun 16, 2007 #1
    What is the relation between the partition function and the Boltzman, Maxwell distribution?

    Differences and similarities?

    Both have exponentials to the power of the negative total energy of the microstate. Although the word microstate dosen't occur in the Boltzman, Maxwell case.

    Is the BM distribution about velocity and position of particles only whereas the partition function is about any distribution involving macro variables? So it cannot calculate the speeds and position of particles in the system but can tell you about energy, pressure, temperture etc.
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2007 #2
    The normalization constant of the energy probability distribution of a system is one over the partition function.

    In the MB distribution, the system is a single particle in the heat bath of all the rest. The microstates are that particle at different energies (kinetic + potential if any).
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2007
  4. Jun 16, 2007 #3
    So the MB is a more specialised or more restricted entity? Could you use the partition function to calculate position and velocity of particles?
  5. Jun 17, 2007 #4
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2007
  6. Jun 17, 2007 #5
    Interesting but you can't derive the partition function from the MB?

    If you had non gas with potential energy than you would replace E=p^2/(2m) with K+U?

    Then you would get the more general MB disbribution.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook