I have a question about a specific passage in Hill's book on statistical thermodynamics. I have decided to teach myself the subject, but with having taken any classes in modern physics sometimes I encounter foundational material that I have no experience with. This question should be pretty straight forward to someone with more experience:(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

In the beginning of chapter 4, Hill starts to describe an ideal monoatmoic gas with three translational degrees of freedom. The gas is confined into a container with volume L^{3}. The formula for possible energy states is given:

[itex]\epsilon_{l_x l_y l_z} = h^2 ({l_x}^2 + {l_y}^2 + {l_z}^2)/(8 mL^2)[/itex]

where l_{x}, l_{y}, l_{z}are "quantum numbers".

This brings me to my first question:

What is a quantum number in the context of this problem? Does it represent a coordinate or a particle with a specific energy state indexed by l_{x}, l_{y}, l_{z}?

Second:

What does "h" represent? Judging by the equation I would guess it is the momentum in Newtonian mechanics so the units cancel out appropriately.

In addition Hill describes what is called l_{x}l_{y}l_{z}space. Would this simply be the set of all molecules who have accessible quantum states described by the quantum numbers above?

Thanks

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# Question About Quantum Numbers

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