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Statistical Ensembles

  1. Aug 6, 2009 #1
    Recently I was asked whether the concept of a statistical ensemble is actually realistic and I recognized that I can not really answer this question myself. I think that it is more a mathematical "tool", because of the probability nature rather than a realistic "thing", but still it helps us to describe statistical systems.

    What do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 6, 2009 #2


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    I agree. McQuarrie (in Statistical Mechanics, which I have handy) describes an ensemble as a "(mental or virtual) collection of a very large number of systems, each constructed to be a replica on a thermodynamic (macroscopic) level of a particular thermodynamic system of interest."
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