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Homework Help: Statistical Mechanics - Specific Heat Capacity

  1. Jul 30, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Give an physical explanation to why the specific heat capacity goes to zero as temperature goes to zero.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I was simply thinking that around absolute zero the average kinetic energy of the particles should be zero, meaning that the atoms in the solid would be pretty much at a halt. Thus, even if we just add an infinitesimal amount of heat the increase in average kinetic energy would be relatively big, implying that the specific heat capacity goes to zero. Even I myself think that that last part is flawed, so I'm looking for any better explanation of this fenomenon. Any help appreciated!
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2011 #2
    using the fundumental thermodynamic identity, and the third law of thermodynamics, one requires that the heat capacity (at constant pressure) becomes and infinitisimal quantity at absolute zero.
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