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Homework Help: Statistical mechanics

  1. Nov 2, 2009 #1
    Consider an ideal gas of oxygen atoms in equilibrium with oxygen atoms absorbed on a planar surface. here are N_s sites per unit surface area at which the atoms can be absorbed, and the energy of an absorbed atom is -e compared to one in the free state. The system is under 1 atm and at 300K.

    Should the atoms be described by classical statistics or quantum statistics? I need to show this qualitatively and here's what I have:

    [tex]\frac{1}{e^{(\epsilon-\mu)/kT} \pm 1}[/tex]
    In the classical limit, [itex]\epsilon-\mu>>kT[/tex]

    But we do not know what e is, or mu. Not sure where to go from here, any hints physics forums?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2009 #2
    Your equation encompasses both Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics because you have a +/- sign in there. Look up both Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein statistics to find out the differences.
  4. Nov 2, 2009 #3
    Exactly, since quantum statistics becomes Boltzmann maxwell statistics at the classical limit, so I have the +/- for generality. Thus, regardless of a BE or FD distribution, taking the classical limit will give back classical stat.

    Now, the question is, do I use classical statmech or quantum statmech for this problem?
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