1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    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!

Two Level System - Finding Energy as a function of Temperature

  1. Sep 20, 2011 #1
    Consider a two level system of N distinguishable particles. We want to find the Energy of the system as a function of the Temperature. The first energy level is E1 and the second is E2.

    I computed the entropy. Now if we take a derivative with respect to Energy, we have

    1/T = dS/dE where S = f(N,N1) or f(N,N2) depending on how we substitute.

    Consider another problem, namely dipoles in a uniform magnetic field, then
    E=M*Eo , where M = N+ - N-

    Then, 1/T = dS/dE= 1/Eo*dS/dM

    We can easily calculate dS/dM and rearrange stuff.

    The problem i'm having is how to take dS/dE when E=N1*E1 + N2*E2.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2011 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    One way to do it is to use the chain rule. For example:

    [tex]\frac{dS}{dE} = \frac{dS}{dN_1} \frac{dN_1}{dE}[/tex]

    Note that since the total number of particles is constrained to be N, you have that

    [tex]E = N_1 E_1 + (N-N_1)E_2~\mbox{or}~(N-N_2)E_1 + N_2E_2.[/tex]

    That is to say: You can choose either N1 or N2 to be your only variable. Of course, at the end, you'll have to put everything back in terms of energy at the end of the problem, so don't forget to do that if you want to solve for E(T).
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook