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PHY452H1S Basic Statistical Mechanics. Lecture 15: Grand Canonical/Fermion-Bosons. Taught by Prof. Arun Paramekanti

Posted by peeterjoot on March 14, 2013

[Click here for a PDF of this post with nicer formatting (especially if my latex to wordpress script has left FORMULA DOES NOT PARSE errors.)]


Peeter’s lecture notes from class. May not be entirely coherent.

Grand Canonical/Fermion-Bosons

Was mentioned that three dimensions confines us to looking at either Fermions or Bosons, and that two dimensions is a rich subject (interchange of two particles isn’t the same as one particle cycling around the other ending up in the same place — how is that different than a particle cycling around another in a two dimensional space?)


  1. Fermion. Antisymmetric under exchange. n_k = 0, 1
  2. Boson. Symmetric under exchange. n_k = 0, 1, 2, \cdots

In either case our energies are

\begin{aligned}\epsilon_k = \frac{\hbar^2 k^2}{2m},\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.2.1)

For Fermions we’ll have occupation filling of the form fig. 1.1, where there can be only one particle at any given site (an energy level for that value of momentum). For Bosonic systems as in fig. 1.2, we don’t have a restriction of only one particle for each state, and can have any given number of particles for each value of momentum.


Fig 1.1: Fermionic energy level filling for free particle in a box



Fig 1.2: Bosonic free particle in a box energy level filling


Our Hamiltonian is

\begin{aligned}H = \sum_k \hat{n}_k \epsilon_k,\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.2.2)

where we have a number operator

\begin{aligned}N = \sum \hat{n}_k,\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.2.3)

such that

\begin{aligned}\left[{N},{H}\right] = 0.\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.2.4)

\begin{aligned}Z_{\mathrm{G}} = \sum_{N=0}^\infty e^{\beta \mu N}\sum_{n_k, \sum n_k = N} e^{-\beta \sum_k n_k \epsilon_k}.\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.2.5)

While the second sum is constrained, because we are summing over all n_k, this is essentially an unconstrained sum, so we can write

\begin{aligned}Z_{\mathrm{G}} &= \sum_{n_k}e^{\beta \mu \sum_k n_k}e^{-\beta \sum_k n_k \epsilon_k} \\ &= \sum_{n_k} \left( \prod_k e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu) n_k} \right) \\ &= \prod_{n} \left( \sum_{n_k} e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu) n_k} \right).\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.2.6)


\begin{aligned}\sum_{n_k = 0}^1 e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu) n_k} = 1 + e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)}\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.2.7)


\begin{aligned}\sum_{n_k = 0}^\infty e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu) n_k} = \frac{1}{{1 - e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)}}}\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.2.8)

(\epsilon_k - \mu \ge 0).

Our grand partition functions are then

\begin{aligned}Z_{\mathrm{G}}^f = \prod_k \left( 1 + e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} \right)\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.9a)

\begin{aligned}Z_{\mathrm{G}}^b = \prod_k \frac{1}{{ 1 - e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} }}\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.9b)

We can use these to compute the average number of particles

\begin{aligned}\left\langle{{n_k^f}}\right\rangle = \frac{1 \times 0 + e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} \times 1}{ 1 + e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} }=\frac{1}{{ 1 + e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} }}\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.10)

\begin{aligned}\left\langle{{n_k^b}}\right\rangle = \frac{1 \times 0 + e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} \times 1+e^{-2 \beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} \times 2 + \cdots}{ 1+e^{-\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} +e^{-2 \beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} }\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.11)

This chemical potential over temperature exponential

\begin{aligned}e^{\beta \mu} \equiv z,\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.12)

is called the fugacity. The denominator has the form

\begin{aligned}D = 1 + z e^{-\beta \epsilon_k}+ z^2 e^{-2 \beta \epsilon_k},\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.13)

so we see that

\begin{aligned}z \frac{\partial {D}}{\partial {z}} = z e^{-\beta \epsilon_k}+ 2 z^2 e^{-2 \beta \epsilon_k}+ 3 z^3 e^{-3 \beta \epsilon_k}+ \cdots\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.14)

Thus the numerator is

\begin{aligned}N = z \frac{\partial {D}}{\partial {z}},\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.15)


\begin{aligned}\left\langle{{n_k^b}}\right\rangle &= \frac{z \frac{\partial {D_k}}{\partial {z}} }{D_k} \\ &= z \frac{\partial {}}{\partial {z}} \ln D_k \\ &= \cdots \\ &= \frac{1}{{ e^{\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} - 1}}\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.16)

What is the density \rho?

For Fermions

\begin{aligned}\rho = \frac{N}{V} =\frac{1}{{V}} \sum_{\mathbf{k}}\frac{1}{{ e^{\beta(\epsilon_\mathbf{k} - \mu)} + 1}}\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.17)

Using a “particle in a box” quantization where k_\alpha = 2 \pi m_\alpha/L, in a d-dimensional space, we can approximate this as

\begin{aligned}\boxed{\rho = \int \frac{d^d k}{(2 \pi)^d}\frac{1}{{ e^{\beta(\epsilon_k - \mu)} - 1}}.}\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.18)

This integral is actually difficult to evaluate. For T \rightarrow 0 (\beta \rightarrow \infty, where

\begin{aligned}n_k = \Theta(\mu - \epsilon_k).\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.19)

This is illustrated in, where we also show the smearing that occurs as temperature increases fig. 1.3.


Fig 1.3: Occupation numbers for different energies



\begin{aligned}E_{\mathrm{F}} = \mu(T = 0),\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.20)

we want to ask what is the radius of the ball for which

\begin{aligned}\epsilon_k = E_{\mathrm{F}}\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.21)


\begin{aligned}E_{\mathrm{F}} = \frac{\hbar^2 k_{\mathrm{F}}^2}{2m},\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.22)

so that

\begin{aligned}k_{\mathrm{F}} = \sqrt{\frac{2 m E_{\mathrm{F}}}{\hbar^2}},\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.23)

so that our density where \epsilon_k = \mu is

\begin{aligned}\rho &= \int_{k \le k_{\mathrm{F}}} \frac{d^3 k}{(2 \pi)^3} \times 1 \\ &= \frac{1}{{(2\pi)^3}} 4 \pi \int^{k_{\mathrm{F}}} k^2 dk \\ &= \frac{4 \pi}{3} k_{\mathrm{F}}^3 \frac{1}{{(2 \pi)^3}},\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.24)

so that

\begin{aligned}k_{\mathrm{F}} = (6 \pi^2 \rho)^{1/3},\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.25)

Our chemical potential at zero temperature is then

\begin{aligned}\mu(T = 0) = \frac{\hbar^2}{2m} (6 \pi^2 \rho)^{2/3}.\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.26)

\begin{aligned}\rho^{-1/3} = \mbox{interparticle spacing}.\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.27)

We can convince ourself that the chemical potential must have the form fig. 1.4.


Fig 1.4: Large negative chemical potential at high temperatures


Given large negative chemical potential at high temperatures our number distribution will have the form

\begin{aligned}\left\langle{{n_k}}\right\rangle = e^{-\beta (\epsilon_k - \mu)} \propto e^{-\beta \epsilon_k}\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.28)

We see that the classical Boltzmann distribution is recovered for high temperatures.

We can also calculate the chemical potential at high temperatures. We’ll find that this has the form

\begin{aligned}e^{\beta \mu} = \frac{4}{3} \rho \lambda_T^3,\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.29)

where this quantity \lambda_T is called the Thermal de Broglie wavelength.

\begin{aligned}\lambda_T = \sqrt{\frac{ 2 \pi \hbar^2}{m k_{\mathrm{B}} T}}.\end{aligned} \hspace{\stretch{1}}(1.0.30)


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