## Free energy of a harmonic oscillator

• Helmholtz free energy harmonic oscillator
• face Thermal radiation and Planck distribution

face Lecture

120 min.

##### Thermal radiation and Planck distribution
Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020

These notes from the fourth week of Thermal and Statistical Physics cover blackbody radiation and the Planck distribution. They include a number of small group activities.
• assignment Quantum harmonic oscillator

assignment Homework

##### Quantum harmonic oscillator
Entropy Quantum harmonic oscillator Frequency Energy Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020
1. Find the entropy of a set of $N$ oscillators of frequency $\omega$ as a function of the total quantum number $n$. Use the multiplicity function: $$g(N,n) = \frac{(N+n-1)!}{n!(N-1)!}$$ and assume that $N\gg 1$. This means you can make the Sitrling approximation that $\log N! \approx N\log N - N$. It also means that $N-1 \approx N$.

2. Let $U$ denote the total energy $n\hbar\omega$ of the oscillators. Express the entropy as $S(U,N)$. Show that the total energy at temperature $T$ is $$U = \frac{N\hbar\omega}{e^{\frac{\hbar\omega}{kT}}-1}$$ This is the Planck result found the hard way. We will get to the easy way soon, and you will never again need to work with a multiplicity function like this.

• assignment Radiation in an empty box

assignment Homework

##### Radiation in an empty box
Thermal physics Radiation Free energy Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020

As discussed in class, we can consider a black body as a large box with a small hole in it. If we treat the large box a metal cube with side length $L$ and metal walls, the frequency of each normal mode will be given by: \begin{align} \omega_{n_xn_yn_z} &= \frac{\pi c}{L}\sqrt{n_x^2 + n_y^2 + n_z^2} \end{align} where each of $n_x$, $n_y$, and $n_z$ will have positive integer values. This simply comes from the fact that a half wavelength must fit in the box. There is an additional quantum number for polarization, which has two possible values, but does not affect the frequency. Note that in this problem I'm using different boundary conditions from what I use in class. It is worth learning to work with either set of quantum numbers. Each normal mode is a harmonic oscillator, with energy eigenstates $E_n = n\hbar\omega$ where we will not include the zero-point energy $\frac12\hbar\omega$, since that energy cannot be extracted from the box. (See the Casimir effect for an example where the zero point energy of photon modes does have an effect.)

Note
This is a slight approximation, as the boundary conditions for light are a bit more complicated. However, for large $n$ values this gives the correct result.

1. Show that the free energy is given by \begin{align} F &= 8\pi \frac{V(kT)^4}{h^3c^3} \int_0^\infty \ln\left(1-e^{-\xi}\right)\xi^2d\xi \\ &= -\frac{8\pi^5}{45} \frac{V(kT)^4}{h^3c^3} \\ &= -\frac{\pi^2}{45} \frac{V(kT)^4}{\hbar^3c^3} \end{align} provided the box is big enough that $\frac{\hbar c}{LkT}\ll 1$. Note that you may end up with a slightly different dimensionless integral that numerically evaluates to the same result, which would be fine. I also do not expect you to solve this definite integral analytically, a numerical confirmation is fine. However, you must manipulate your integral until it is dimensionless and has all the dimensionful quantities removed from it!

2. Show that the entropy of this box full of photons at temperature $T$ is \begin{align} S &= \frac{32\pi^5}{45} k V \left(\frac{kT}{hc}\right)^3 \\ &= \frac{4\pi^2}{45} k V \left(\frac{kT}{\hbar c}\right)^3 \end{align}

3. Show that the internal energy of this box full of photons at temperature $T$ is \begin{align} \frac{U}{V} &= \frac{8\pi^5}{15}\frac{(kT)^4}{h^3c^3} \\ &= \frac{\pi^2}{15}\frac{(kT)^4}{\hbar^3c^3} \end{align}

• group Energy radiated from one oscillator

group Small Group Activity

30 min.

##### Energy radiated from one oscillator
Contemporary Challenges 2021 (4 years)

This lecture is one step in motivating the form of the Planck distribution.
• assignment Pressure of thermal radiation

assignment Homework

Thermal radiation Pressure Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020

(modified from K&K 4.6) We discussed in class that \begin{align} p &= -\left(\frac{\partial F}{\partial V}\right)_T \end{align} Use this relationship to show that

1. \begin{align} p &= -\sum_j \langle n_j\rangle\hbar \left(\frac{d\omega_j}{dV}\right), \end{align} where $\langle n_j\rangle$ is the number of photons in the mode $j$;

2. Solve for the relationship between pressure and internal energy.

• assignment Centrifuge

assignment Homework

##### Centrifuge
Centrifugal potential Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020 A circular cylinder of radius $R$ rotates about the long axis with angular velocity $\omega$. The cylinder contains an ideal gas of atoms of mass $M$ at temperature $T$. Find an expression for the dependence of the concentration $n(r)$ on the radial distance $r$ from the axis, in terms of $n(0)$ on the axis. Take $\mu$ as for an ideal gas.
• face Quantum Reference Sheet

face Lecture

5 min.

##### Quantum Reference Sheet
Central Forces 2023 (6 years)
• assignment Ideal gas in two dimensions

assignment Homework

##### Ideal gas in two dimensions
Ideal gas Entropy Chemical potential Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020
1. Find the chemical potential of an ideal monatomic gas in two dimensions, with $N$ atoms confined to a square of area $A=L^2$. The spin is zero.

2. Find an expression for the energy $U$ of the gas.

3. Find an expression for the entropy $\sigma$. The temperature is $kT$.

• assignment Homogeneous Linear ODE's with Constant Coefficients

assignment Homework

##### Homogeneous Linear ODE's with Constant Coefficients
ODEs math bits Oscillations and Waves 2023 (2 years)

Homogeneous, linear ODEs with constant coefficients were likely covered in your Differential Equations course (MTH 256 or equiv.). If you need a review, please see:

Answer the following questions for each differential equation below:

• identify the order of the equation,
• find the number of linearly independent solutions,
• find an appropriate set of linearly independent solutions, and
• find the general solution.
Each equation has different notations so that you can become familiar with some common notations.
1. $\ddot{x}-\dot{x}-6x=0$
2. $y^{\prime\prime\prime}-3y^{\prime\prime}+3y^{\prime}-y=0$
3. $\frac{d^2w}{dz^2}-4\frac{dw}{dz}+5w=0$

• assignment Pressure and entropy of a degenerate Fermi gas

assignment Homework

##### Pressure and entropy of a degenerate Fermi gas
Fermi gas Pressure Entropy Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020
1. Show that a Fermi electron gas in the ground state exerts a pressure \begin{align} p = \frac{\left(3\pi^2\right)^{\frac23}}{5} \frac{\hbar^2}{m}\left(\frac{N}{V}\right)^{\frac53} \end{align} In a uniform decrease of the volume of a cube every orbital has its energy raised: The energy of each orbital is proportional to $\frac1{L^2}$ or to $\frac1{V^{\frac23}}$.

2. Find an expression for the entropy of a Fermi electron gas in the region $kT\ll \varepsilon_F$. Notice that $S\rightarrow 0$ as $T\rightarrow 0$.

• Thermal and Statistical Physics 2020

A one-dimensional harmonic oscillator has an infinite series of equally spaced energy states, with $\varepsilon_n = n\hbar\omega$, where $n$ is an integer $\ge 0$, and $\omega$ is the classical frequency of the oscillator. We have chosen the zero of energy at the state $n=0$ which we can get away with here, but is not actually the zero of energy! To find the true energy we would have to add a $\frac12\hbar\omega$ for each oscillator.

1. Show that for a harmonic oscillator the free energy is $$F = k_BT\log\left(1 - e^{-\frac{\hbar\omega}{k_BT}}\right)$$ Note that at high temperatures such that $k_BT\gg\hbar\omega$ we may expand the argument of the logarithm to obtain $F\approx k_BT\log\left(\frac{\hbar\omega}{kT}\right)$.

2. From the free energy above, show that the entropy is $$\frac{S}{k_B} = \frac{\frac{\hbar\omega}{kT}}{e^{\frac{\hbar\omega}{kT}}-1} - \log\left(1-e^{-\frac{\hbar\omega}{kT}}\right)$$

This entropy is shown in the nearby figure, as well as the heat capacity.