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Solve for the Fairness Function

Keywords: Energy and Entropy, Statistical Mechanics, Thermodynamics


Highlights of the activity

  1. For this activity, students are placed into small groups and asked to solve the fairness function in terms of several variables.
  2. Each group will receive experience manipulating quantum mechanical terms such as the probability, the internal energy, and terms that evolve from using the Lagrangian.

Reasons to spend class time on the activity

After being introduced to multiple terms frequently used in statistical mechanics, making connections between how the terms can be used to answer a thermodynamics problem is important. This activity provides students with an exercise in manipulating common statistical mechanical variables to find the solution to a problem. Ultimately, the solution from this exercise can also lead to a solution for the internal energy in terms of the number of eigenstates possible in the system.


Instructor's Guide

Authors: Corinne Manogue
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