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that per unit volume refers to the spacing between intervals or points,
and thus may be a length or area in lower dimensions.
There are, in general, two equivalent ways

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):

Mode Counting vs. Phase Space

Yosun Chang

October 13, 2005

In its practical usage, the density of states replaces the degeneracy (in the

continuum limit) in the appropriate partition function.

The (usual definition of the) density of states (DoS) is the number of states

in the range E to E + dE. Alternate definitions

may use, for example, ω to ω + dω, where frequency is a more prudent

parameter to use.

Define N as the total number of states or modes, and also define:

number of states

N

=

unit volume

V

and let g denote the DoS, defined as:

G :=

(1)

dG

= number of states in E to E + dE

(2)

dE

Note that per unit volume refers to the spacing between intervals or points,

and thus may be a length or area in lower dimensions.

There are, in general, two equivalent ways to calculating the density of state.

Method one involves counting modes (i.e., the number

of states). After deducing G, one substitute the dispersion relation to obtain

G = G(E), then one takes the derivative

with respect to E to get g, the DoS. Note that in this version, one has to

divide G by the number of quadrants, since

only the energy values in the first quadrant are of matter.

Method two involves calculating the momentum integral in phase space. n

is the dimension number.

Z

1

G= n

dn p,

(3)

h

g=

**whence after finding G, one subs in the dispersion relation, then differentiate
**

with respect to E to obtain g.

Both methods are easy. Both utilize the definitions

of G (total number of states per unit volume) and g above (number of states

ver unit volume in a thin shell of energy).

1

and k is the wave number. where S is the spin of the particle.2 Phase Space r r Z 1 1 1 2mE 1 1 mE G= dp = 2 p = 2 ¯hk = = h h h 2π π 2¯h2 ¯h2 ! r r d 2mE 1 m 1 dG = = g= 2 π dE dE ¯h 2¯h2 E π 2 (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) . Values of the DoS varies depending on dimension. one gets: r r 2mE dk m ⇒ (5) k= = dE ¯h2 2¯ h2 E E= A factor of 2S + 1 multiplies the density of state.1 Non-relativistic particle in a box: The non-relativistic particle in a box has the following dispersion relation: ¯ 2 k2 h .1. Solving for k in terms of E. The following examples should make things crystal clear: 1.1. (4) 2m where p = ¯hk.1 1 Dimension Box of Size L: 1.1 Mode Counting length of line in k space kL = π length of interval between points r N k 2mE 1 G= = = L π ¯h2 π ! r r dG d 2mE 1 m 1 g= = = 2 π dE dE ¯h 2¯h2 E π N (k) = 1.

both G and g are the same for both methods.3. one must be wary of this. lest one is off by a non-trivial factor.2 (14) (15) Indeed.3 1. note that both mode counting and phase space approaches yield the same value for both the number of states G and the density of state g. 1. the dispersion relation k = h ¯2 glorious abundance in order to change from G(k) to G(E).2. while in the mode counting approach. Finally. if you realize that the only difference between G and g is the derivative with respect to E.2.1 Mode Counting N (k) = area of quarter circle in k space πk 2 Lx Ly = 4 π2 area per point 1 2mE k2 = 4π 4π ¯h2 dG d 1 2mE 1 2m g= = = dE dE 4π ¯h2 4π h ¯2 G= Phase Space Z Z Z 2π 1 1 1 π¯h2 1 2mE G= 2 d2 p = 2 pdp dθ = 2 πp2 = 2 k 2 = h h h h 4π ¯h2 0 1 2m dG d 1 2mE = g= = dE dE 4π ¯h2 4π ¯h2 (11) (12) (13) 1.2 2 Dimension Box of Width Lx and Length Ly : 1.1 3 Dimension Mode Counting N (k) = 1 4πk 3 Lx Ly Lz volume of quadrant of sphere = 8 3 π3 volume per point 3/2 k2 1 N 1 2mE 1 = G= = Lx Ly Lz 6 π2 6 π2 ¯h2 (16) (17) 1 Rather obvious.1. The phase space approach does not require worrying about multiplying a factor to reduce the calculation to that of just one quadrant. g will be calculated just once. 1.1.1 From now on.3 General Comments q 2mE has been used in Note that in the above. 3 .

2 Phase Space 3/2 Z Z Z Z 4π 4π 1 2m 1 3 2 2 d p= 3 p dp = 3 (¯ hk) ¯hdk = G= 3 E 1/2 dE h h h 4π 2 ¯h2 (18) dG 1 g= = dE 4π 2 1.1.4 3/2 E 1/2 (19) n Dimension 1.2 (21) 1 dG = dE π¯hc (22) 2 Dimension G(k) = 1 h2 Z d2 p = 1 h2 g= 2.3.4. 2.1 Mode Counting 1.1 1 Dimension G(k) = Z 1 h dp = 2 g= 2.4.2 Phase Space 2 2m ¯h2 Relativistic particle in a box: The dispersion relation for the relativistic particle is elegant: E = pc = h ¯ kc.3 p E = h πhc Z pdpdθ = πp2 = h2 E 2¯ hcπ 2 dG E = 2 2 dE 2¯h c π π (23) (24) 3 Dimension G(k) = 1 h3 Z d3 p = dG 1 g= = 3 dE h Z 4π h3 Z p2 dp = 4π d p= 3 h 3 4 Z 1 6π 2 p2 dp = 2mE ¯h2 3/2 1 E2 2π 2 (¯ hc)3 (25) (26) . (20) where p = ¯hk. as usual.

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