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FermiDirac Statistics

Derivation and Consequences

S Chaturvedi and Shyamal Biswas

is at University of

Hyderabad. His current

research interests include

phase space descriptions

of finite state quantum

systems and quantum

information theory.

(right) Shyamal Biswas

is at University of

Hyderabad. His research

interests include statistical

mechanics, and theoretical

condensed matter physics.

Keywords

Pauli exclusion principle, Fermi

Dirac statistics, identical and indistinguishable particles, Fermi

gas.

45

GENERAL ARTICLE

electrons, protons,

neutrons, 6Li atoms

are called fermions.

They obey

FermiDirac statistics.

In contrast, those with

integer spin such as

photons, mesons, 7Li

atoms are called

bosons and they obey

BoseEinstein

statistics.

46

GENERAL ARTICLE

FermiDirac and

BoseEinstein

statistics brought into

play a new notion of

purely quantum

mechanical origin

the notion of

indistinguishablity.

47

GENERAL ARTICLE

Occupation number

description consists in

grouping together the

states in the set

|i1 |i2 ...|iN i1, i2,

..., iN = 1,2,..., M in

which 1 occurs

n1 times, 2 occurs n2

times and so on. The

occupation numbers

evidently

add up to N and the

total energy of the

system corresponding

to a given set of

occupation numbers is

given by

48

i 1 ni H i .

GENERAL ARTICLE

49

GENERAL ARTICLE

The permutation

group SN plays a

crucial role in defining

the notion of

indistinguishability in

the context of nonrelativistic quantum

mechanics of an

assembly of noninteracting identical

particles. FD and

BE statistics

correspond

respectively to the

one-dimensional

antisymmetric and

symmetric irreducible

representations of SN .

50

GENERAL ARTICLE

In Chapter IX of

his book, Dirac

explictly constructs

out of elements of

SN a maximal set

of mutually

commuting

operators which

commute with

Hamiltonian HN.

51

GENERAL ARTICLE

statistics permitted by

the notion of

indistinguishability

in the permutation

group sense, FD and

BE statistics are the

only ones

for which the grand

canonical partition

function Z(X) has the

structure

Z(X)=

i 1 z ( X i )

where z(X) = (1 + X)

for FD statistics and

z(X) =1/(1 X) for

BE statistics.

52

GENERAL ARTICLE

The 1 in the

denominator for

the expression for

ni for BE statstics

gives rise to the

possibility of

BoseEinstein

condensation in

bosonic systems.

53

GENERAL ARTICLE

54

GENERAL ARTICLE

dashed lines represent

FermiDirac distribution for

ideal homogeneous Fermi

gas for kBT/HF= 0, 0.1 and 2

respectively.

55

GENERAL ARTICLE

56

GENERAL ARTICLE

Historically, one of

the first

applications of

FermiDirac

distribution came

from Fowler in the

context of

astrophysics.

57

GENERAL ARTICLE

ThomasFermi

model in nuclear

physics which

nowadays is

commonly used as

an approximation

technique was

proposed as an

application of

FermiDirac

statistics in 1927.

58

GENERAL ARTICLE

Spin-statistics

theorem was

proposed by Fierz

and Pauli around

1940 to connect spin

of particles to either

BoseEinstein

statistics or Fermi

Dirac statistics.

59

GENERAL ARTICLE

FermiDirac statistics

has played a major

role in the

development of

quantum field theory

for many-particle

systems which has

now become the

basic language for

describing

condensed matter

and particle physics.

Suggested Reading

[1]

[2]

E Fermi, Rend. Lincei, Vol.3, 145, 1926 [in Italian]; Z. Physik, Vol.36,

p.902, 1926.

[3]

[4]

G E Uhlenbeck and S A Goudsmit, Naturwiss, Vol.13, p.953, 1925 (in

German);

G E Uhlenbeck and S Goudsmit, Nature, Vol.117, p.264, 1926;

L H Thomas, Nature, Vol.117, p.514, 1926;

W Pauli, Z. Physik., Vol.43, p.601, 1927.

[5]

[6]

Vol.22, p.261, 1924; Vol.1, p.3, 1925; Vol.3, p.18, 1925.

[7]

[8]

Bhagavantam, Indian J. Phys, Vol.6, 353, 1931; Nature, Vol.129, p.22,

1932.

[9]

W Pauli, Phys. Rev, Vol.58, p.716, 1940.

60

GENERAL ARTICLE

[10]

[11]

For a nice review on the same, see A Zee, Quantum Field Theory in a

[12]

[13]

scientific principle, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005.

[14]

[15]

Oxford, 1995.

A P Polychronakos, Phys. Lett. B, Vol.365, p.202, 1996;

S Chaturvedi and V Srinivasan, Phys. Lett A, Vol.224, p.249, 1997.

[16]

Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1967.

[17]

Vol.52, p.555, 1929.

[18]

[19]

L M Roberts, Proc. Phys. Soc. Lond. B., Vol.70, p.744, 1957;

W H Lien and N E Phillips, Phys. Rev., Vol.133, A1370, 1964; see other

related (older!) articles of Keesom et al, e.g., Commun. Univ. Leiden.,

No.219(d), 1932; No.232(d), 1933, etc.

[20]

hypothesis (which later was extended as the third law of thermodynamics) was presented by A Einstein, Ann. Physik., Vol.22, p.180,

1907.

[21]

C Kittel, Introduction to solid state physics, 7th Ed., John Wiley &

Sons, 1996.

[22]

[23]

Astron. Soc., Vol.95, p.207, 1935.

S Chaturvedi

School of Physics

University of Hyderabad

[24]

[25]

Email:scsp@uohyd.ernet.in

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