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Physics Department

8.044 Statistical Physics I Spring Term 2003

Exam #3

“We demonstrate the guiding of neutral atoms by the magnetic ﬁelds due to micro-

fabricated current-carrying wires on a chip. Atoms are guided along a magnetic ﬁeld

minimum parallel to and above the current carrying wires.” Thus begins the abstract

of a Physical Review Letter in 2000 by Mara Prentiss and her collaborators at Har

vard. The ﬁgure, adapted from the Letter, shows lines of constant potential energy

in the x − y plane. x = 0 half way between the two wires, y = 0 on the substrate,

and z is the guiding direction parallel to the wires.

We will approximate the conﬁning potential as V (x, y, z) = (α/2)x2 + (β/2)(y − y0 )2

where α and β are constants. In this model the allowed space for the gas extends to

inﬁnity in the x and y directions but is conﬁned in the z direction by rigid walls at

z = ±L/2. The gas is in thermal equilibrium at a temperature T .

a) Find the probability density for the velocity of a single atom in the y direction,

p(vy ).

b) Find the probability density for the y position of a single atom, p(y).

e) The gas is cooled adiabatically by decreasing the value of β. Find the ﬁnal

temperature in terms of the initial temperature and the initial and ﬁnal values

of β.

Near room temperature the equation of state of a complex ﬂuid can be approximated

by the expression

V (T, P ) = V1 exp (T /T1 − P/P1 )

where P1 , V1 and T1 are simply parameters and may not be close to the room temper

ature values of the pressure, volume and temperature. The heat capacity at constant

volume can be approximated by CV = DT 3 .

a) Within this approximation ﬁnd an expression for the entropy of the ﬂuid as a

function of temperature and volume, S(T, V ).

temperature and volume, CP (T, V ).

c) Find the diﬀerential of the Helmholtz free energy, dF (T, V ), in terms of its

natural variables T and V . You do not need carry through to ﬁnd F (T, V )

itself.

further by bringing it into contact with a paramagnetic salt which is initially at a

lower temperature T0 . The heat capacity of the liquid may be expressed as CL = aT 3

where a = 128 × 104 ergs K −4 , and that of the salt may be expressed as CS = bT −2

where b = 15 × 104 ergs K. Assume the mixture to be mechanically and thermally

isolated from the rest of the universe and no work is done in the process.

a) What must be the initial temperature of the salt, T0 , if the ﬁnal temperature

of the system, helium plus salt, is to be 0.5 K?

b) Find the net change in the entropy of the universe during this process. To

facilitate grading, and to minimize the chance of math errors, leave this answer

in terms of the parameters a and b.

relation f (x, y, z) = 0. Let w be a function of quantity quantity

any two of x, y, z. Then

Hydrostatic P V −P dV

∂x ∂y ∂x system

=

∂y w ∂z w ∂z w

Wire F L F dL

∂x 1

=

∂y z ∂y

∂x z Surface S A SdA

∂x ∂y ∂z

= −1

∂y z ∂z x ∂x y

Reversible E Z E dZ

cell

INTEGRALS

Dielectric E P EdP

material

∞

xn −x/a

e dx = n! an

0 a Magnetic H M HdM

∞

material

x2n

e−x /2σ = 1 · 3 · 5 · · · (2n − 1)σ 2n

2 2

√

2πσ 2

−∞

1

eax dx = eax THERMODYNAMIC POTENTIALS

a

For a system in which the increment of work done

on the system is dW = Xdx

STERLING’S APPROXIMATION

Energy E dE=TdS+Xdx

Helmholtz free energy F=E-TS dF=-SdT+Xdx

ln K! ≈ K ln K − K when K >> 1

Gibbs free energy G=E-TS-Xx dG = -SdT-xdX

Enthalpy H=E-Xx dH=TdS-xdX

dΩ = sin θ dθ dφ

MIT OpenCourseWare

http://ocw.mit.edu

Spring 2013

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