Dresden, Max Formerly, Institute for Theoretical Physics, State University of New York, Stony Brook, New York.
Last reviewed:August 2020
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The statistical description of particles or systems of particles whose behavior must be described by quantum mechanics rather than by classical mechanics. As in classical, that is, Boltzmann statistics, the interest centers on the construction of appropriate distribution functions. However, whereas these distribution functions in classical statistical mechanics describe the number of particles in given (in fact, finite) momentum and positional ranges, in quantum statistics the distribution functions give the number of particles in a group of discrete energy levels. In an individual energy level there may be, according to quantum mechanics, either a single particle or any number of particles. This is determined by the symmetry character of the wave functions. For antisymmetric wave functions only one particle (without spin) may occupy a state; for symmetric wave functions, any number is possible. Based on this distinction, there are two separate distributions, the Fermi-Dirac distribution for systems described by antisymmetric wave functions and the Bose-Einstein distribution for systems described by symmetric wave functions.
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 46 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information