Probability Distributions in Statistical Physics

  • Jan NaudtsEmail author


Several distributions of statistical mechanics are reviewed. It is shown that the Bose-Einstein and the Fermi-Dirac distributions are nothing but the Boltzmann-Gibbs-von Neumann distribution of an ideal quantum gas. This Chapter can be used as an introduction in a second course of statistical physics, or in a first course for more mathematically oriented students. The contents is fairly traditional, but is usually dispersed over many chapters. By bringing the material together in one chapter the relation between the distinct distributions is clarified.


Phase Space Density Operator Canonical Ensemble Maxwell Distribution Quantum Mechanical Harmonic Oscillator 
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  1. 1.
    Gibbs, J.W.: Elementary principles in statistical mechanics. Reprint. Dover, New York (1960) Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics DepartmentUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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