The partition function or configuration integral, as used in probability theory, information science and dynamical systems, is an abstraction of the definition of a partition function in statistical mechanics.
In statistical mechanics, the partition function, Z, encodes the statistical properties of a system in thermodynamic equilibrium. It is a function of temperature and other parameters, such as the volume enclosing a gas. Most of the aggregate thermodynamic variables of the system, such as the total energy, free energy, entropy, and pressure, can be expressed in terms of the partition function or its derivatives.
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