Characteristic state function

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The characteristic state function in statistical mechanics refers to a particular relationship between the partition function of an ensemble.

In particular, if the partition function P satisfies

P = \exp(- \beta Q) or P = \exp(+ \beta Q)

in which Q is a thermodynamic quantity, then Q is known as the "characteristic state function" of the ensemble corresponding to "P". Beta refers to the thermodynamic beta.