Characteristic state function

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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.

Examples[edit]