How chaos theory connects two seemingly different areas of physics

Particle thermometer

One of many particles acts as a “thermometer,” and the complete system is simulated on a pc. Credit score: TU Wien

A brand new examine at TU Wien reveals how chaos concept hyperlinks quantum concept and thermodynamics, two seemingly separate areas of physics.

A single particle doesn’t have a temperature, it solely has a sure vitality or velocity. A well-defined temperature can solely be derived when many particles with random velocity distributions are current.

The connection between thermodynamics and quantum physics has been the topic of accelerating curiosity in recent times. researchers in TU Wien They used laptop simulations to research this relationship, and located that chaos performs an essential function. Simulations point out that the legal guidelines of thermodynamics can solely be derived from quantum physics when chaos is current.

Boltzmann: Something is feasible, however it could even be unbelievable

Air particles flying randomly in a room can assume an unimaginable variety of completely different states: completely different positions and completely different speeds are allowed for every particular person particle. However not all of those international locations are equally doubtless. says Professor Eva Brezinova of the Institute for Theoretical Physics at TU Wien. “However that is so unlikely that it’s going to not be observed in follow.”

The possibilities of various allowable states could be calculated – in line with the method developed by the Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann in line with the foundations of classical physics. And from this likelihood distribution the temperature will also be learn: it’s decided just for a lot of particles.

The entire world as a single quantum state

Nevertheless, this causes issues when coping with quantum physics. When a lot of quantum particles are in play on the identical time, the equations of quantum concept grow to be so advanced that even the perfect supercomputers on the planet haven’t any likelihood of fixing them.

In quantum physics, particular person particles can’t be thought of independently of one another, as is the case with basic billiard balls. Every billiard ball has its personal particular person path and particular person location at every time limit. Alternatively, quantum particles should not particular person – they will solely be described collectively, in a single massive quantum wave perform.

“In quantum physics, the complete system is described by one massive multiparticle quantum state,” says Professor Joachim Burgdorfer (TU Wien). “How the random distribution and thus temperature ought to come up from this has lengthy been a thriller.”

Chaos concept as a mediator

A group at TU Wien has now been capable of present that chaos performs a serious function. To do that, the group ran laptop simulations of a quantum system made up of a lot of particles — many indistinguishable (“thermal bathtub”) and one in all a distinct kind of particle, the “pattern particle” whose thermometer operates. Every particular person quantum wavefunction of a giant system has a selected vitality, however not a well-defined temperature – identical to a person classical particle. However in case you now select a pattern particle from the one quantum state and measure its velocity, you may surprisingly discover a velocity distribution comparable to a temperature that matches well-established legal guidelines of thermodynamics.

“It will depend on whether or not it’s messy or inappropriate – that is clearly proven by our calculations,” says Iva Brezinova. “We are able to particularly change the interactions between particles on the pc and thus create both a totally chaotic system, or a system that exhibits no chaos in any respect — or something in between.” In doing so, one finds that the presence of chaos determines whether or not or not the quantum state of a pattern particle displays a Boltzmann temperature distribution.

“With out making any assumptions about random distributions or thermodynamic guidelines, thermodynamic conduct arises from quantum concept alone — if the mixed system of pattern particles and the thermal bathtub behaves quantum chaotically. Joachim Burgdorfer explains how such conduct suits the well-known Boltzmann equations and is decided by chaos energy.

This is without doubt one of the first circumstances wherein the interplay of three essential theories has been rigorously demonstrated by laptop simulations of many particles: quantum concept, thermodynamics, and chaos concept.

Reference: “Canonical Density Matrices from Eigenstates of Combined Programs” By Mehdi Korebaz, Stefan Donsa, Fabian Lackner, Joachim Burgdorfer, Eva Bezinova, November 29, 2022, Out there right here. entropy.
DOI: 10.3390/e24121740

Leave a Comment