id: 05830139
dt: j
an: 2011a.00965
au: Sokolov, Igor M.
ti: Statistical mechanics of entropic forces: disassembling a toy.
so: Eur. J. Phys. 31, No. 6, 1353-1367 (2010).
py: 2010
pu: IOP Publishing, Bristol
la: EN
cc: M55
ut: entropic forces; statistical thermodynamics
ci:
li: doi:10.1088/0143-0807/31/6/005
ab: Summary: The notion of entropic forces often stays mysterious to students,
especially to ones coming from outside physics. Although thermodynamics
works perfectly in all cases when the notion of entropic force is used,
no effort is typically made to explain the mechanical nature of the
forces. In this paper we discuss the nature of entropic forces as
conditional means of constraint forces in systems where interactions
are taken into account as mechanical constraints and discuss several
examples of such forces. We moreover demonstrate how these forces
appear within the standard formalism of statistical thermodynamics and
within the mechanical approach based on the Pope-Ching equation, making
evident their connection with the equipartition of energy. The paper is
aimed at undergraduate and graduate students studying statistical
physics and the teachers teaching it.
rv: