Reviews of topical problems

Thermodynamic fluctuations within the Gibbs and Einstein approaches

Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, ul. Miklukho-Maklaya, 6, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation

A comparative analysis of the descriptions of fluctuations in statistical mechanics (the Gibbs approach) and in statistical thermodynamics (the Einstein approach) is given. On this basis solutions are obtained for the Gibbs and Einstein problems that arise in pressure fluctuation calculations for a spatially limited equilibrium (or slightly nonequilibrium) macroscopic system. A modern formulation of the Gibbs approach which allows one to calculate equilibrium pressure fluctuations without making any additional assumptions is presented; to this end the generalized Bogolyubov-Zubarev and Hellmann-Feynman theorems are proved for the classical and quantum descriptions of a macrosystem. A statistical version of the Einstein approach is developed which shows a fundamental difference in pressure fluctuation results obtained within the context of two approaches. Both the ’genetic’ relation between the Gibbs and Einstein approaches and the conceptual distinction between their physical grounds are demonstrated. To illustrate the results, which are valid for any thermodynamic system, an ideal nondegenerate gas of microparticles is considered, both classically and quantum mechanically. Based on the results obtained, the correspondence between the micro- and macroscopic descriptions is considered and the prospects of statistical thermodynamics are discussed.

Fulltext is available at IOP
PACS: 05.20.Gg, 05.30.Ch, 05.40.−a, 05.70.Ce (all)
DOI: 10.1070/PU2000v043n12ABEH000828
Citation: Rudoi Yu G, Sukhanov A D "Thermodynamic fluctuations within the Gibbs and Einstein approaches" Phys. Usp. 43 1169–1199 (2000)
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Оригинал: Рудой Ю Г, Суханов А Д «Термодинамические флуктуации в подходах Гиббса и Эйнштейна» УФН 170 1265–1296 (2000); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.0170.200012a.1265

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