Approach to equilibrium of coupled harmonic oscillator systems. II

Manuel A. Huerta, Harry S. Robertson

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10 Scopus citations


The approach to equilibrium of a finite segment of an infinite chain of harmonically coupled masses is studied in several variations. The chain is taken as completely free, or it is bound at x0=0; ordinary coordinates and momenta or Schrödinger variables are used to treat the dynamics; and the inital distribution of heat-bath variables is chosen to be canonical or noncanonical. Equipartition of energy is found in all cases. Brownian drifts are obtained for the free chain with ordinary variables, but when this is excluded, the equilibrium entropy is found to be canonical and extensive when the initial heat bath is canonical, but less than canonical and slightly nonextensive when the initial heat bath is noncanonical. The modifications of the entropy do not contribute to the heat capacity of the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)171-189
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1971


  • Entropy
  • Liouville function
  • approach to equilibrium
  • coupled oscillators
  • harmonic chain
  • information theory
  • noncanonicale quilibrium
  • nonequilibrium statistical mechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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