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Statistical mechanics is a branch of theoretical physics that uses probability theory to study the average behavior of a mechanical system, where the state of the system is uncertain.

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What is Statistical Mechanics?

Statistical mechanics is commonly used to explain the thermodynamic behavior of large systems. This branch of statistical mechanics, which treats and extends classical thermodynamics, is known as statistical thermodynamics or equilibrium statistical mechanics. Microscopic mechanical laws do not contain concepts such as temperature, heat, or entropy; however, statistical mechanics shows how these concepts arise from the natural uncertainty about the state of a system when that system is prepared in practice. The benefit of using statistical mechanics is that it provides exact methods to connect thermodynamic quantities (such as heat capacity) to microscopic behavior, whereas, in classical thermodynamics, the only available option would be to just measure and tabulate such quantities for various materials. Statistical mechanics also makes it possible to extend the laws of thermodynamics to cases which are not considered in classical thermodynamics, such as microscopic systems and other mechanical systems with few degrees of freedom.


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