Lecture 28: Boltzmann Hypothesis  Summary and Q&A
TL;DR
Boltzmann's entropy formula describes the relationship between entropy and the number of microstates, while the Boltzmann distribution function determines the occupancy of different states based on their energy levels.
Questions & Answers
Q: How does Boltzmann's hypothesis connect stability and the number of microstates?
Boltzmann's hypothesis states that the state with the maximum number of microstates is the most stable. This is because a state with more microstates has a higher probability of occurring and is less likely to change.
Q: What is Boltzmann's entropy formula?
Boltzmann's entropy formula states that entropy is proportional to the logarithm of the number of microstates, with a prefactor known as Boltzmann's constant. It explains how the stability of a system is related to the number of microstates it can occupy.
Q: How does the Boltzmann distribution function determine occupancy of different states?
The Boltzmann distribution function expresses the fractional occupancy of each state as a function of its energy level. It is derived through the maximization of entropy under the constraint of fixed energy and particle number.
Q: What is the significance of the partition function in the Boltzmann distribution?
The partition function is a sum over all possible states and their associated energies. It normalizes the distribution function and describes all the different ways energy can be partitioned in the system.
Summary & Key Takeaways

Boltzmann's hypothesis connects stability to the number of microstates, stating that a state with the maximum number of microstates is the most stable.

Boltzmann's entropy formula defines entropy as a function of the number of microstates, with entropy monotonically increasing with the number of microstates.

The Boltzmann distribution function describes the fractional occupancy of each state, which is exponentially dependent on the energy of that state.