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Physics and Astronomy Colloquium – Norman Margolus
October 15, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
UNC-CH Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
Norman Margolus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
“Counting distinct states in physical dynamics”
Since counting distinct states is so fundamental in statistical mechanics, why isn’t it a basic quantity in all of physics? It turns out that, in fact, it is. Like entropy, energy is also a maximum count of distinct states—in time. In this talk I review how finite average energy makes distinct-state finite, despite space and time being treated as continuous. I discuss the relationship between maximum distinctness, discreteness and uncertainty. And I show that classical lattice gas models are foundational for dynamics, in the same way that they are in statistical mechanics.