Generalized canonical ensembles and ensemble equivalence
This is the pre-published version harvested from ArXiv. The published version is located at http://pre.aps.org/abstract/PRE/v73/i2/e026105
This paper is a companion piece to our previous work [J. Stat. Phys. 119, 1283 (2005)], which introduced a generalized canonical ensemble obtained by multiplying the usual Boltzmann weight factor e−βH of the canonical ensemble with an exponential factor involving a continuous function g of the Hamiltonian H. We provide here a simplified introduction to our previous work, focusing now on a number of physical rather than mathematical aspects of the generalized canonical ensemble. The main result discussed is that, for suitable choices of g, the generalized canonical ensemble reproduces, in the thermodynamic limit, all the microcanonical equilibrium properties of the many-body system represented by H even if this system has a nonconcave microcanonical entropy function. This is something that in general the standard (g=0) canonical ensemble cannot achieve. Thus a virtue of the generalized canonical ensemble is that it can often be made equivalent to the microcanonical ensemble in cases in which the canonical ensemble cannot. The case of quadratic g functions is discussed in detail; it leads to the so-called Gaussian ensemble.
M Costeniuc, RS Ellis, H Touchette, and B Turkington. "Generalized canonical ensembles and ensemble equivalence" Physical Review E 73.2 (2006).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/richard_ellis/23