Statistical Mechanics, the Boltzmann Constant and the Ergodic Hypothesis

Laura M. Cupples (February 7-18, 2001)

 

Motivation

The theory behind statistical mechanics is based squarely on the Ergodic Hypothesis and Bolzmann statistics.  These principles guide the analysis of the mechanical behavior of large sets of particles.  There are very few experiments in statistical mechanics.  The two below allow the calculation of the Boltzmann constant (accepted value is 8.617*10^-5 eV/K), and illustrate the legitimacy of the Ergodic Hypothesis and Boltzmann statistics. 

 

The Experiments

Part 1 - Diode Laser Experiment.

Part 2 - Squiggle Ball Experiment.

 

Conclusions

 

Works Cited