Europhys. Lett.
Volume 62, Number 5, June 2003
Page(s) 629 - 635
Section General
Published online 01 May 2003
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-00420-8
Europhys. Lett., 62 (5) , pp. 629-635 (2003)

On the concept of pressure in quantum mechanics

P. Borowski, J. Gemmer and G. Mahler

Institut für Theoretische Physik I, Universität Stuttgart Pfaffenwaldring 57, 70550 Stuttgart, Germany

(Received 2 December 2002; accepted 25 March 2003)

Heat and work are fundamental concepts for thermodynamical systems. When these are scaled down to the quantum level they require appropriate embeddings. Here we show that the dependence of the particle spectrum on system size giving rise to a formal definition of pressure can, indeed, be correlated with an external mechanical degree of freedom, modelled as a spatial coordinate of a quantum oscillator. Under specific conditions this correlation is reminiscent of that occurring in the classical manometer.

03.65.Ge - Solutions of wave equations: bound states.
03.65.Ta - Foundations of quantum mechanics; measurement theory.

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