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Posted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 11:38 pm
by Ashley Van Belle 2B
What exactly is degeneracy? I am confused on what it is and how it applies to thermodynamics. Why can't it be found exactly?

Re: Degeneracy

Posted: Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:45 pm
by Cliff Danza 3F
From Wikipedia the definition is:
"In quantum mechanics, an energy level is said to be degenerate if it corresponds to two or more different measurable states of a quantum system. Conversely, two or more different states of a quantum mechanical system are said to be degenerate if they give the same value of energy upon measurement."

Degeneracy in relation to entropy has to do with the disorderly possible positioning of particles at the same energy level, and because there are so many possible states and movements, it is hard to measure. Pages 28 and 29 in the Course Reader cover the topic.