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Microstates, Macrostates, and MultiplicityTwo-State SystemsPHYS 4050: Thermodynamics and Statistical PhysicsProf. B. A. Foreman
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Motivation• Why does heat always flow from hot objects to cold objects?• The ultimate reason is that this is the most probable direction of energy transfer• Heat energy could flow from cold to hot, but this is very unlikely• To see how unlikely it is, we need to learn how to assign probabilities to the various possible outcomes• This is the foundation for 3 of the 4 laws of thermodynamics• The first step is to countthe possible outcomes