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Physics  2006 

The Partition Function in the Wigner-Kirkwood expansion

DOI: 10.1088/0305-4470/39/18/L05

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Abstract:

We study the semiclassical Wigner-Kirkwood (WK) expansion of the partition function $Z(t)$ for arbitrary even homogeneous potentials, starting from the Bloch equation. As is well known, the phase-space kernel of $Z$ satisfies the so-called Uhlenbeck-Beth equation, which depends on the gradients of the potential. We perform a chain of transformations to obtain novel forms of this equation that invite analogies with various physical phenomena and formalisms, such as diffusion processes, the Fokker-Planck equation, and supersymmetric quantum mechanics.

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