Document Type


Publication Date



We analyze a gas of noninteracting fermions confined to a one-dimensional harmonic oscillator potential, with the aim of distinguishing between two proposed definitions of the thermodynamic entropy in the microcanonical ensemble, namely the standard Boltzmann entropy and the Gibbs (or volume) entropy. The distinction between these two definitions is crucial for systems with an upper bound on allowed energy levels, where the Boltzmann definition can lead to the notion of negative absolute temperature. Although negative temperatures do not exist for the system of fermions studied here, we still find a significant difference between the Boltzmann and Gibbs entropies, and between the corresponding temperatures with the Gibbs temperature being closer (for small particle number) to the temperature based on a grand canonical picture.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications