On the quantum density of states and partitioning an integer Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • This paper exploits the connection between the quantum many-particle density of states and the partitioning of an integer in number theory. For $N$ bosons in a one dimensional harmonic oscillator potential, it is well known that the asymptotic (N -> infinity) density of states is identical to the Hardy-Ramanujan formula for the partitions p(n), of a number n into a sum of integers. We show that the same statistical mechanics technique for the density of states of bosons in a power-law spectrum yields the partitioning formula for p^s(n), the latter being the number of partitions of n into a sum of s-th powers of a set of integers. By making an appropriate modification of the statistical technique, we are also able to obtain d^s(n) for distinct partitions. We find that the distinct square partitions d^2(n) show pronounced oscillations as a function of n about the smooth curve derived by us. The origin of these oscillations from the quantum point of view is discussed. After deriving the Erdos-Lehner formula for restricted partitions for the $s=1$ case by our method, we generalize it to obtain a new formula for distinct restricted partitions.

publication date

  • May 2004