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ERIC Number: EJ936759
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Using the Metropolis Algorithm to Calculate Thermodynamic Quantities: An Undergraduate Computational Experiment
Beddard, Godfrey S.
Journal of Chemical Education, v88 n5 p574-580 May 2011
Thermodynamic quantities such as the average energy, heat capacity, and entropy are calculated using a Monte Carlo method based on the Metropolis algorithm. This method is illustrated with reference to the harmonic oscillator but is particularly useful when the partition function cannot be evaluated; an example using a one-dimensional spin system is examined. The calculations are performed entirely using a computer algebra package, and the calculations are straightforward enough for undergraduates to investigate for themselves in the laboratory. (Contains 4 figures.)
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A