Revista Brasileira de Ensino de Física
Print version ISSN 1806-1117
MUZY, P.T.; SALINAS, S.R.; SANTANA, A.E. and TOME, T.. Mario Schönberg and the introduction of Fock space in classical statistical physics. Rev. Bras. Ensino Fís. [online]. 2005, vol.27, n.3, pp. 447-462. ISSN 1806-1117. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1806-11172005000300023.
About fifty years ago, in a pioneering series of articles, Mario Schönberg used methods of second quantization in order to generalize the Liouville theorem and to introduce the idea of indistinguishability of particles in a classical context. The Fock space, which was a paradigmatic attribute of quantum systems, was used with mathematical rigor and consistency in order to construct a classical statistical formalism for describing systems with a variable number of particles. Similar treatments have been rediscovered along the last three decades, in particular in the context of stochastic models, including irreversible processes in spin lattices and chemical reactions. We present a description of Schönberg's theory, and establish some connections with more recent developments. This work is a pedagogical contribution, with emphasis on the physical consistency of using the occupation number representation in classical contexts.
Keywords : second quantization; statistical physics; Liouville equation; Fock space; stochastic models.