The method of functional differentiation, used in classical statistical mechanics to obtain approximate integral equations for the pair distribution function, is extended to quantum systems obeying Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics. The grand partition function is written as a path integral, and space-temperature distributions are generated from it by successive functional differentiation. Distributions can be expanded in powers of an external potential via a functional Taylor series. When the series is truncated so that no distributions higher than second order enter and the external potential is specialized to one arising from a fixed particle in the system, coupled integral equations result for the two kinds of pair distributions. The first-order Ursell function calculated from these equations yields the Montroll-Ward ring summation for the grand potential. This approximate Ursell function determines also the Fourier transform of the momentum density (useful in calculating the p = 0 occupation number). Although divergences appear in the low-temperature limit, they can be removed by a simple modification of the independent functional. An extension to Fermi-Dirac and Böse-Einstein statistics is indicated at appropriate places in the text.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics