A set of systems of particles used in statistical mechanics to describe a single system. The concept of an ensemble was put forward by the US scientist Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839–1903) in 1902 as a way of calculating the time average of the single system, by averaging over the systems in the ensemble at a fixed time. An ensemble of systems is constructed from knowledge of the single system and can be represented as a set of points in phase space with each system of the ensemble represented by a point. Ensembles can be constructed both for isolated systems and for open systems.
Subjects: Chemistry — Physics.