Reference Entry

degeneracy pressure

Edited by Richard Rennie and Jonathan Law

in A Dictionary of Physics

Eighth edition

Published in print March 2019 | ISBN: 9780198821472
Published online March 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780191860805
degeneracy pressure

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The pressure in a *degenerate gas of fermions caused by the Pauli exclusion principle and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Because of the exclusion principle, fermions at a high density, with small interparticle spacing, must have different momenta; from the uncertainty principle, the momentum difference must be inversely proportional to the spacing. Consequently, in a high-density gas (small spacing) the particles have high relative momenta, which leads to a degeneracy pressure much greater than the thermal pressure. ...

Reference Entry.  113 words. 

Subjects: Physics

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