Minimal length scales for the existence of local temperature

Michael Hartmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


We review a recent approach to determine the minimal spatial length scales on which local temperature exists. After mentioning an experiment where such considerations are of relevance, we first discuss the precise definition of the existence of local temperature and its physical relevance. The approach to calculate the length scales in question considers homogenous chains of particles with nearest-neighbour interactions. The entire chain is assumed to be in a thermal equilibrium state and it is analysed when such an equilibrium state at the same time exists for a local part of it. The result yields estimates for real materials, the liability of which is discussed in the sequel. We finally consider a possibility to detect the existence or non-existence of a local thermal state in experiment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Physics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


Dive into the research topics of 'Minimal length scales for the existence of local temperature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this