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phase space

(space of all possible states of a system)

A phase space is a space of all possible states of a system, and for mechanical systems the phase space typically considered is a position and a momentum component for each dimension, i.e., six dimensions for 3-dimensional space. Two dimensions are sufficient for the phase space of a pendulum allowed to swing along a single path, one for its position along the path and another for its momentum. The term phase line similarly indicates just a single dimension of states (which would not be for such a mechanical system).

A phase integral is an integral calculating a volume in a phase space. For some calculations, such volumes is useful as a substitution for discrete numbers of potential points in the phase space.


(physics,mathematics)
Further reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase_space

Referenced by pages:
final parsec problem
H3 Survey (H3)
Poisson's equation

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