Definition of statistical mechanics

: a branch of mechanics dealing with the application of the principles of statistics to the mechanics of a system consisting of a large number of parts having motions that differ by small steps over a large range

Examples of statistical mechanics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Named after Ernst Ising, the model started out as a problem given to Ising by his thesis advisor in the 1920s; now it's commonly taught in statistical mechanics textbooks and classes. Meredith Fore, WIRED, "Magnetic Materials Help Explain How Arctic Ice Melts," 5 July 2019 Wiener’s theory of information, drawing on his own background in thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and the study of random processes, was cloaked in opaque mathematics that was impenetrable to most working engineers. George Dyson, WSJ, "The Elegance of Ones and Zeroes," 21 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'statistical mechanics.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of statistical mechanics

1885, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about statistical mechanics

Statistics for statistical mechanics

Last Updated

22 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for statistical mechanics

The first known use of statistical mechanics was in 1885

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on statistical mechanics Encyclopedia article about statistical mechanics

Comments on statistical mechanics

What made you want to look up statistical mechanics? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!