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Equipartition Theorem (Thermal Physics) 
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#1
Jul1113, 08:37 PM

P: 228

I just wanted to know whether the following formula 3/2kT=K (ave) demonstrates the average kinetic energy per atom in a monatomic gas.
And then if 5/2kT=K (ave) demonstrates the average kinetic energy per diatomic molecule. This comes from the fact that the average energy per degree of freedom is 1/2kT. Note k(lowercase) denotes Boltzmann Constant, and K (uppercase) denotes kinetic energy. 


#2
Jul1113, 10:03 PM

P: 223

Yes, you are correct. The equipartition theorem breaks down at low temperatures when the energy kT is smaller than the energy spacing in a degree of freedom. It doesn't have enough energy to make that jump, so that degree of freedom becomes frozen out.



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