Equipartition Theorem (Thermal Physics)


by NATURE.M
Tags: equipartition, physics, theorem, thermal
NATURE.M
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#1
Jul11-13, 08:37 PM
P: 212
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.
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Mmm_Pasta
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#2
Jul11-13, 10:03 PM
P: 209
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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