Adding energy to confined particles

  • Thread starter rimmini
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rimmini
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Adding energy to confined "particles"

I just read on the priniple of equipartition. What if you were to lock a proton in place so that it could not move from a defined point (3d) and then dumped energy into it. Would you still have equipartion through all of the degrees of freedom or only in spin and vibration (remember the proton is locked at a defined point and can not move.
 

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You cannot constrain a particle to a single point in space. This would violate the laws of physics. Every potential would give some volume where its wave function is spread out, and you always have higher-energetic states.

Protons do not get energy in spin (I think you mean rotation here?) and vibration as molecules do. While there are excited states of the proton, they are different particles and have a very different mass (some 100 MeV more).
 

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