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Apply kinetic theory to solids and liquids?

  1. Nov 27, 2006 #1
    My chemistry textbook tries to explain the properties of solids and liquids with the kinetic theory. Is this not good? Should only gases be explained by the kinetic theory since one of the postulates in this theory is that particles exert no forces on each other. The book had to disable this axiom when explaining solids and liquids and said that the forces increase the closer the particles are. But cancelling an axiom is not good or improper isn't it? But theory should be used to explain solids and liquids in general?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2006 #2
    The assumption (I wouldn't call it an axiom) that the particles do not interact is just a starting point for learning how things really work. For example the free electron theory in metals does not work too well with real materials but it's easy to exctract some quantitatively correct results out of it to get one started in learning about metals.
  4. Nov 27, 2006 #3


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    I'd say "transport theory" is not only about "kinetic theory of gases". Yes, the simple models of noninteracting quantum gases could provide qualitative behavior, since the general eqns from transport theory (either semiclassical or purely quantum) cannot be solved for solids, nor liquids.

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