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Are degrees of freedom in a molecule affected by phase change?

  1. Feb 8, 2007 #1
    For a molecule of water, I understand that there are 6 degrees of freedom for each of the three atoms within it; 3 translational and 3 due to the potential energy of the bonds. Is this at all affected when the water goes from solid to liquid or gas?
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2007 #2


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    Do you think that when something that can move freely in 3D is suddenly confined to a fixed location would have the same degree of freedom?

  4. Mar 16, 2007 #3
    Nope, the number of degrees of freedom is exactly identical. 3 (xyz) per atom, giving 9 per molecule. The other way of looking at it is 3 rot + 3 Trans +1 bend +2 stretch =9 degrees of freedom per molecule.

    Even in bulk ice you get those modes.
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