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Average energy of a system

  1. Dec 9, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    If the energy of a system depends on ##E = \alpha |x|## where ##\alpha## is positive, what is the average energy of the system?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I've been given no information at all about the system beyond the energy. This is within a statistical mechanics course so I assume it involves some sort of distribution function, but as to which one I have no idea. Alternatively it may be related to equipartition theorem because that's what the previous question was about, although that only deals with quadratic contributions to energy I think.

    Apparently the answer is ##kT##. I'd really appreciate some pointers on how to get there! :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 9, 2016 #2


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    Since the answer involves ##T##, which distribution function do you think is most appropriate?
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