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Compare average distance between molecules to size of N2

  1. Sep 19, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Capture.PNG
    2. Relevant equations
    Pv=nRt
    3. The attempt at a solution
    I already calculated V for a single molecule = 3.99x10^-23 m^3 and the cubic root of this volume gives 3.42x10^-8 m. However, I don't understand what I should do next. What does it mean to compare the value I obtained to the "size" of a molecule? Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2015 #2

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    I would start googling for "water molecule size". They want you to compare the volume calculated with experimental data describing the distance between atoms (plus some space for the electron cloud).
     
  4. Sep 19, 2015 #3
    I looked up Van der Wall radius online (did not learn about it in class) and found how to measure the radius, diameter and volume of a specific molecule given it's experimentally measured constant b, but what puzzles me is that they ask me to compare the "size" (I assume van der wall volume?) of the molecule, a cubic meter value, with an unrelated one dimentional distance value. I feel as though they did not specify accurately enough what we need to do.
     
  5. Sep 20, 2015 #4

    Borek

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    Staff: Mentor

    VdW radius is not a volume, it is length, just like the length you calculated. You are asked to compare the "radius" of a molecule (as determined experimentally) with the edge of a cube that such a molecule occupies in a gas. I see no ambiguity.
     
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