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Homework Help: De Broglie wavelength issues

  1. Oct 30, 2012 #1
    The atoms in a gas can be treated as classical particles if their de Broglie wavelength is much smaller than the average separation between the particles. Compare the average de Broglie wavelength and the average separation between the atoms in a container of monatomic helium gas at 1.00 atm pressure and at room temperature (20 degrees C). At what temperature and pressure would you expect quantum effects to become important.

    I've calculated the de Broglie wavelength but I can't get the spacing between the atoms. Am I forgetting something from Chemistry? Can anyone give me a hint? I feel like I need a volume but clearly it isn't in the given info.

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2012 #2


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    Hello. My hint would be "ideal gas law". You don't need volume, but you do need volume per particle.
  4. Nov 1, 2012 #3
    Awesome. I thought it had something to do with that. Thanks a lot.
  5. Oct 16, 2013 #4
    I figured instead of putting this question into a new thread, I'd simply necro this one.

    I'm currently stuck on this problem staring at a blank page. I understand that the De Broglie Wavelength formula is necessary here as well as the Ideal Gas Law, but I must be missing something. Can anyone give me a hint just to get me on track with this problem?

    Thanks in advance.
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