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Energy and Temperature of Gaseous Molecules

  1. Sep 28, 2011 #1
    Okay, so I was reading about how an air conditioner works. I was scrolling through the paragraphs until the sentence 'the closer the molecules are together, the higher its energy and its temperature'. Now temperature is the average kinetic energy of the molecules. Why is it higher when the molecules are closer to each other? I'm certain the energy we're talking about in this scenario is the internal energy of the gas, which is dependant on temperature. This brings me to my second question. Is the internal energy also related to the dispersion forces between molecules? The distortion of the electron cloud of a particular atom by its neighbouring molecules causes it(and other atoms for that matter) to bear δ+ and δ-. According to Coulomb's Law, the force between two charges is inversely proportional to the square of their distance apart. The closer two particular molecules are to each other, the stronger the force between them. The stronger the dispersion force, the greater the amount of energy needed to overcome it. Is this energy which is needed to overcome the dispersion forces related to the internal energy?
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  2. jcsd
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