how do atoms transfer kenetic energy to each other?
to revise my question, after more thought.
what happens subatomically to an atom when kenetic energy is given to it.
When an atom is given KE it moves.
The motion depends on the external potential that the atom is sitting in. In field free space (constant potential) it will just translate at constant velocity. In a harmonic potential, it will oscillate sinusoidally about a mean position.
For the most part this is all that happens - there are no significant changes at the subatomic level.
How do atoms transfer KE to one another ? ...through the coulomb interaction between the charged components of the atoms (the nucleii and electrons).
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