Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Equipartition of energy

  1. Nov 4, 2005 #1
    Equipartition of energy states that each degree of freedom contributes an amount of K to each molecule equal to (1/2)(k_b)T.

    I wrote:
    K = (D/2)(k_b) T, where D is the number of degrees of freedom.

    Is this correct? Because if it is, then does it mean that K is proportional to both D and T?

    In other words, for two cases where Temperature is the same, the value of D dictates its temperature.

    Thank you.

    //edit
    Well actually, I'm more concerned with the fact that according to that equation, two objects can have the same temperature and yet, a different K value; because of a different D.

    Lemme know if you don't understand; I'll try rewording.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 4, 2005 #2
    Kenny,

    I think that you are exactly right. For a given temperature, molecules with 6 degrees of freedom would have twice as much energy as those with just 3 degrees of freedom, on average.

    Best Regards,
    Walter
     
  4. Nov 4, 2005 #3
    thats strange.
    Thanks.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook