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Kinetic Molecular Theory of Gases

  1. Oct 25, 2011 #1

    So, I am reading this theory, and I come across this sentence explaining to me that gas particles of different mass have the same average kinetic energy at a particular temperature. Is this somehow due to momentum? Each particle is given a certain energy which will cause them to move at a certain velocity, and, since they have different masses, the energy they receive will cause them to move at a certain velocity that is relative to their mass? If this isn't a correct way of thinking, please explain to me why particles of different masses can have the same average kinetic energy.

    Thank you.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2011 #2
    Because it is the kinetic energy that determines the temperature. I think that particles with higher kinetic energy, on average, is more likely to transfer their energy to particles with lower kinetic energy. Therefore, temperature is the representation of this, since heat flows from higher temperature to lower temperature. (I think it has something to do with statistical mechanics which I haven't learnt any)

    Since K.E is the same, different mass would have different velocity.
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