I understand that a microstate is one possible distribution of energies that make up the system's total energy. But I cant understand why, in a monatomic gas for example (where there is only translational kinetic energy of atoms), there is a finite number of states. Surely that would mean that the atoms can only travel at discrete velocities (ie discrete kinetic energys). If the atoms in a gas are moving all about and accelerating and decelerating how can that be? Can someone point me towards a good (web) reference. Cheers.