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Homework Help: Statistical Mechanics: particle density of an atmosphere

  1. Mar 6, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    I am supposed use stat mech to find the particle density in Earth's atmosphere given only the particle mass, and temperature, and the planet's mass I guess. And I don't really know where to begin. Obviously I need to use the grand canonical ensemble but I don't know where to start without knowing the number of particles in the system.

    2. Relevant equations
    Boltzmann distribution I guess? n(r) = A*e^(-(βρ^2)/(2m))*e^(-βmgr)

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I don't know what to do without knowing N
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2013 #2
    Well if you're given the pressure (1 atmosphere?) and the temperature, you can just go ahead and use the ideal gas equation. No fancy grand canonical stuff required! :smile:
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