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I am so confused about interaction energy!

as you know, in many statistical mechanics books we see there are equations which are taken in a non-interacting system.

for example for a two particle system, you can see the total energy is:

E = E1 +E2 +E12

while E12 is the interaction energy between particle 1 and particle 2.

What I wanna know is that when can we neglect this interaction energy?

how far is interaction energy's range?

can anybody give me a formula or something for it?!!

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# Homework Help: Statistical mechanics & the interaction energy

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