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Velocity distribution curves general inquiry

  1. Oct 11, 2008 #1
    for a graph that has the velocity as the x axis and the number of molecules as the y axis, i know that as the number of molecules increases, the average velocity will become lower and lower, but what if the molecules being tested are in relative amounts?

    for example you have air which is 78.08 percent N2, 20.95 percent O2 and .93 percent Ar by volume right. so is it just the number of molecules that determines the speed. so N2 would havethe slowest speed, then O2, then Ar.

    HOWEVER, why does the equation speed = sqrt (3RT/M) depend on the MOLAR MASS of the molecule and not the number of molecules. my TA in u of t could not answer this question, i was hoping someone here could. thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 11, 2008 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Huh? Why does the speed of the car depend on its make, and not on the number of cars?

    Do you know the difference between extensive and intensive properties?
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