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Velocity of an Atom

  1. Dec 8, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Atoms in a solid are in continous vibrational motion due to thermal energy. At room temperature, the amplitude of these atomic bibrations is typically about 10^-9 cm, and their frequency is on the order of 10^12 Hz. What is the approximate period of oscillation of a typical atom? What is the mazimum speed of such an atom?


    2. Relevant equations
    (1/f)=T


    3. The attempt at a solution
    For period of oscillation i know the answer is 10^-12, but I do not know the formula for finding the speed of the atom. I used C=(lambda/f) but this didn't work. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2007 #2

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    The energy of a particle in SHM is mv^2/2, where v is max speed and also kA^2/2, where A is amplitude. Do you know omega in terms of k and m? Then you can figure it out.
     
  4. Dec 8, 2007 #3
    ok so omega = sqrt*k/m then multiply omega x A to get max speed? But i get a very small number and I know it's not correct, what am I doing wrong?
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2007
  5. Dec 8, 2007 #4

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    (omega = 2*pi*f = 2*pi/T.)

    Probably doing some arithmetical errors. Show your calculations.
     
  6. Dec 8, 2007 #5
    oh sweet, i got it thanks!
     
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