Scales in a gas
The actual diameter of an atom is about 1 Angstrom (10-10
m). In order to develop some intuition for the molecular scale of a gas,
assume that you are considering a liter of air (mostly N2 and
O2) at room temperature and a pressure of 105 Pa.
- Calculate the number of molecules in the sample of gas.
- Estimate the average spacing between the molecules.
- Estimate the average speed of a molecule using the Maxwell-Boltzmann
- Suppose that the gas were rescaled upwards so that each atom was the
size of a tennis ball (but we don't change the time scale). What would
be the average spacing between molecules and the average speed of the molecules
Page last modified
October 30, 2002: M15