Talk:Kinetic theory of gases

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These molecules my toe are in constant, random motion.

A particle can achive a velocity of 0 m/s, so i would deny it is in constant motion I suggest: The molecules move in random and chaotic motion. The velocities that the molecules can attain, cover the complete range between 0 and infinity and are distributed according the Maxwell-Bolzmann frequency distribution function.

Huisman 15:06, 2006 May 8 (GMT)

consider water as an example and how it changes for the states gas, liquid and solid. Think about all the macroscopic and microscopic things that happen and this theory will begin to make since. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:00, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Not entirely true, all molecules in a gas always have movement, however minuscule, above the temperature of -273.15°C. 10/15/09 3:30 EST —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 15 October 2009 (UTC)


Why do you seem to think that kinetic energy only applies to gasses? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:16, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Kinetic theory (of gases)[edit]

We have an article called Kinetic theory of gases that redirects to an article called Kinetic theory. But the Kinetic theory article only seems to refer to gases! Shouldn't we either put the content under Kinetic theory of gases or add information about solids and liquids?

Brianjd 05:55, 2004 Nov 13 (UTC)

Agreed; there is also a kinetic theory of solids article. David Hollman (Talk) 15:56, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Is this article really helpful to anyone at all????

All I see is a bunch of formulas, separated by the word "thus".

Its like this, people who can understand this (not to mention would even be slightly interested) dont need to read it. They already know it. But people who want to learn, would not find their inspiration here.

Too much equations... save it for your teachers, not for the audience. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:59, 29 October 2012 (UTC)


There is no discussion of the Kinetic theory for MHD (magnetohydrodynamics) which is one of the largest branches of Kinetic theory and used in Plasma Physics.


The kinetic molecular theory has to do with the movement and collision of molecules. Molecules have to collide for a reaction to happen. The energy of the collision breaks the old chemical bonds so a reaction can happen and new bonds can form. So it's not only about gas particles.

The discussion of pressure is beyond me at the moment but I think it should be expanded to deal with any shaped container, not just a cube. Brianjd 05:39, 2004 Nov 11 (UTC)

The derivation shown is a widely accepted standard derivation. To use a cube is traditional and (as far as I know) trivial. sconzey 14:08, 2005 Sept 16 (GMT)

The notion TotalForce as it is used in the derivation is not correct or at least not consistent with the physical notion "force" which is a vector. In this sense the total force exerted in x direction is zero! The correct derivation is that if there is no preferred direction the averages of v_x^2, v_y^2 and v_z^2 all must be equal and so also equal to the average of 1/3*v^2. Cede69 14:49, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes and no. You are right that the container as a whole experiences no net force; it remains stationary. I added a bit of clarification to acknowledge this point. However, the forces the derivation considers are all along "outward" vectors normal to the surface of the container. This is a perfectly sensible notion of force, and is perfectly compatible with the notion of a force as a vector. For a cube, it is easy to add up the outward forces on each of the six sides, but in more advanced derivations, the total force experienced by more complex surfaces can be calculated using calculus. Consideration of force as a sum of an infinitely large set of vectors is typical of college-level treatment of this type of theory. (Or at least it is at MIT.) -- Beland 06:58, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

"Pressure is explained by kinetic theory as arising from the force exerted by liquid molecules impacting on the walls of the container, which shows that the molecules of liquid would need less energy at the surface of the liquid to leave. Consider a gas of N molecules...."suddenly..from gasses to liquid..i coudn't get it.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Flucluation dissipation theorem[edit]

The article should link to the fluctuation dissipation theorem. (AC)


Do the equations not assume that the particles do *not* collide with eachother? sconzey 14:08, 2005 Sept 16 (GMT)

I think they may assume elastic collisions. -- Beland 06:43, 7 April 2007 (UTC)


The discussion should include calculations of viscosity and heat conduction for ideal gases and explain how the kinetic theory is rigorously derived from the Boltzmann equation. Mention should also be made of the Chapman-Enskog approach and Grad's moment approach which apply kinetic theory to non-ideal gasses Jim McElwaine 09:52, 28 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposal to replace the symbol "N" by "n" to be in line with other articles like Ideal_gas_law —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wiki-joost (talkcontribs) 13:12, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Moving molecules - why?[edit]

These molecules are in constant, random motion. The rapidly moving particles constantly collide with each other and with the walls of the container. - why are they moving? --Palnatoke 21:56, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

The simple answer is that there is nothing to stop them from moving; they experience largely elastic collisions. What got them moving in the first place is a question about the nature of the Big Bang which I'm not sure science has answered yet. -- Beland 06:43, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

Illustration requests[edit]

It would be very helpful to have one or more illustrations using the traditional idealized hard spheres or points. -- Beland 06:46, 7 April 2007 (UTC)

The GIF image almost crashed my Safari browser. I have a good (10mbps) internet connection, so I presume that the image has been poorly coded. Is it possible for someone to simplify this to use less bandwidth? --Info 21:56, 25 January 2010 (UTC)


This is a very well made article. This is truly excellent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

This is a Classical Mechanics Interpretation[edit]

I'm curious to know if pressure can be defined as 2/3 the kinetic energy when the velocity of the particles approaches the speed of light, and confined into regions that are of quantum length scales. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:25, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Particles with the same mass?[edit]

In the postulates there is a statement "These particles have the same mass". Surely this is not correct, a major value of kinetic theory was the discovery that the particle energy was independent of its mass. --Damorbel (talk) 21:29, 8 December 2011 (UTC)


"Thus, the product of pressure and volume per mole is proportional to the average (translational) molecular kinetic energy."

PV = 2/3 K

The equation makes no reference to 'per mole', and Nk_B cancels out during the derivation, so I think this is valid without that qualification. Wrong or right? (talk) 04:52, 26 June 2013 (UTC)

This article, as almost all articles connected with thermodynamics, is truly lamentable; why does it only deal with monatomic ('ideal gas') particles? This excludes enegy in particle motions e.g. vibration and rotation ('degrees of freedom). Such an exclusion completely vitiates the usefulness of the article. --Damorbel (talk) 07:27, 26 June 2013 (UTC)