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The figure is an illustration of a molecule hitting a wall. The molecule approaches the wall with velocity vector v, which is at some unspecified angle to the wall, and moves away from it with velocity vector v prime, at some unspecified angle. A force vector F points directly into the wall.
When a molecule collides with a rigid wall, the component of its momentum perpendicular to the wall is reversed. A force is thus exerted on the wall, creating pressure.

In a sample of gas in a container, the randomness of the molecular motion causes the number of collisions of molecules with any part of the wall in a given time to fluctuate. However, because a huge number of molecules collide with the wall in a short time, the number of collisions on the scales of time and space we measure fluctuates by only a tiny, usually unobservable fraction from the average. We can compare this situation to that of a casino, where the outcomes of the bets are random and the casino’s takings fluctuate by the minute and the hour. However, over long times such as a year, the casino’s takings are very close to the averages expected from the odds. A tank of gas has enormously more molecules than a casino has bettors in a year, and the molecules make enormously more collisions in a second than a casino has bets.

A calculation of the average force exerted by molecules on the walls of the box leads us to the ideal gas law and to the connection between temperature and molecular kinetic energy. (In fact, we will take two averages: one over time to get the average force exerted by one molecule with a given velocity, and then another average over molecules with different velocities.) This approach was developed by Daniel Bernoulli (1700–1782), who is best known in physics for his work on fluid flow (hydrodynamics). Remarkably, Bernoulli did this work before Dalton established the view of matter as consisting of atoms.

[link] shows a container full of gas and an expanded view of an elastic collision of a gas molecule with a wall of the container, broken down into components. We have assumed that a molecule is small compared with the separation of molecules in the gas, and that its interaction with other molecules can be ignored. Under these conditions, the ideal gas law is experimentally valid. Because we have also assumed the wall is rigid and the particles are points, the collision is elastic (by conservation of energy—there’s nowhere for a particle’s kinetic energy to go). Therefore, the molecule’s kinetic energy remains constant, and hence, its speed and the magnitude of its momentum remain constant as well. This assumption is not always valid, but the results in the rest of this module are also obtained in models that let the molecules exchange energy and momentum with the wall.

The figure is an illustration of a molecule hitting a wall of a box of depth l. The molecule approaches the wall with a velocity vector that has component v x perpendicular to and toward the wall and v y parallel to the wall, then and moves away from it with a velocity vector that has component v prime x perpendicular to and away from the wall and v prime y parallel to the wall.
Gas in a box exerts an outward pressure on its walls. A molecule colliding with a rigid wall has its velocity and momentum in the x -direction reversed. This direction is perpendicular to the wall. The components of its velocity momentum in the y - and z -directions are not changed, which means there is no force parallel to the wall.

If the molecule’s velocity changes in the x -direction, its momentum changes from m v x to + m v x . Thus, its change in momentum is Δ m v = + m v x ( m v x ) = 2 m v x . According to the impulse-momentum theorem given in the chapter on linear momentum and collisions, the force exerted on the i th molecule, where i labels the molecules from 1 to N , is given by

Questions & Answers

Newton's second laws is call with
Dyutee Reply
what is mean by thermodynamics
Prasad Reply
it is study about temperature and it's equilibrium
Its the study of heat and its relation with others kind of energy
state caulombs law clearly
constand Reply
show mathematically that an electron has the greater speed than the proton when they attract each other
ezra Reply
show mathematically that an electron has the greater speed than the proton when they attract each other
@ezra & srikanta; for electrons: a=ke^2/(mr^2) and for protons: a=kp^2/(mr^2)
what is electrostatics
Hero Reply
the study of charge at rest
@Hero; the study of charges at rest is the electrostatics
okay what is electrostatic?
charge at rest
set of character...
Gauss law, electric fields, dipoles,...
A proton initially at rest falls through a p.d of 25000V. what speed does it gain?
Minister Reply
@Minister; use equation v= sq root(2×eV/m)
what is the reaction of heat on magnet
Magnetization decreases with increase in temperature. But in case of diamagnetic substance heat has no role on magnetization.
what is a physical significant of electric dipole moment .
A dipole moment it's a mechanical electrical effect used in nature
what is the uses of carbon brushes in generator
Malik Reply
to minimize heat
at what temperature is the degree Fahrenheit equal to degree Celsius
Grace Reply
Celsius and Faharaneith are different, never equal
find their liners express of n=a+b/T² ( plot graph n against T)
Donsmart Reply
Radio Stations often advertis "instant news,,if that meens you can hear the news the instant the radio announcer speaks it is the claim true? what approximate time interval is required for a message to travel from Cairo to Aswan by radio waves (500km) (Assume the waves Casbe detected at this range )
mahmod Reply
what is growth and decay
Pawan Reply
Can someone please predict the trajectory of a point charge in a uniform electric field????
erlinda Reply
what is deference between strong force and coulomb force
zahid Reply
how do you convert temperature in degree Celsius to Fahrenheit
Celsius x 9/5 +32
Practice Key Terms 8

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 2. OpenStax CNX. Oct 06, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12074/1.3
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