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Heat and Thermodynamics by Anandamoy Manna

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4.3 Distribution Function of Velocities

In the elementary kinetic theory of the so-called perfect gases discussed earlier, it was proved that the pressure and temperature of the gas depend on the mean square velocity of the molecules. There are phenomena which require for their proper description a knowledge of the distribution of velocities amongst the molecules. If we follow a particular molecule moving through the mass of the gas over a long interval of time, we shall find that both the direction of motion and the magnitude of velocity of the molecule changes from instant to instant. This is due to collision with other molecules which happen to lie in the path of the particular molecule. The molecules interact with each other only during collision. ...

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