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An Introduction to Thermal Physics
Found in: Page 13
An Introduction to Thermal Physics

An Introduction to Thermal Physics

Book edition 1st
Author(s) Daniel V. Schroeder
Pages 356 pages
ISBN 9780201380279

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Short Answer

Suppose you have a gas containing hydrogen molecules and oxygen molecules, in thermal equilibrium. Which molecule are moving faster, on average? By what factor?

In thermal equilibrium, hydrogen molecules moves faster by a factor of 4

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step 1 : Concept of thermal equilibrium which relates with the rms speed of molecules.

Thermal equilibrium refers that both the molecules have same temperature, Hence we can write


Step 2 : Relation of speed with molar mass.

From the above equation we can say that vα1m

Thus the molecule with least mass will have maximum rms speed.

Now O2 had molecular mass of 32 & H2 has molecular mass of 2


Step 3 : Arriving at the result.

Thus we can say that hydrogen with least mass has the maximum rms speed and


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