Workout: How energy is distributed


Read the webpage How energy is distributed: Fluctuations


Launch the PhET simulation, Gas Properties. Put 400 heavy particles in the box and let it run for a while. Your screen should look like the following:

Answer these questions

1. What temperature and pressure do you read on the thermometer and barometer?

2. Press the white button at the right that says "Measurement Tools>>" and turn on "Energy histograms." This shows histograms of the kinetic energy. You should note two features of this curve. First, the most likely kinetic energy is 0 and the curve shows increasing energies are less and less likely. Second, the curve is not constant but keeps changing. Explain why you think these two features happen in a box of randomly colliding molecules.

Joe Redish 2/4/18

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Last Modified: April 11, 2019