The Equation of State for a Monatomic Gas.

The Equation of State for a Monatomic Gas.

by Max Planck, A. P. Willis

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An excerpt from Lecture #4:


...You notice that we have derived all these relations through the identification of the mechanical with the thermodynamic expression for the entropy, and from this you recognize the fruitfulness of the method here proposed.

But a method can first demonstrate fully its usefulness when we utilize it, not only to derive laws which are already known, but when we apply it in domains for whose investigation there at present exist no other methods. In this connection its application affords various possibilities. Take the case of a monatomic gas which is not sufficiently attenuated to have the properties of the ideal state; there are here, as pointed out by J. D. van der Waals, two things to consider: (1) the finite size of the atoms, (2) the forces which act among the atoms. Taking account of these involves a change in the value of the probability and in the energy of the gas as well, and, so far as can now be shown, the corresponding change in the conditions for thermodynamic equilibrium leads to an equation of state which agrees with that of van der Waals. Certainly there is here a rich field for further investigations, of greater promise when experimental tests of the equation of state exist in larger number.

Another important application of the theory has to do with heat radiation, with which we shall be occupied the coming week. We shall proceed then in a similar way as here, and shall be able from the expression for the entropy of radiation to derive the thermodynamic properties of radiant heat.

Today we will refer briefly to the treatment of polyatomic gases. I have previously, upon good grounds, limited the treatment to monatomic molecules; for up to the present real difficulties appear to stand in the way of a generalization, from the principles employed by us, to include polyatomic molecules; in fact, if we wish to be quite frank, we must say that a satisfactory mechanical theory of polyatomic gases has not yet been found. Consequently, at present we do not know to what place in the system of theoretical physics to assign the processes within a molecule—the intra-molecular processes. We are obviously confronted by puzzling problems. A noteworthy and much discussed beginning was, it is true, made by Boltzmann, who introduced the most plausible assumption that for intra-molecular processes simple laws of the same kind hold as for the motion of the molecules themselves, i. e., the general equations of dynamics. It is easy then, in fact, to proceed to the proof that for a monatomic gas...

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012796400
Publisher: Leila's Books
Publication date: 07/22/2011
Series: Eight Lectures On Theoretical Physics , #6
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 361 KB

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