Skip to main content
Library homepage
 
Physics LibreTexts

3: Ideal and Not-So-Ideal Gases

  • Page ID
    34705
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    In this chapter, the general principles of thermodynamics and statistics, discussed in the previous two chapters, are applied to examine the basic physical properties of gases, i.e. collections of identical particles (for example, atoms or molecules) that are free to move inside a certain volume, either not interacting or weakly interacting with each other. We will see that due to the quantum statistics, properties of even the simplest, so-called ideal gases, with negligible direct interactions between particles, may be highly nontrivial.

    Thumbnail: As long as black-body radiation (not shown) doesn't escape a system, atoms in thermal agitation undergo essentially elastic collisions. On average, two atoms rebound from each other with the same kinetic energy as before a collision. Five atoms are colored red so their paths of motion are easier to see. (Public Domain; Greg L via Wikipedia)


    This page titled 3: Ideal and Not-So-Ideal Gases is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Konstantin K. Likharev via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

    • Was this article helpful?