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3 Postulates of the Kinetic Molecular Theory

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3 Postulates of the Kinetic Molecular Theory

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  • May 2008
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Another postulate of the kinetic molecular theory is that gas particles are always in motion, like the other states of matter. But they are different in that they undergo random translational movement. In solids, the particles mainly experience vibrational motion and in liquids they mainly vibrate and rotate, with some translational motion. Gas particles move rapidly in straight lines, unless acted upon by another particle or the walls of a container. This continuous contact with the container leads to our understanding of gas pressure, the number of collisions over a certain amount of area. As per the KMT, an ideal gas should travel rapidly in a random, yet constant speed. In reality, gas particles do follow the assumption lead by the KMT. In extreme cases, when factors like temperature and pressure change, gases deviate from their ideal behaviour.

The basis of the previous postulate, leads us to the next postulate that states that the speed of the gas particles varies accordingly to temperature. In a gas the particles are in ever changing kinetic energy, but when the speed is averaged, it becomes proportional to absolute temperature. As the absolute temperature of a gas increases, the particles inside the gas experience more thermal energy. This leads to more kinetic energy, causing the particles to move faster and further apart. When the absolute temperature is reduced, the thermal energy is also reduced, leading to lower kinetic energy. The particles begin to move slower, minimizing the distance between them, resulting in them getting closer together. As the temperature approaches absolute zero (-273 °C), the particles slow down, eventually coming to complete stop.

Gases, out of all the states of matter behave very uniquely. One of this behaviour is the ability to fill a container equally and completely. Gases can accomplish this task because of their constant motion, their elastic collision and the fact that there are no forces acting between the...

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