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Explain the statement “ Experiments show that potential energy associated with the molecules of a gas depend to some extent on pressure or volume. However , the contribution of this energy to internal energy will be small if the pressure of the gas is small because then average seperation of any two molicules is very great”

Explain the statement
 “ Experiments show that potential energy associated with the molecules of a gas depend to some extent on pressure or volume. However , the contribution of this energy to internal energy will be small if the pressure of the gas is small because then average seperation of any two molicules is very great”

Grade:11

1 Answers

Ajaykrishnan Jayagopal
11 Points
6 years ago
The Kinetic theory of gases makes several simplifying assumptions in order to ease calculations, one of which is that the forces of attraction and repulsion between the gas molecules is negligible.
In practical scenarios, the forces of attraction or repulsion between gas molecules varies inversely with the distance between the gas molecules and drops rapidly as the intermolecular distance increases.
At a given temperature, by Boyle’s Law, greater the pressure, lesser is the volume of the gas and hence lesser is the average distance between gas molecules, whereas lower the pressure, greater is the volume and hence greater is the average distance between gas molecules.
 
Hence, if the pressure is low, then the molecules will be sufficiently far apart so that the contribution to the internal energy of the gas from intermolecular forces will be negligible.

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