What is Kinetic Theory

The kinetic theory is so named because it deals with that property of the particles which is so crucial in understanding the three states of matter, namely the motion of the particles. Because the particles are in constant motion, they possess kinetic energy which tends to keep the particular well spaced out in any substance. Thus, in terms of kinetic theory.

  • The gaseous state is that the one during which the molecules are widely separated from each other but having negligible volume. The gases are easy to compress thanks to large empty spaces.
  • The gas molecules are in continuous motion, traveling in straight paths between collisions, but in random directions. The typical distance between collisions is that the mean free path.
  • The molecules hit each other and with the walls in the container, but these collisions are perfectly elastic (result in no loss of energy).
  • Gas pressure is the result of the collision of gas molecules with the walls of the container.
  • In an ideals gas, there aren’t any attractive or repulsive forces between molecules Thus each molecule acts quite independently of the others.
  • The average of gas molecules depends upon absolutely the temperature. At any given temperature, the molecules of all gases have the identical average K.E. (1/2 mv2).

The scientific theory was extended to account for the behavior of liquids and solids.

For a liquid, the Kinetic theory suggests that the particles of a liquid are fairly randomly arranged (as in gas), but consists of cluster’s during which they’re very close. This makes liquid have an explicit volume, but since the particles are still fairly liberal to move, it doesn’t have any definite shape of its own.

For a solid, the Kinetic theory postulates that the molecules are closely packed, in order that the forces of attraction between the molecules are very strong and free movement of particles cannot occur. Thus, in a solid, the particles are arranged in a very fixed pattern, and that they form a lattice of vibrating masses. This makes a solid have a certain shape.