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Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 131: Popcorn Physics

After what seems like a million year hiatus, I’m back with another edition of The Physics Philes! Time for your physics fix. If I remember correctly, we have finished our discussion of the thermal properties of matter. Now we’re going to take that knowledge – everything we’ve learned about temperature, …

Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 130: It’s Just a Phase

We’re at the end our our discussion of the thermal properties of matter. So far we’ve been talking about the simplest molecular viewpoint, ideal gases. In analyzing ideal gases, we can ignore the interactions between molecules. That certainly makes things simpler, but it’s these interactions that cause gases to condense …

Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 129: Return of Heat Capacities!

For the past few episodes of The Physics Philes, we’ve been trying to understand the kinetic-molecular model of idea gases. Now we need to rewind a little big and go back thinking about heat capacities. Remember way back in the day we talked about molar heat capacities, or a quantity …

Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 128: Kinetic-Molecular Model of Ideal Gases, Part 3

We’ve just got a couple more topics to talk about before we can move on from the kinetic-molecular model of ideal gases. So let’s get going! First, let’s talk a little more about molecular speeds. Just to jog your memory, last week we determined the average translational kinetic energy of …

Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 127: Kinetic-Molecular Model of Ideal Gases, Part 2

It’s been a couple of weeks, but now it’s time to continue our discussion of the kinetic-molecular model of ideal gases. Let’s have a little discussion on pressure and the kinetic energies of molecules. Let’s think about the absolute value of the velocity in the x-direction from last time. That …

The Physics Philes, lesson 126: Kinetic-Molecular Model of Ideal Gases, Part 1

As promised, this week we’ll start a discussion on the kinetic-molecular model of ideal gases. Be warned: we’ll have to take this in chunks. Now that that’s out of the way…what is the kinetic-molecular model of idea gases? Basically, it’s a way to understand the properties of a bunch of …

Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 125: Timmy Fell Down the Potential Well

Everything we come into contact with on a regular basis – computers, door knobs, blankets, cats – are all made of molecules. Some molecules consist of only one atom, others are made up of thousands and thousands of atoms. It’s the interactions between molecules of a substance that give matter …

Physics

The Physics Philes, lesson 124: Exploding Potatoes and Equations of State

Last week we finished the chapter on temperature and heat. We learned what heat is, how it moves, and how its measured. It was a good time, but it’s time to move on. Now we’re going to explore the thermal properties of matter. From just living in the world, I …