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 Jun 12th 2008, 09:54 AM #1 Senior Member   Join Date: Apr 2008 Location: HK Posts: 886 Particles We are taught that no for gases, the particles(molecules) are constantly vibrating so that it is said to possess average kinetic energy. During vibrations, would there be any energy loss? If yes, is energy lost in form of radiation?
Jun 12th 2008, 11:24 AM   #2

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 Originally Posted by werehk We are taught that no for gases, the particles(molecules) are constantly vibrating so that it is said to possess average kinetic energy. During vibrations, would there be any energy loss? If yes, is energy lost in form of radiation?
Energy is not typically lost through vibration (as far as I know) but it is lost in collisions with other molecules either in the gas itself or the container. The vibrations are due to electromagnetic forces which are conservative and thus there is no energy loss.

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Jun 12th 2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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 Originally Posted by topsquark Energy is not typically lost through vibration (as far as I know) but it is lost in collisions with other molecules either in the gas itself or the container. The vibrations are due to electromagnetic forces which are conservative and thus there is no energy loss.

For vibrations due to electromagnetic forces, would the gravity of earth affect the conservative property which hence causes loss in energy?

Jun 13th 2008, 03:35 AM   #4

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 Originally Posted by werehk For vibrations due to electromagnetic forces, would the gravity of earth affect the conservative property which hence causes loss in energy?
Now that you mention gravity, the vibrations should technically give off gravitational waves, but the effect would be too small to measure. This has nothing to do with the Earth's gravitation though. The Earth's gravity would tend to pull all the molecules down, so if the gas were free to act it would technically get hotter since the kinetic energy of the molecules would increase as they dropped. And in any event the gravitational force is also conservative so there is no energy loss there either. Presumably when the particles fall far enough to interact with the Earth's surface, any energy lost by the gas to accelerate the Earth will be given back.

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