Definitions for kinetic theory

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. kinetic theory, kinetic theory of gases(noun)

    (physics) a theory that gases consist of small particles in random motion

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  1. Kinetic theory

    The kinetic theory of gases describes a gas as a large number of small particles, all of which are in constant, random motion. The rapidly moving particles constantly collide with each other and with the walls of the container. Kinetic theory explains macroscopic properties of gases, such as pressure, temperature, and volume, by considering their molecular composition and motion. Essentially, the theory posits that pressure is due not to static repulsion between molecules, as was Isaac Newton's conjecture, but due to collisions between molecules moving at different velocities through Brownian motion. While the particles making up a gas are too small to be visible, the jittering motion of pollen grains or dust particles which can be seen under a microscope, known as Brownian motion, results directly from collisions between the particle and gas molecules. As pointed out by Albert Einstein in 1905, this experimental evidence for kinetic theory is generally seen as having confirmed the existence of atoms and molecules.

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