What is the Relationship Between Temperature and Kinetic Energy?

Relationship Between Temperature and Kinetic Energy

Relationship Between Temperature and Kinetic Energy

We’re going to take a look at the relationship between temperature and kinetic energy. At any temperature, the molecules of a gas are moving. Some molecules are moving faster and some are moving slower. If you were to plot the number of molecules vs the speed of those molecules, you get something called a Boltzmann distribution.

That’s what this line graph right here set up to do. It’s set up to represent a Boltzmann distribution. The number of molecules vs the speed. The number of molecules is on the y axis here and the speed is on the x axis. Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of molecules.

If you were to heat up a gas, then more molecules would start moving faster. This would increase the kinetic energy. Since the kinetic energy would be going up, the temperature would increase as well. If you were to cool off the gas, the molecules would start moving slower.

More molecules would start moving slower, which would then decrease the kinetic energy. When kinetic energy goes down, temperature also goes down, because temperature and kinetic energy are directly related. When kinetic energy goes up temperature goes up, and when kinetic energy goes down temperature also goes down.

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Last updated: 07/11/2018


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