Pre-Class Warm-Up Exercise
Due by 6 AM on Tuesday, December 13

(Physics 103, Fall 2011)

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Reading: Chapter 11

Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics and the scale height of the atmosphere are discussed briefly in Section 11.2.


1. Estimate the mass of an air molecule, using Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics and the approximation that the atmosphere is about 10 km high, and has a temperature about 0 C (273 K).



2. Compute the mass of a nitrogen molecule knowing Avogadro's number and also knowing that the molecular weight of nitrogen gas is about 28.


3. These two methods for estimating the mass of a molecule are clearly very different. But do they agree?


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