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Episode 600: Preparation for kinetic theory topic
Students will have been introduced to a simple kinetic model of matter in both chemistry and physics. They will be able to use it, for example, to explain how pressure of a gas arises, and perhaps understand the nature of temperature. Here, they can learn more about how the microscopic behaviour of particles gives rise to macroscopic behaviour; they can also see how this gives rise to a mathematical model.

Random particle motion

Main aims
Students will:

  • Appreciate some of the experimental evidence for atoms and their motion
  • Know how to apply the gas laws
  • Understand the thermodynamic temperature scale
  • Know what an ideal gas is, understand how its properties link to the gas laws and the absolute temperature scale, and be able to link absolute temperature with average KE per molecule
  • Know that the energy in a gas is not uniformly distributed among its particles and be able to make calculations using the Boltzmann constant


Prior knowledge
Students should already know sufficient kinematics and dynamics (including momentum) to be able to derive the ideal gas equation if this section is to be proved formally in your specification.

Where this leads
These episodes end with a consideration of ways in which energy can be supplied to a substance (by heating or doing work). This can lead on to a consideration of the laws of thermodynamics.

Download Word version of Episode 600 (31 KB)


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