Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mean Free Path In Soccer And Gasses

An interesting title on a familiar topic. This paper presents an intro to students on the concept of kinetic theory of ideal gas, and explains the concept of mean free path in gasses using an analogous approach to the "mean free path" of a soccer ball during a soccer match.

J. Luzuriaga, Eur. J. Phys. v.31, p.1071 (2010).

The trajectories of the molecules in an ideal gas and of the ball in a soccer game are compared. The great difference between these motions and some similarities are discussed. This example could be suitable for discussing many concepts in kinetic theory in a way that can be pictured by students for getting a more intuitive understanding. It could be suitable for an introductory course in vacuum techniques or undergraduate courses in kinetic theory of gases. Without going into the slightly harder quantitative results, the analysis presented might be used for introducing some ideas of kinetic theory qualitatively to high school students.

Published 21 July 2010

Note that you could get a free copy of the paper within 30 days of online publication.


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