mean free path puyeš-e âzâd-e miyângin (#) Fr.: libre parcours moyen The mean distance which a particle moves between two successive collisions with other particles of the medium. Mean free path is inversely proportional to the number of particles per cm^{3} (n), and the collision → cross section (σ). In the case of a gas with molecules having a diameter of d, the cross section is equal to the area of a circle of radius d, i.e. σ = πd^{2}, and the mean free path is given by: l = 1/(nσ). Taking into account the relative velocity distribution of the colliding molecules, l = 1/(√2 . nσ). For a gas at one atmosphere pressure and room temperature, the average distance between molecules is roughly 3.5 × 10^{-7} cm, that is some 35 times the diameter of a molecule. Taking the gas density n = 2.4 × 10^{14} molecules cm^{-3}, and a typical diameter d = 2 × 10^{-8} cm for a molecule, the mean free path is 3.3 × 10^{-5} cm. This means that the average distance between collisions is about 95 times the average distance between molecules. Puyeš, verbal noun of puyidan "to run, trot; wander," from Mid.Pers. pôy-, pwd- "to run;" cf. Gk. speudein "to hasten;" Lith. spudinti; âzâd, → free; miyângin, → mean. |