Does a monatomic atom have rotational motion?

isochoric/isometric:
isothermal:
isobaric:

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rachaeld_1D
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:02 pm

Does a monatomic atom have rotational motion?

Postby rachaeld_1D » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:50 pm

For a monatomic atom, would the total motional contribution to the internal energy be the sum of the rotational and translational energy? Or would it just be the translational energy because a single molecule doesn't store much energy as it spins by itself?

Sanmeet Atwal 1D
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:02 pm

Re: Does a monatomic atom have rotational motion?

Postby Sanmeet Atwal 1D » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:23 pm

I'm not entirely positive but I believe you're right because molecules have rotational and translational energy while atoms only have translational energy!

Niharika Reddy 1D
Posts: 127
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:02 pm

Re: Does a monatomic atom have rotational motion?

Postby Niharika Reddy 1D » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:13 pm

Monatomic gases don't have any rotational energy because they have nothing around which to rotate, so yes, we only account for their translational energy since their rotational energy is zero.

Justin Le 2I
Posts: 142
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:02 pm

Re: Does a monatomic atom have rotational motion?

Postby Justin Le 2I » Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:49 pm

To add onto the previous point, each axis (x,y,z) contributes 1/2RT of translational energy. That is why the molar internal energy of a monatonic atom is 3/2RT.


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