PURPOSE: To experimentally determine the diameter of the nitrogen molecule and to determine the order of magnitude of the mean free path of nitrogen gas molecules at STP.
DESCRIPTION: Using the pan balance pour 700 cm^3 of liquid nitrogen and demonstrate that it has a mass of 563 grams. For liquid nitrogen the volume per molecule can then be determined to be
Assume molecule is a cube, so d = 4x10^-8 cm.
Volume of molecule @ STP = 22.4x10^-20 cm^3 / 6.0 x 10^23 = 3.7x10^-20 cm^3
Mean free path = V/d^2 = 3.7x10-20 cm^3 / (4x10^-8 cm)^2 = 2x10^-5 cm.
REFERENCES: (PIRA unavailable.) See Demonstration Reference File for further information.
EQUIPMENT: two dewars, liquid nitrogen, pan balance.
SETUP TIME: 5 min.
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