The Gaseous State of Aggregation
The table presented in this chapter shows that the molecule of hydrogen moves with a velocity which would cause it to travel more than one and a half kilometres per second, that of helium more than one kilometer. Whilst for the molecule of air the distance would be half a kilometre. The significance of the table, however, must not be overestimated. The numbers are neither a confirmation nor an achievement of the kinetic theory of gases. The meaning of the numbers, however, is somewhat as follows: if one wishes to regard the actual pressure of a gas as a result of molecular collisions, then the molecules must possess these velocities, for otherwise their momentum would not be sufficient to account for the observed pressure. One could learn how such experiments have been made and then the numbers recorded in the table will permit to obtain a deep insight into the inner mechanism of gaseous molecules.