Mechanical Proof of the Maxwell-Boltzmann Speed Distribution With Numerical Iterations

  •  Hejie Lin    
  •  Tsung-Wu Lin    


The Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution is the probability distribution that describes the speeds of the particles of ideal gases. The Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution is valid for both un-mixed particles (one type of particle) and mixed particles (two types of particles). For mixed particles, both types of particles follow the Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution. Also, the most probable speed is inversely proportional to the square root of the mass.

This paper proves the Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distribution and the speed ratio of mixed particles using computer-generated data based on Newton’s law of motion. To achieve this, this paper derives the probability density function ψ^ab(u_a;v_a,v_b)  of the speed u_a of the particle with mass M_a after the collision of two particles with mass M_a in speed v_a and mass M_b in speed v_b. The function ψ^ab(u_a;v_a,v_b)  is obtained through a unique procedure that considers (1) the randomness of the relative direction before a collision by an angle α. (2) the randomness of the direction after the collision by another independent angle β.

The function ψ^ab(u_a;v_a,v_b) is used in the equation below for the numerical iterations to get new distributions P_new^a(u_a) from old distributions P_old^a(v_a), and repeat with P_old^a(v_a)=P_new^a(v_a), where n_a is the fraction of particles with mass M_a.

P_new^1(u_1)=n_1 ∫_0^∞ ∫_0^∞ ψ^11(u_1;v_1,v’_1) P_old^1(v_1) P_old^1(v’_1) dv_1 dv’_1

                          +n_2 ∫_0^∞ ∫_0^∞ ψ^12(u_1;v_1,v_2) P_old^1(v_1) P_old^2(v_2) dv_1 dv_2

P_new^2(u_2)=n_1 ∫_0^∞ ∫_0^∞ ψ^21(u_2;v_2,v_1) P_old^2(v_2) P_old^1(v_1) dv_2 dv_1

                          +n_2 ∫_0^∞ ∫_0^∞ ψ^22(u_2;v_2,v’_2) P_old^2(v_2) P_old^2(v’_2) dv_2 dv’_2

The final distributions converge to the Maxwell-Boltzmann speed distributions. Moreover, the square of the root-mean-square speed from the final distribution is inversely proportional to the particle masses as predicted by Avogadro’s law.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-7032
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-7040
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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