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Is temperature of molecule function of its kinetic energy?

Is temperature of molecule function of its kinetic energy? If so how is it manifested in terms of atomic structure? If transfer is by photons what motivating factor between a cold and a hot provokes an exchange of force carriers? When do photons activate the atomic electron energy level structure in preference to affecting so called “vibrational” energy? When do they affect the nucleus? What determines the total energy content of atomic particles?
Robin Draper from Kent (Aged 55+)

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One Response

  1. Let me answer some of the somewhat unrelated questions you ask:
    >Is temperature of molecule function of its kinetic energy?
    Actually a single molecule has no temperature, but for a lot of molecules (typically we think about Avogadro’s number, which is a 6 followed by 23 zeroes) we would argue that the average energy of each molecule is proportional to temperature. For a typical molecule, that is a combination of translational (moving), vibrational and rotational energy.
    >If transfer is by photons what motivating factor between a �cold� and a �hot� provokes an exchange of force carriers?
    I don’t exactly understand what you are trying to say; there is a bit of a mixture of ideas here. Molecules in a gas heat up mainly by collissions between the molecules themselves, and between the molecules and the wall of the vesel containing them.
    We can also heat a gas by shining light on it, and in principle we can tune what part of the molecule we put energy in by tuning the wavelength of the light. By using different wavelengths we can excite the bonds in the molecule (vibrational energy), by using X-rays we can get at electrons in individual atoms. It is hard to use light to excite the nucleus, and normally nothing affects it, unless we shine gamma-rays onto our gas.

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