December 11, 2023, 04:49:54 PM
Forum Rules: Read This Before Posting

Topic: Conceptual question about energy states and volume of gas (energy spreading)  (Read 2514 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mindmaze

  • Very New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Mole Snacks: +0/-0
After reading about energy states of molecules, I am having difficulty grasping the reasoning behind one phenomenon, namely: "The larger the volume available to the gas, the greater the number of energy states (and thus microstates) its thermal energy can occupy." (taken from

Intuitively, it appears to me that increasing the volume of a gas decreases the average velocities of its molecules (this is also stated in the ideal gas law when the pressure is constant as far as I can tell). Does this not mean that a given molecule can occupy _fewer_ translational energy states?  Could somebody please point out the flaw in my reasoning.

Thank you,

Offline leve

  • Regular Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 20
  • Mole Snacks: +1/-0
Microstates is like entropy. The greater the number of energy states (and thus microstates), the greater the entropy. Entropy is increased at larger volumes and lower pressures.

The way I learned it was that microstates meant all the different places atoms can be in at a given volume. So 1 mol of gas at 2L has more microstates than at 2L because there is more space.

Sponsored Links