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What is the measure of an average kinetic energy?

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man-o-man | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 29, 2008 at 11:24 PM via web

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What is the measure of an average kinetic energy?

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enotechris | College Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted November 28, 2008 at 2:36 AM (Answer #1)

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Kinetic Energy is the energy of motion.  Another kind of energy, Potential, or Static Energy,  is the energy of position. Both energies are understood to refer to force acting upon matter. Together, these energies add up to a system's total energy, or

E(total) = E(potential) + E(kinetic)

Potential and Kinetic are convertible, one to the other. If you consider the system of a book on a library floor, it has no Potential (it's already on the floor and can't go anywhere else) and no Kinetic (it's not moving.)  However, picking it up and placing it on the library counter imparts Kinetic energy (motion) to the book, and causes the book-floor system to increase in Potential energy, since the book now has the potential to fall to the floor when subjected to the force of gravity, and exhibit Kinetic energy in falling. Both energies, Potential and Kinetic, are further increased if you move the book to the top library shelf; once there, there is no Kinetic, (it's not moving again) and all the energy is Potential.  Kinetic energy can be defined in terms of mass (m) and velocity (v) of an object in the form E(kinetic) = 1/2 mv^2.

 In the small scale world, the average kinetic energy is a statistical measurement of a large # of particle's energy content, expressed in absolute temperature (degrees kelvin).  Absolute Zero (0 deg. kelvin)  occurs when no kinetic energy exists.

 Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th ed., vol.9  pg. 399.

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josefina14 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted October 30, 2008 at 5:07 AM (Answer #2)

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well the best answer i could tell you is "Temperature"

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strwbrry16 | TA , Grade 5 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted October 31, 2014 at 1:41 PM (Answer #3)

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Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a sample. That's a definition of temperature. Temperature is the measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a sample.

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