Title

Specific heats and the equipartition law in introductory textbooks

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1996

Abstract

A majority of introductory calculus‐based physics textbooks, including many widely used ones, give misleading or incorrect explanations for the failure of the equipartition law to describe correctly the classically expected rotational degrees of freedom in monatomic and diatomic gases. This article outlines typical textbook treatments and reviews the quantum mechanical explanation.

Comments

DOI: 10.1119/1.18316