The mean free path is the ________


The mean free path is the average distance covered by a molecule between two successive collisions.

Mean free path

The mean free path λ of a gas molecule is its average path length between collisions. Mathematically the mean free path can be represented as follows:

\(\begin{array}{l}λ = \frac {1}{\sqrt{2} \pi d^2 \frac NV} \end{array} \)


λ- Average distance travelled by any molecule between collisions

N/V – Number of molecules per unit volume or the density of molecules

d – Diameter of the molecule

Mean Free Path Factors

Following are the mean free path factors:

  • Density
  • Radius of molecule
  • Number of molecules
  • Temperature, pressure, etc

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