November 16th, 2017, 02:52 AM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 1,506 Thanks: 502 Math Focus: Yet to find out.  Mean free path
I was reading this wiki article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_free_path. I don't understand how we can define the mean free path without defining how the particle(s) are confined. Are they in a box? A tube? Are there boundaries? 
November 16th, 2017, 03:40 AM  #2 
Senior Member Joined: Jun 2015 From: England Posts: 734 Thanks: 207 
Surely the mean free path is defined by the average distance the a particle travels before it bumps into another particle of the same fluid. It is assumed that the fluid is infinite in extent. Adding boundaries of any sort changes the situation, just as you observe, because the boundaries will not be moving randomly, like all the other particles. 
November 16th, 2017, 07:43 AM  #3 
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2014 From: Glasgow Posts: 2,086 Thanks: 700 Math Focus: Physics, mathematical modelling, numerical and computational solutions  
November 16th, 2017, 01:14 PM  #4 
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2016 From: Australia Posts: 1,506 Thanks: 502 Math Focus: Yet to find out. 
I see. Thanks guys.


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