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November 16th, 2017, 02:52 AM   #1
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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?
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November 16th, 2017, 03:40 AM   #2
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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.
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November 16th, 2017, 07:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studiot View Post
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.
This
(no need for a container at all)

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November 16th, 2017, 01:14 PM   #4
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I see. Thanks guys.
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