Kinetic Molecular Theory

The kinetic molecular theory (KMT) is a description of how the particles that make up a gas behave with the goal of being able to explain why the various properties of gases are related.

There are a number of different ways to state KMT, your instructor may present it differently, but underneath it will be comprised of the same ideas being stated here.

Hopefully, you recognize that these statements are flawed. At the very least, you should recognize that the third violates the definition of matter. The first two statements are incorrect because intermolecular attractions would alter the path of particles that pass close to each other, and the attractions would make the collisions a little “sticky” resulting in a loss of kinetic energy.

What that means is that the statements above are approximations. The correct, complete statements would look like this.

The good news for us is that under normal conditions (pressures similar to those we experience normally and temperatures at which humans can survive) these statements are so close to true that we can pretend that we believe them.
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