Sunday, September 27, 2009

Measuring Planck's constant by thermodynamics

An incredibly important and useful equation is the Sackur-Tetrode equation which gives the absolute entropy of an ideal gas and shows how

-Planck's constant enters statistical mechanics in a way that is measurable
-to resolve the Gibbs paradox

I did not appreciate just how significant the equation was until I taught a statistical mechanics course.

The latest APS News has a beautiful article by Richard Williams on the equation in the This Month in Physics History column.

Did you know Tetrode as only 17 when he derived the equation from Boltzmann's equation (see below)!

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I am curious, how DOES one measure Plank's constant with thermodynamics?