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Thermodynamic Functions of Polyelectronic Atoms at Very High Temperatures


Meghreblian, Robert Vartan (1953) Thermodynamic Functions of Polyelectronic Atoms at Very High Temperatures. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/88PE-S208.


A convergent series representation for the internal partition function of polyelectronic atoms is obtained by assuming a covolume equation of state for the gas as previously applied by Fermi and Urey to the hydrogen atom.

The present investigation is limited to those cases wherein only extranuclear electronic excitation occurs. The contribution of these electronic states to the thermodynamic functions is obtained from an acceptable approximation to the sum of the convergent series for the partition function.

It is shown that at relatively low temperatures (3000 degrees K), the customary method of evaluating the internal partition function (based on the assumption of an ideal gas) agrees to within a few percent with the results obtained from the covolume treatment. However, at higher temperatures the increase in size of the excited atoms, along with the appearance of charged particles produced by ionization, render the ideal gas treatment inadequate. Since the interaction potentials of charged particles are not known in general, an approximate procedure, which neglects these interactions, is suggested for analyzing a system wherein ions and free electrons constitute a small fraction of the total population. This procedure should be useful for treating gaseous mixtures to temperatures of about 10,000 degrees K.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Aeronautics and Mathematics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Minor Option:Mathematics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Unknown, Unknown
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1953
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-04252003-104736
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1496
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:28 Apr 2003
Last Modified:21 Dec 2019 01:48

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