The Mass and Size of the Atom

  • Hermann Haken
  • Hans Christoph Wolf


An atom is the smallest unchangeable component of a chemical element. Unchangeable means in this case by chemical means; i.e., by reactions with acids or bases or the effect of moderate temperatures, atoms may only be slightly changed, namely, in their degree of ionisation. Moderate temperatures refers here to temperatures whose equivalent energy kT (k is Boltzmann’s constant, T the temperature in K) is not larger than a few electron volts (eV) (see Table 8.1).


Mercury Attenuation Argon Helium Sedimentation 


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  2. J. W. Gibbs: Statistical Mechanics (Oxbow Press, Woodbridge 1981)Google Scholar
  3. J. P. Holman: Thermodynamics, 3rd Ed. (McGraw-Hill, New York 1980)Google Scholar
  4. Sir J. Jeans: Introduction to the Kinetic Theory of Gases (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. C. Kittel, H. Kroemer: Thermal Physics (Freeman, San Francisco 1980)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hermann Haken
    • 1
  • Hans Christoph Wolf
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für Theoretische PhysikUniversität StuttgartStuttgart 80Fed. Rep. of Germany
  2. 2.Physikalisches InstitutUniversität StuttgartStuttgart 80Fed. Rep. of Germany

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