Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
the theory that the minute particles of all matter are in constant motion and that the temperature of a substance is dependent on the velocity of this motion, increased motion being accompanied by increased temperature: according to the kinetic theory of gases, the elasticity, diffusion, pressure, and other physical properties of a gas are due to the rapid motion in straight lines of its molecules, to their impacts against each other and the walls of the container, to weak cohesive forces between molecules, etc.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
nounThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
A theory concerning the thermodynamic behavior of matter, especially the relationships among pressure, volume, and temperature in gases. It is based on the dependence of temperature on the kinetic energy of the rapidly moving particles of a substance. According to the theory, energy and momentum are conserved in all collisions between particles, and the average behavior of the particles can be deduced by statistical analysis.
kinetic theory - Science Definition
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
A fundamental theory of matter that explains physical properties in terms of the motion of atoms and molecules. In kinetic theory, properties such as pressure and temperature are viewed as statistical properties of the overall behavior of large numbers of particles. For example, the pressure exerted by a gas on an object is the net result of the numerous collisions of the gas molecules against the object. See also pressure, statistical mechanics, temperature, thermodynamics.
Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.