Monatomic Gas

In physics and chemistry, monatomic is a combination of the words "mono" and "atomic," and means "single atom." It is usually applied to gases: a monatomic gas is one in which atoms are not bound to each other.

All elements will be monatomic in the gas phase at sufficiently high temperatures. At standard temperature and pressure (STP), all of the noble gases are monatomic. These are helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon and radon. The heavier noble gases can form compounds, but the lighter ones are unreactive. Monatomic hydrogen comprises about 75% of the elemental mass of the universe.

Chemists noticed very long ago that when some gases (e.g. hydrogen, oxygen, chlorine) are being created e.g. during electrolysis or in reactions of metals with acids (hydrogen), they are radically more reactive than normally. This state of gases has been named "in statu nascendi" (Latin, pron. nahstzendee), meaning "in the state of being born". That aggressive reactivity can be used to intensify some chemical reactions. The source of that high reactivity is the fact that such gases remain monoatomic radicals for some time; the presence of some poisons e.g. arsenic can prolong that monoatomic state

The motion of a monatomic gas is translation (electronic excitation is not important at room temperature). Thus in an adiabatic process, monatomic gases have an idealised γ-factor (Cp/Cv) of 5/3, as opposed to 7/5 for ideal diatomic gases where rotation (but not vibration at room temperature) also contributes. Also, for ideal monatomic gases:

the molar heat capacity at constant pressure (Cp) is 5/2 R = 20.8 J K-1 mol-1 (4.97 cal K-1 mol-1);
the molar heat capacity at constant volume (Cv) is 3/2 R = 12.5 J K-1 mol-1 (2.98 cal K-1 mol-1);

where R is the gas constant.

Other articles related to "monatomic gas, gas, monatomic":

Theory of Heat Capacity - The Simple Case of The Monatomic Gas
... In the case of a monatomic gas such as helium under constant volume, if it is assumed that no electronic or nuclear quantum excitations occur, each atom in the gas has only 3 degrees of ... is the heat capacity at constant volume of the gas is the molar heat capacity at constant volume of the gas N is the total number of atoms present in the container n is the number ... experimental molar constant volume heat capacity measurements taken for each noble monatomic gas (at 1 atm and 25 °C) Monatomic gas CV, m (J/(mol·K)) CV, m/R He 12.5 1.5 ...
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... of nitrogen at this temperature is five-thirds that of monatomic gases, on a per-mole of atoms basis, it is five-sixths that of a monatomic gas ... the two atoms, and so is similar to the small moment of inertia for atoms of a monatomic gas. 5/4 per mole atoms) is therefore less than for a monatomic gas (3/2 per mole molecules or atoms), so long as the temperature remains low enough that no ...

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