Author Archives: Eric Corwin

Two-Dimensional Macroscopic Ideal Gas

This project brings the microscopic world into the laboratory scale.  We agitate a container full of water to produce chaotic surface waves which replicate the tumultuous thermal motion of molecules in a gas, but on a centimeter scale rather than angstrom.  We’ve shown that these waves have a temperature that is functionally identical that of a thermal gas.  This offers us a unique opportunity to study statistical mechanics in a constitutive fashion, exploring directly the dynamics of interparticle interactions, phase transitions, polymer analogs, and many other systems.