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Specific Heats of Solids due to Molecular Rotations

  • T. S. Chang (a1)


Bethe's method, used in the problem of order-disorder transitions in alloys, is applied formally to the problem of molecular rotations in solids. To apply this method, we assume that the solid is entirely homogeneous, and that the state of rotation is the same throughout the solid. Without this assumption, the application of this method is impossible.

A particular form of the mutual potential energy between two neighbouring molecules has been chosen, and classical statistics is employed throughout. The calculations are made entirely after the manner of Bethe, and the similarities of the two problems are pointed out. The result is that there is a critical temperature, and also a discontinuity in the specific heat of the magnitude of some ten times the Boltzmann constant per molecule, arising from the sudden setting in of the rotations as the temperature is increased beyond the critical point. Agreement with the experiments is bad, indicating that a more profound theory is necessary.



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* Phys. Rev. 36 (1930), 430.

Proc. Roy. Soc. 149 (1935), 1.

Proc. Roy. Soc. 150 (1935), 552.


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