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Two experiments to approach the Boltzmann factor: chemical reaction and viscous flow

  • Autori: Fazio, C; Battaglia, OR; Guastella, I
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Boltzmann factor; Rate constants; Activation energy; Viscosity of liquids; Laboratory experiments and apparatus
  • OA Link:


In this paper we discuss a pedagogical approach aimed at pointing out the role played by the Boltzmann factor in describing phenomena usually perceived as regulated by different mechanisms of functioning. Experimental results regarding some aspects of a chemical reaction and of the viscous flow of some liquids are analysed and described in terms of macroscopic variables whose temperature dependence is proportional to the Boltzmann factor. A description of a workshop implementing the approach in the framework of an undergraduate course for engineering education and some preliminary results about its pedagogical relevance are then reported.