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Cavendish Laboratory : Maxwell's experiment on the viscosity of gases

Cavendish Laboratory

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This experiment was carried out at King's College, London. According to kinetic theory, the viscosity of a gas should be independent of pressure but proportional the square root of the temperature. The temperature and pressure of the chamber could be varied. Maxwell, assisted by his wife, found that the pressure prediction was correct, but the viscosity was proportional to temperature. This could explained if a repulsive force between molecules varied with distance as r<sup>-5</sup>.</p>

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