I was sure that the Maxwell-Bolzmann was a Normal distribution, but then I read that it was a Chi distribution on Wikipedia.

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    $\begingroup$ Why don't you take a look at the relevant wikipedia articles? You're expected to do a reasonable amount of prior research before asking here... $\endgroup$ – Danu Sep 6 '15 at 11:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Danu I have done search on Google, but Wikipedia articles are obscure sometimes. Fortunately Sebastian Riese explained that to me! :-) $\endgroup$ – Виталий Олегович Sep 6 '15 at 11:53

It depends on the parameter you consider.

The Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution (as the name is applied in the Wikipedia article you link) is the distribution of the particle's speed (absolute value of the velocity) in a gas and this is a chi distribution.

You probably were thinking of the distribution in terms of the vectorial velocity and then indeed it is a Gaussian (that is normal) distribution. This follows simply as classical particles follow the Boltzmann distribution $\propto e^{-\beta E}$ and $E = \frac 1 2 m \vec v^2$ for non-interacting particles in a gas.


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