I am given a problem where the temperature of the suns core is given and I have to calculate the average speed of an electron in the core. The only thing that pops into my head would be the Maxwell-Boltzmann velocity distribution. I can carry out the calculation on my own but I am uncertain if I should use that distribution. The distribution is made to describe ideal gases, can I use it for this soup of electrons and protons?

I assume there is extreme pressure in the core. Does that also not matter?

  • $\begingroup$ I can't see any homework-like in the question. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Oct 1, 2017 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ Related (likely not dupe): physics.stackexchange.com/q/192338/32426. $\endgroup$
    – peterh
    Oct 1, 2017 at 22:09
  • $\begingroup$ See Can the Sun's core be treated as an ideal gas? In short: yes, it's a reasonable approximation for your purposes, so you may apply Maxwell-Boltzmann. $\endgroup$
    – lemon
    Oct 1, 2017 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ For the velocity distribution this doesn't matter. E.g. the molecules in a cup of water are also distributed according to the MB distribution. Only correlations between velocities at nearby points will be affected, in an ideal gas this is zero while interactions will lead to nonzero correlations. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2017 at 23:49
  • $\begingroup$ You could use the definition of temperature from the kinetic theory of gases to get the average speed en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    Oct 2, 2017 at 6:34


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