The average distance a molecule travels between collisions. For a molecule, \(\lambda = (\sqrt{2}\ \pi \ n\ d_{\text{m}}^{2})^{-1}\), where \(n\) is the number of molecules per unit volume and \(d_{\text{m}}\) is their mean diameter. For O2 at one atmosphere and \(25\ ^{\,\unicode{x26ac}}\text{C}\), this distance is only \(9.7\times 10^{-6}\ \text{cm}\); at \(10^{-6}\) atmospheres and \(25\ ^{\,\unicode{x26ac}}\text{C}\) it is \(9.7\ \text{cm}\). For an @A00176@ particle, the mean free path, \(\lambda _{\text{B}}\) in the @S06027@ region (see @S06028@) is given by: \(\lambda _{\text{B}} = \sqrt{\frac{3\ k\ T}{m}}\ m\ B\) where \(m\) is the mass of the particle, \(k\) is the @B00695@ (\(1.381\times 10^{-23}\ \text{J K}^{-1}\)), \(T\) is the temperature (\(\text{K}\)) and \(B\) is the @M03955@.
Green Book, 2nd ed., p. 56 [Terms] [Book]
PAC, 1990, 62, 2167. (Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990)) on page 2201 [Terms] [Paper]