The TOTAL AREA under the ENTIRE curve - does that equal the area of the system?
so no. molecules * energy so I would presume that total area = total energy
do you agree
Further evidence for this would be that the area to the left of the Ea line represents the number of particles that don't have energy to react, and area to the right is number of particles that do have sufficient energy to react (from the definition of activation energy). Thus considering the area on both sides must be the total number of particles, since you would be adding the number of particles that cannot react, to the number of particles that can (and because this forms a partition in the system, it must be including all particles)
So when you ask about what the area under the curve represents, you need to say what you are plotting on the curve.
Are you talking about a curve of the number of molecules against velocity (range) or about number of molecules in a particular energy range?
Are you referring to a probability density curve (probably) or a cumulative curve?
If you are asking about the probability density curve then the area under any portion of it is the total number (or fraction*) of molecules having that range of speeds, velocities, momenta, or energies.
http://www.chemguide.co.uk/physical/...mperature.html (scroll down)
(Or any search for "area under the Maxwell-Boltzmann curve")
* In a probability density curve the total area under the curve usually represents the total number of molecules or 100%. So a portion of the curve represents that fraction or % of the total.
y-axis: no. molecules
If you are talking about the Maxwell-Boltzmann curve for molecular energies then
it is a so called probability density curve.
So the area under it (or any portion of it) represents the number of molecules (or rather the fraction of the total number) that have energies between the values of E on the x axis.
Mathematically, a probability density curve is not the same as a standard curve you plot like a velocity time graph. Statistical functions behave differently.
The answer to your question is "no".
Did you look at the link I gave?
but my book had a question in it asking what does the area under the maxwell-bolztmann energy curve represent, i said "no of molecules in the system" and this was wrong
so i figured it must be something else!
x-axis: energy, 'E'
so the area becomes (if we consider a straight line of zero gradient):
area= energy multiplied by no of molecules/energy
= # of molecules