Physics A level- Thermodynamics-Internal Energy (Potential energy)

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ndk123
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Hi! Just wanted some clarification on what potential energy actually is... So molecules have internal energy which is KE and potential energy but what is the potential energy (as in what affects the amount of potential energy that molecules have)?
Ideal gases have no potential and only KE and at 0 Kelvin, molecules have no energy?
Many Thanks!
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john_iqbal786
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You are right IE =KE+PE. Gases have the highest internal energy, liquids are lower, solids are even lower. And at 0K internal energy is at a MINIMUM, it it not zero. Because at 0K there is no KE as molecules have stopped moving but there is still electrostatic potential energy between molecules so there is still some internal energy.

As you go from solid to liquid to gas IE increases and so does KE. Remember that the values for PE are negative so when someone says at a gas the. Potential is zero, it's is still higher than in liquid or solid phase. For example, a liquid has - 20J PE, when in its gaseous state, its potential energy (and therefore internal energy) has INCREASED and now is 0
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