Brownian Motion – In-coherent Science

Brownian Motion - In-coherent Science
Welcome to the weird and wacky world of In-coherent Science.

The history of In-coherent Science can be traced back to the early years of the 20th century when the motion picture business was in its infancy.

Around the turn of the 20th century, films started stringing several scenes together to tell a story.

The scenes were later broken up into multiple shots photographed from different distances and angles.

Other techniques such as camera movement were developed as effective ways to tell a story with film.

Until sound film became commercially practical in the late 1920s, motion pictures were a purely visual art, but these innovative silent films had gained a hold on the public imagination.

Early Movies

Just like the motion picture business the wacky world of In-coherent Science has many iconic players that are praised for their pioneering performances.

And just like the movies many memorable milestones in the history of In-coherent Science are based upon slapstick.

Early Stars

Slapstick is a style of humor involving exaggerated physical activity which exceeds the boundaries of common sense.

Thankfully, motion picture performances have evolved and matured in the last 100 years.

Unfortunately, many of the pioneering performances of In-coherent Science have slowly solidified into Settled Science and are perennially paraded as the premier principles which preside over the physical universe.

One of these petrified parade horses is Pedesis [aka Brownian Motion].

Google - Wikipedia - Brownian Motion

The phenomenon of Pedesis pertains to the “leaping” of particles.

Brownian motion or pedesis (from Greek: πήδησις /pɛ̌ːdɛːsis/ “leaping“) is the random motion of particles suspended in a fluid (a liquid or a gas) resulting from their collision with the quick atoms or molecules in the gas or liquid.

The principles of Pedesis are [purportedly] predicated upon the pronouncements promulgated in 1905 by the prodigious Prince of Pedesis Albert Einstein.

At first the predictions of Einstein’s formula were seemingly refuted by a series of experiments by Svedberg in 1906 and 1907, which gave displacements of the particles as 4 to 6 times the predicted value, and by Henri in 1908 who found displacements 3 times greater than Einstein’s formula predicted.

But Einstein’s predictions were finally confirmed in a series of experiments carried out by Chaudesaigues in 1908 and Perrin in 1909.

After Albert Einstein published (1905) his theoretical explanation of Brownian motion in terms of atoms, Perrin did the experimental work to test and verify Einstein’s predictions, thereby settling the century-long dispute about John Dalton’s atomic theory.

Investigations on the Brownian movement was the subject of five papers by Einstein (1905-1908).

Einstein – at that time employed as an engineer at the Patent Office in Bern – got interested in the motion of small particles suspended in a liquid, as a “visible” testimony of the molecular kinetic theory of heat.

This first paper was followed a few months later by a more theoretical one, where Einstein studied not only the translational movement of suspended particles, but also the rotational one of spherical particles.

Let us just quote the first lines of this paper:

“Soon after the appearance of my paper on the movement of particles suspended in liquids, demanded by the theory of heat, Siedentopf … informed me that he and other physicists – in the first instance Prof. Gouy (from Lyon) – had been convinced by direct observations that the so-called Brownian motion is caused by the irregular thermal movements of the molecules of the liquid”.

One and a Half Century of Diffusion: Fick, Einstein, Before and Beyond – Jean Philibert
Former Professor of Materials Science, Université Paris – Sud/Orsay

More precisely, the Prince of Pedesis perceived that the phenomenon of Pedesis was powered by the thermal motion of particles.

An important turning point was Albert Einstein’s (1905) and Marian Smoluchowski’s (1906) papers on Brownian motion, which succeeded in making certain accurate quantitative predictions based on the kinetic theory.

The confirmation of Einstein’s theory constituted empirical progress for the kinetic theory of heat.

In essence, Einstein showed that the motion can be predicted directly from the kinetic model of thermal equilibrium.

The importance of the theory lay in the fact that it confirmed the kinetic theory’s account of the second law of thermodynamics as being an essentially statistical law.

The kinetic theory of gases describes a gas as a large number of small particles (atoms or molecules), all of which are in constant, random motion.

The rapidly moving particles constantly collide with each other and with the walls of the container.

Kinetic theory explains macroscopic properties of gases, such as pressure, temperature, viscosity, thermal conductivity, and volume, by considering their molecular composition and motion.

The theory posits that gas pressure is due to the impacts, on the walls of a container, of molecules or atoms moving at different velocities.

Kinetic theory defines temperature in its own way, not identical with the thermodynamic definition.

While the particles making up a gas are too small to be visible, the jittering motion of pollen grains or dust particles which can be seen under a microscope, known as Brownian motion, results directly from collisions between the particles and gas molecules.

Bouncing Balls

The temperature of an ideal monatomic gas is a measure of the average kinetic energy of its atoms. The size of helium atoms relative to their spacing is shown to scale under 1950 atmospheres of pressure. The atoms have a certain, average speed, slowed down here two trillion fold from room temperature.

Einstein’s theory led to the concept of “thermal” motion.

According to his formulation, a particle’s Brownian excursions in a liquid should depend on temperature.

At absolute zero temperature no motion should be present; as the temperature increases, the excursions should increase progressively.

On the basis of this temperature dependence Einstein could refer to the motion as “heat motion” or “thermal motion.”

Thus, physicists have come to take this motion as temperature’s inevitable manifestation: atoms and molecules dance as a consequence of their temperature.

The Fourth Phase of Water – Dr. Gerald Pollack – 2013 – Ebner & Sons

One of the many peculiarities embedded in the statistical slapstick that is the kinetic theory of gases with [for example] its randomly colliding 25,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms of helium per cubic centimetre [at atmospheric pressure] is that the random ramblings of their gas particles only achieve statistically smooth Brownian Motion.


This is a simulation of the Brownian motion of a big particle (dust particle) that collides with a large set of smaller particles (molecules of a gas) which move with different velocities in different random directions.
Author: Lookang Author of computer model: Francisco Esquembre, Fu-Kwun and looking

Helium atom count

Statistical Mechanics: An Introduction – D H Trevena – Page 32

The illustrated statistically smooth Brownian Motion of the yellow “dust particle” [above] does not represent the “jittering motion” that is frequently used as a synonym for Brownian Motion and it does not represent [or explain] the “leaping” particle phenomenon that characterises Pedesis.

Smoke Cell - Small

A Smoke Cell demonstrating Brownian Motion in Air – Frankly Chemistry

Transport at the nanoscale

Micro-particles in water
Transport at the nanoscale – Alex Cuenat – National Physical Laboratory

A second peculiarity of the kinetic theory of gases is that [for example] the randomly colliding 25,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms of helium [per cubic centimetre at atmospheric pressure] are randomly bouncing around in a total vacuum [the white background in the illustrations].

Helium in a vacuum

These randomly bouncing gas particles are oblivious to the surrounding vacuum and their packing density.

Therefore, the concept of “gas pressure” [according to this theory] can only be expressed as a statistical average over time.

The theory posits that gas pressure is due to the impacts, on the walls of a container, of molecules or atoms moving at different velocities.

This statistical average over time might work at the macro-level but clearly fails at the nano-level.

A third peculiarity of the kinetic theory of gases is that there it appears impossible to describe these randomly colliding gas particles as an “elastic medium” through which sound waves can travel because these gas particles are not “an array of balls interconnected by springs”.

The speed of sound is the distance travelled per unit of time by a sound wave propagating through an elastic medium.

In dry air at 20 °C (68 °F), the speed of sound is 343.59 metres per second (1,127 ft/s).

The transmission of sound can be illustrated by using a model consisting of an array of balls interconnected by springs.

For real material the balls represent molecules and the springs represent the bonds between them. Sound passes through the model by compressing and expanding the springs, transmitting energy to neighbouring balls, which transmit energy to their springs, and so on. The speed of sound through the model depends on the stiffness of the springs (stiffer springs transmit energy more quickly).
Effects like dispersion and reflection can also be understood using this model.
Pressure-pulse or compression-type wave (longitudinal wave) confined to a plane.
This is the only type of sound wave that travels in fluids (gases and liquids)

In physics, elasticity is the tendency of solid materials to return to their original shape after being deformed. Solid objects will deform when forces are applied on them. If the material is elastic, the object will return to its initial shape and size when these forces are removed.

Elasticity is not exhibited only by solids; non-Newtonian fluids, such as viscoelastic fluids, will also exhibit elasticity in certain conditions. In response to a small, rapidly applied and removed strain, these fluids may deform and then return to their original shape. Under larger strains, or strains applied for longer periods of time, these fluids may start to flow like a viscous liquid.

Viscoelasticity is the property of materials that exhibit both viscous and elastic characteristics when undergoing deformation.

Viscous materials, like honey, resist shear flow and strain linearly with time when a stress is applied.

Some non-Newtonian fluids with shear-independent viscosity, however, still exhibit normal stress-differences or other non-Newtonian behavior.

Many salt solutions and molten polymers are non-Newtonian fluids, as are many commonly found substances such as ketchup, custard, toothpaste, starch suspensions, paint, blood, and shampoo.

Furthermore, it appears impossible to reconcile these randomly colliding gas particles with acoustic resonance which requires the coherent storage and release of energy “between two or more different storage modes”.

In physics, resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate with greater amplitude at some frequencies than at others.

Frequencies at which the response amplitude is a relative maximum are known as the system’s resonant frequencies, or resonance frequencies.

At these frequencies, even small periodic driving forces can produce large amplitude oscillations, because the system stores vibrational energy.

Resonance occurs when a system is able to store and easily transfer energy between two or more different storage modes (such as kinetic energy and potential energy in the case of a pendulum).


One familiar example is a playground swing, which acts as a pendulum.

Pushing a person in a swing in time with the natural interval of the swing (its resonant frequency) will make the swing go higher and higher (maximum amplitude), while attempts to push the swing at a faster or slower tempo will result in smaller arcs.

This is because the energy the swing absorbs is maximized when the pushes are “in phase” with the swing’s natural oscillations, while some of the swing’s energy is actually extracted by the opposing force of the pushes when they are not.

The acoustic problems associated with the kinetic theory of gases are clearly illustrated by nitrogen [sound travels at 349 m/s in nitrogen] where the randomly colliding gas molecules [travelling at 509 m/s on average] are required to simultaneously transmit [aka multiplex] longitudinal sound waves in multiple frequencies in many directions from a multitude of sources.

Speed of Sound in Various Gases
All for 20C, 1 Atm, audible frequencies
Gas: Nitrogen Speed of Sound (m/s): 349

What is the typical velocity of a molecule?
Let’s assume we are dealing with nitrogen, since most air is composed of nitrogen.
A single nitrogen molecule has an atomic weight of 28 and so a mass 28 times that of a hydrogen atom or 4.68 × 10-26 kilograms.
Assume the air is 20° C or 293 K.
We can rearrange the equation above to solve for velocity v = √(3 kT / m)
Now we plug in the numbers.
If we use the correct units the answer will come out in meters per second.
The result is that v = √(3 x 1.38 x 10-23 x 293) / 4.68 x 10-26 = 509 meters per second!

Velocity of Gas Particles – Teach Astronomy

multiple sound sources

Onoye Lab: Information Systems Synthesis Laboratory,
Department of Information Systems Engineering,
Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Osaka University

Some sources abandon the slapstick embedded within the kinetic theory of gases and adopt a more coherent theory based upon “eggs” when it comes to explaining air pressure.

Air Pressure

Air Pressure and Altitude – Naval Aviation Museum –

Gerald Pollack speculates that nitrogen and oxygen may form coherent “stoichiometric complexes”.

By volume, dry air contains 78.09 percent nitrogen and 20.95 percent oxygen.
The ratio is 3.727.
While concentrations of trace gases like argon and carbon dioxide can vary widely from place to place and time to time, the ratio of oxygen to nitrogen remains stubbornly constant – to four significant figures.
That’s an awfully constant ratio.

Another possible explanation – and here I go far out on the limb of speculation – is that nitrogen and oxygen form stoichiometric complexes – i.e., complexes containing fixed ratios of oxygen to nitrogen.
Complexes of that sort are known as gas clathrates.
Gas clathrates typically contain fixed numbers of gas molecules trapped within cages of water.
In the present case the complexes would contain fixed numbers of nitrogen and oxygen molecules, electronegative entities held together by positive protons.

How many molecules?
Gas clathrates commonly contain up to dozens of molecules.
In air, the nitrogen to oxygen is near 4:1 by volume; if the molecule ratio were exactly 4:1, then the clathrate might contain only five molecules.
That’s one option.
Other integer ratios would yield larger numbers with different arrangements, but the essence would remain the same: stoichiometric complexes of nitrogen and oxygen.

Stoichiometric complexes

The Fourth Phase of Water – Dr. Gerald Pollack – 2013 – Ebner & Sons

Personally, I prefer an interlocking elastic molecular mosaic that echoes:
1) The crystalline structures associated with nitrogen and oxygen.
2) The ideas of Johannes Kepler and Robert James Moon.

Name, symbol: nitrogen, N
Crystal structure: hexagonal

Name, symbol: oxygen, O
Crystal structure: cubic

Nitrogen and Oxygen


Phi in the Sky – As Above So Below

Either way, the petrified parade horses of In-coherent Science should have been put out to pasture a long time ago.

Gallery | This entry was posted in As Above So Below, Astrophysics, Atmospheric Science, Gerald Pollack, Science. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Brownian Motion – In-coherent Science

  1. malagabay says:

    Engineering students use sound waves to put out fires by Bob Yirka
    Two engineering students at George Mason University have found a way to use sound waves to quash fires and have built a type of extinguisher using what they have learned that they hope will revolutionize fire fighting technology. Viet Tran a computer engineering major and Seth Robertson, an electrical engineering major, chose to investigate the possibility of using sound to put out fires as a senior research project and now believe they have found something that might really work.

    As the two students told members of the press, they started with the simple idea that sound waves are also mechanical or pressure waves (due to the back and forth motion of the medium in which they pass through), which can cause an impact on objects. In this case, on the material that is burning and the oxygen around it—if the two are separated by such waves, they reasoned, the fire would have to go out. They took the trial-and error approach, aiming speakers at small fires and sending out different types of sound at different frequencies. Ultra-high frequencies did not have much impact, they noted, so they tried going low—in the 30 to 60 Hertz range, and found that it did indeed cause fires to go out.

    Engineering students use sound waves to put out fires

  2. oldbrew says:

    The fire extinguisher has echoes of Tesla. An analysis of the physics could be interesting.

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