You can use these numbers when you introduce a ‘Maxwell Boltzman’ distribution curve. Picture a gas (say, air) at 15 oC

What is the average (mean) speed of the particles in this gas? I bet you can’t guess….

It is a staggering 450m per second!

That said, what is the average (mean) straight line path that these molecules move without colliding?

An unbelievably small 5 x 10 -7 cm! (not even metres!)

So how many times does this mean that these particles collide (on average) per second?

A mind blowing  8,000,000,000 times!

And all this was deduced in 12859 by James Maxwell.

Sourced from my second most favourite book – ‘Science, A History’ by John Gribbin (Published by Allen Lane THe Penguin Press), 1st edition (2002), ISBN 0-140-29741-3