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The ideal gas law can be considered to be another manifestation of the law of conservation of energy (see Conservation of Energy ). Work done on a gas results in an increase in its energy, increasing pressure and/or temperature, or decreasing volume. This increased energy can also be viewed as increased internal kinetic energy, given the gas’s atoms and molecules.

The ideal gas law and energy

Let us now examine the role of energy in the behavior of gases. When you inflate a bike tire by hand, you do work by repeatedly exerting a force through a distance. This energy goes into increasing the pressure of air inside the tire and increasing the temperature of the pump and the air.

The ideal gas law is closely related to energy: the units on both sides are joules. The right-hand side of the ideal gas law in PV = NkT size 12{ ital "PV"= ital "NkT"} {} is NkT size 12{ ital "NkT"} {} . This term is roughly the amount of translational kinetic energy of N size 12{N} {} atoms or molecules at an absolute temperature T size 12{T} {} , as we shall see formally in Kinetic Theory: Atomic and Molecular Explanation of Pressure and Temperature . The left-hand side of the ideal gas law is PV size 12{ ital "PV"} {} , which also has the units of joules. We know from our study of fluids that pressure is one type of potential energy per unit volume, so pressure multiplied by volume is energy. The important point is that there is energy in a gas related to both its pressure and its volume. The energy can be changed when the gas is doing work as it expands—something we explore in Heat and Heat Transfer Methods —similar to what occurs in gasoline or steam engines and turbines.

Problem-solving strategy: the ideal gas law

Step 1 Examine the situation to determine that an ideal gas is involved. Most gases are nearly ideal.

Step 2 Make a list of what quantities are given, or can be inferred from the problem as stated (identify the known quantities). Convert known values into proper SI units (K for temperature, Pa for pressure, m 3 size 12{m rSup { size 8{3} } } {} for volume, molecules for N size 12{N} {} , and moles for n size 12{n} {} ).

Step 3 Identify exactly what needs to be determined in the problem (identify the unknown quantities). A written list is useful.

Step 4 Determine whether the number of molecules or the number of moles is known, in order to decide which form of the ideal gas law to use. The first form is PV = NkT size 12{ ital "PV"= ital "NkT"} {} and involves N size 12{N} {} , the number of atoms or molecules. The second form is PV = nRT size 12{ ital "PV"= ital "nRT"} {} and involves n size 12{n} {} , the number of moles.

Step 5 Solve the ideal gas law for the quantity to be determined (the unknown quantity). You may need to take a ratio of final states to initial states to eliminate the unknown quantities that are kept fixed.

Step 6 Substitute the known quantities, along with their units, into the appropriate equation, and obtain numerical solutions complete with units. Be certain to use absolute temperature and absolute pressure.

Step 7 Check the answer to see if it is reasonable: Does it make sense?

Liquids and solids have densities about 1000 times greater than gases. Explain how this implies that the distances between atoms and molecules in gases are about 10 times greater than the size of their atoms and molecules.

Atoms and molecules are close together in solids and liquids. In gases they are separated by empty space. Thus gases have lower densities than liquids and solids. Density is mass per unit volume, and volume is related to the size of a body (such as a sphere) cubed. So if the distance between atoms and molecules increases by a factor of 10, then the volume occupied increases by a factor of 1000, and the density decreases by a factor of 1000.

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Questions & Answers

what is torque
Deepak Reply
The turning effect of force is called torque.
Uzair
What is the effect of static electricity
Ruth
what there factors affect the surface tension of a liquid
Promise Reply
formula for impedance
muyiwa Reply
ehat is central forces
Nita Reply
what is distance?
Jonathan Reply
What does mean ohms law imply
Victoria Reply
ohms law state that the electricity passing through a metallic conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference across its end
muyiwa
what is matter
folajin Reply
Anything that occupies space
Kevin
Any thing that has weight and occupies space
Victoria
Anything which we can feel by any of our 5 sense organs
Suraj
Right
Roben
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Alo
any answers
Alo
the time rate of increase in velocity is called
Blessing Reply
acceleration
Emma
What is uniform velocity
Victoria
Greetings,users of that wonderful app.
Frank Reply
how to solve pressure?
Cruz Reply
how do we calculate weight and eara eg an elefant that weight 2000kg has four fits or legs search of surface eara is 0.1m2(1metre square) incontact with the ground=10m2(g =10m2)
Cruz
P=F/A
Mira
can someone derive the formula a little bit deeper?
Bern
what is coplanar force?
OLADITI Reply
forces acting and lying on d same plane
Promise
what is accuracy and precision
Peace Reply
How does a current follow?
Vineeta Reply
follow?
akif
which one dc or ac current.
akif
how does a current following?
Vineeta
?
akif
AC current
Vineeta
AC current follows due to changing electric field and magnetic field.
akif
you guys are just saying follow is flow not follow please
Abubakar
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flows
Abubakar
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but I think the statement is written in English not any other language
Abubakar
my mean that in which form he/she written this,will understand better in this form, i write.
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Abubakar
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Vineeta
u are welcome
Abubakar
what is a semiconductor
Vineeta Reply
substances having lower forbidden gap between valence band and conduction band
akif
what is a conductor?
Vineeta
replace lower by higher only
akif
convert 56°c to kelvin
Abubakar
How does a current follow?
Vineeta
A semiconductor is any material whose conduction lies between that of a conductor and an insulator.
AKOWUAH
what is Atom? what is molecules? what is ions?
Abubakar Reply
atoms are the smallest unit of an element which is capable of behaving as a single unit
Promise
a molecule is d smallest unit of a substances capable of independent existence and can also retain the chemical proper ties of that substance
Promise
an ion is referred to as freely moving charged particles
Promise
Practice Key Terms 4

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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