Chapter 4

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Heat

34

Gas Laws (I)
Boyleʼs Law
For a fixed mass of gas, the pressure of the gas is inversely proportional to the volume of the gas at constant temperature.
Load Piston Gas molecules Cylinder The random collisions of gas molecules with the wall of a container exert a pressure on it. As a fixed volume of gas is compressed, its volume decreases but its pressure increases because the rate of collision of gas molecules with the cylinder wall increases. As the piston of a bicycle pump is pushed down, the volume of gas decreases and the pressure increases. The increase in gas pressure enables gas to pump through a nozzle to a bicycle tyre.

Boyleʼs Law Experiment
Atmospheric pressure Glass tube Trapped air Mercury

Atmospheric pressure = 76 cm Hg Pressure of the trapped air, p = (76 + h) cm Hg Glass tube Volume of the trapped air, V∝l
Mercury

l

h

Rubber tube

Varying the mercury column h will vary the air pressure and hence volume or l of the trapped air column. The graph shows that P p ∝1 (cm Hg) l Hence, p ∝1 V pV = constant 1 –1 or p1V1 = p2V2 l (cm )

Question The pressure of a bubble under the sea surface is 120 cm Hg. When the bubble rises to the surface of the sea, its volume becomes 25.0 cm3. Assuming that the atmospheric pressure is 76 cm Hg and there is no change in temperature, what is the original volume of the bubble? Solution p1V1 = p2V2 (120)V1 = (76)(25.0) ∴ original volume of bubble V1 = 15.8 cm3
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