You are on page 1of 2

Patriots Deflate gate???

and the Ideal Gas Law


In a closed system, the ideal gas law http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ideal_gas_law can
be used to calculate the effect of temperature on the pressure of the system.
Assuming that the volume is essentially constant, then the effect of temperature
can be calculated from:
P1/T1 = P2/T2
P2 = P1* (T2/T1)
Where:
P1 = initial pressure assume 12.5 PSI, 1023 hPa barometric pressure at 3 PM
T1 = Temperature when initially filled in oC assume 2 5oC (298 oK)
P2= pressure final
T2= final temperature 10 oC (283oK) 1005 hPa barometric pressure at 8PM
This was the atmospheric pressure at Norwood airport on Sunday, Jan. 18,
2015.http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KOWD/2015/1/18/DailyHistory.ht
ml?MR=1
The pressure measured on a gauge is the increase above atmosphere (14.7 PSI is
atmospheric pressure) so the 12.5 PSIG reading is actually 27.2 PSIA ( absolute)
(14.7 + 12.5 PSI). Using the equation above:
P2 = P1* (T2/T1)
P2 = 27.2PSIA (283 oK /`298 oK)= 25.8 PSIA
27.2PSIA-25.8PSIA = 1. 4 PSI
The barometric pressure dropped from 1023 hPa at 3 PM on 1/18/15 to 1005 hPa at
8PM (half time). This would drop the absolute pressure to 0.992% of the initial
value (ratio of barometric pressure change= 1005/1013 hPa). This would be 27.2
PSIA * 0.992 = 26.98. The difference is 0.22 PSI.
The total difference in pressure between the initial indoor filling and the outside
conditions is 1.4 and 0.22 PSI = 1.64 PSI.
If the league assumed 13 PSI then there is an additional 0.5 PSI which should be
added so the difference is > 2 PSI which the league said was the difference. There is
no difference if you consider the ideal gas law.
There are a number of questions that should be answered:
1. Did the league measure the Indianapolis footballs since those would also be
deflated by the difference in temperature and pressure? If they neglected to
do that, it will be difficult to prove anything!

2. What type of gauges did they use mechanical or electronic? When were the
gauges last calibrated? Were they ever calibrated?
3. What are the specifics of the measurements?
4. What did they use for the initial pressure?
5. What were the total measurements?
6. Note that 12.5 PSI should be legal?
I continue to be surprised at the number of loser teams who continue to moan and
complain about their losses to the Patriots.

Deflate gate is nothing but ignorance of the ideal gas law


which has been known to scientists for nearly three
centuries!!
Dr. Jack Driscoll
Barnstable, MA