You are on page 1of 22

By Hari Narayanan TR Karthik Machani Keshav K Rangan Narayan Srivastava

All matter is inherently discontinuous, as it is comprised of distinct building blocks, the molecules. Each molecule consists of a finite number of atoms, which in turn consist of finite numbers of nuclei and electrons. Many important physical phenomena involve matter in large length and time scales.

This is generally the case when matter is considered at length scales much larger than the characteristic length of the atomic spacings and at time scales much larger than the characteristic times of atomic bond vibrations. The preceding characteristic lengths (°A) and times (fs) can vary considerably depending on the state of the matter (e.g., temperature, precise composition, deformation).

As long as the physical problems of interest occur at length and time scales of several orders of magnitude higher that those noted previously. . it is possible to consider matter as a continuous medium. namely to effectively ignore its discrete nature without introducing any even remotely significant errors.

Thus the interest is more on the average rather than the individual responses of the molecules comprising the fluid.The behavior of individual molecules comprising a fluid determines the observed properties of the fluid and for an absolutely complete analysis. The problems normally encountered by engineers do not require knowledge and prediction of behaviour at the molecular level but on the properties of the fluid mass that may result. the fluid should be studied at the molecular scale. that is a continuous distribution of matter with no empty space. continuously varying and may indeed be very different from neighboring molecules at any instant of time. . The behaviour of any one molecule is highly complex. For our analysis we assume that the fluid is a continuum.

liquids and gases. A continuum is a body that can be continually subdivided into infinitesimal elements with properties being those of the bulk material. certain physical phenomena can be modelled assuming the materials exist as a continuum. meaning the matter in the body is continuously distributed and fills the entire region of space it occupies. Considered as CONTINUUM . On a macroscopic scale. are composed of molecules separated by empty space. such as solids.Materials. materials have cracks and discontinuities. However.

Continuum mechanics deals with physical properties of solids and fluids which are independent of any particular coordinate system in which they are observed Concept of continuum applied to an F1 car. Here air is considered to be a medium as a whole and composition of air at any instant is not considered .

For the study of the mechanical behavior of solids and fluids these are assumed to be continuous bodies. Internal Forces External Forces . A solid can support shear forces (forces parallel to the material surface on which they act). and is discrete. Fluids. which means that the matter fills the entire region of space it occupies. Therefore. A solid is a deformable body that possesses shear strength. as opposed to rigid bodies. do not sustain shear forces. has voids.Continuum mechanics deals with deformable bodies. on the other hand. when continuum mechanics refers to a point or particle in a continuous body it does not describe a point in the inter-atomic space or an atomic particle. despite the fact that matter is made of atoms. rather an idealized part of the body occupying that point.

only relative changes in stress are considered. including gravitational attraction. can act either on the bounding surface of the body. expressed as force per unit area. . Stresses generated during manufacture of the body to a specific configuration are also excluded when considering stresses in a body. sc. internal contact forces are then transmitted from point to point inside the body to balance their action. and van der Waals forces) required to hold the body together and to keep its shape in the absence of all external influences. according to Newton's second law of motion of conservation of linear momentum and angular momentum In continuum mechanics a body is considered stress-free if the only forces present are those inter-atomic forces (ionic. as a result of the mechanical interaction between the parts of the body to either side of the surface When a body is acted upon by external contact forces. Therefore. not the absolute values of stress. metallic. as a result of mechanical contact with other bodies. or on imaginary internal surfaces that bound portions of the body. the stresses considered in continuum mechanics are only those produced by deformation of the body.Surface forces or contact forces.

Body forces and contact forces acting on the body lead to corresponding moments of force (torques) relative to a given point.e.Body forces are forces originating from sources outside of the body that act on the volume (or mass) of the body These forces arise from the presence of the body in force fields.g. e. As the mass of a continuous body is assumed to be continuously distributed. Thus. body forces are specified by vector fields which are assumed to be continuous over the entire volume of the body. or from inertial forces when bodies are in motion. i. the total applied torque about the origin is given by . gravitational field (gravitational forces) or electromagnetic field (electromagnetic forces). any force originating from the mass is also continuously distributed. Thus. acting on every point in it.

The molecules in gases have a large intermolecular distance and hence there is little or no interference from the neighboring molecule. Gases are classified into  Real Gas  Ideal Gas .e solids. The gas molecules have high energy when compared to liquids and solids and hence have a high value of mean free path.Gases are one of the classical states of matter (i. liquids and gases). They have no definite volume and occupy the entire volume of the container they are stored in.

Charles’s Law: Charles’s Law states that the volume of an ideal gas at constant pressure is directly proportional to the absolute temperature.Boyle’s Law: Boyle’s law states that at constant temperature for a fixed mass. the absolute pressure and the volume of a gas are inversely proportional. .

Avogadro’s Law: Avogadro's law states that the volume occupied by an ideal gas is proportional to the amount of moles (or molecules) present in the container. when at constant volume.Gay-Lussac’s Law: Gay-Lussac’s law states that an ideal gas. which at STP is 22. This gives rise to the molar volume of a gas.4 dm3 (or liters). the pressure is directly proportional to its absolute temperature.15 K. we can find the volume of one mole of a gas: . Taking STP to be 101.325 kPa and 273.

where P is the pressure. is the gas constant with a value of . now named R. T is the temperature. that is. and R is the gas constant. PV = RT. V is the volume per mole of gas. the pressure of a gas in a mixture equals the pressure it would exert if it occupied the same volume alone at the same temperature OR .Ideal Gas Law: The equation of state of an ideal gas which is a good approximation to real gases at sufficiently high temperatures and low pressures. Where the constant.08206 (atm∙L)/(mol∙K) Dalton’s Law: Daltons Law is a law stating that the pressure exerted by a mixture of gases equals the sum of the partial pressures of the gases in the mixture.

or breathing. Boyles law is also important in scuba diving .BOYLE’S LAW One of the most common and popular applications of Boyle’s Law is breathing Pulmonary ventilation. it travels from regions of high air pressure to regions of low air pressure. As air moves into and out of the lungs. is the exchange of air between the atmosphere and the lungs.

Hence. Due to reduction in volume there in an increase in pressure in the lungs. Once the oxygen is absorbed by the blood vessels. This results in an increased volume.Pulmonary Ventilation . the diaphragm and the external intercostal muscles slightly contract thus enlarging the thoracic/lung cavity. the remaining air is to be pushed out of the lungs. . pressure in inversely proportional to volume. From Boyle’s law. Hence the air in the lungs rushes out. To facilitate this the diaphragm and the external intercostal muscles expand in order to reduce the volume of the lung cavity. This causes air to be sucked in so that the pressures are equal.Explanation When air is to be sucked in into the lung. due to increase in volume of the lung cavity. the pressure drops to a value lesser than the external pressure.


the weight of the water column is equal to another atmosphere. they may need to add air to to control their descent. Likewise for the air in their buoyancy compensator (BC). At this depth. the pressure is 4 atmospheres absolute (4 ata. Also What Boyle's Law Means On A Dive In volumetric terms. and the diver’s lungs are one-third their surface volume. At a depth of 66 fsw. Expansion of the gas takes as the pressure drops considerably over a short period of time.1 psi). In addition. The diver’s lungs are now compressed to one-half their surface volume. or 29.SCUBA DIVING – EXPLANATION Bends or Decompression Illness is caused when a diver ascends too quickly after diving. it may be necessary to to add air to the BC. their BC has lost volume and therefore buoyancy .7 pounds per square inch (psi) pressure. this means that for a diver: At the surface. which equals 14. the air in a diver’s lungs--is under one atmosphere of pressure (1 ata). . the pressure is 3 atmospheres absolute (3 ata. This happens when there are nitrogen bubbles formed in the blood stream due to the sudden expansion of the gas. or 58. At a depth of 99 fsw. or 44. At a depth of 33 fsw. so now the pressure on the diver’s body is two atmospheres absolute (2 ata. and the lung volume of the diver is one-quarter their surface volume.4 psi).8 psi). the amount of air that must be added to a BC to maintain control begins to be significant. or 0 feet seawater (fsw). Again.

.VAPOUR COMPRESSION REFRIGERATION The vapour compression refrigeration cycle is an important and very commonly used application of the gas laws.

Hence the volume decreases (Boyle’s Law) and the temperature increases(Gay-Lussac’s Law). its pressure is increased substantially. the refrigerant is in the form of a hot vapour. Due to the loss in heat the refrigerant condenses into liquid. . Due to the increase in temperature.WORKING: The refrigerant is in the form of vapour at low pressure and low temperature before it enters the compressor. This low temperature liquid refrigerant is then passed in to the evaporator where is gains heat from the surrounding medium. therefore cooling it. Here the pressure is dropped to a very low value due to sudden expansion of the refrigerant(Boyle’s Law) and due to this the temperature of the refrigerant also falls to a very low value(Charles Law). In the compressor the vapour is compressed isentropically. As the vapour is compressed. This liquid vapour passes into an expansion value. This hot vapour then enters the condenser where it loses its heat to an external medium like air or water.


First off. Consequently the can explodes. until the can ruptures. This is an illustration of GayLussac’s Law . P increases as T increases. The propellant in aerosol cans these days is butane.OTHER APPLICATIONS Aerosol Cans When you discard a used aerosol can into a fire and it explodes.

Once it is completely filled the tyre forms a closed system. air from a compressor is pumped into the tyre at very high pressure.In the filling of tyres with air. At any instant the air inside the tyre will have only a certain number of molecules present in it. Domestic Gas cylinders and Air brakes also work on gas law principles . This is in accordance with Avogadro’s Law.