Combined gas law
The combined gas law is a gas law that combines Charles's law, Boyle's law, and Gay-Lussac's law. There is no official founder for this law; it is merely an amalgamation of the three previously discovered laws. These laws each relate one thermodynamic variable to another mathematically while holding everything else constant. Charles's law states that volume and temperature are directly proportional to each other as long as pressure is held constant. Boyle's law asserts that pressure and volume are inversely proportional to each other at fixed temperature. Finally, Gay-Lussac's law introduces a direct proportionality between temperature and pressure as long as it is at a constant volume. The inter-dependence of these variables is shown in the combined gas law, which clearly states that:
|“||The ratio between the pressure-volume product and the temperature of a system remains constant.||”|
This can be stated mathematically as:
- P is the pressure,
- V is the volume,
- T is the temperature measured in kelvins,
- k is a constant (with units of energy divided by temperature).
For comparing the same substance under two different sets of conditions, the law can be written as:
Derivation from the gas laws
Boyle's Law states that the pressure-volume product is constant:
Gay-Lussac's Law says that the pressure is proportional to the absolute temperature:
The algebraic manipulation cannot be done directly because Boyle did his experiments with constant temperature, Charles did them with constant pressure and Lussac did them with constant volume, therefore a more exact interpretation of the prior equations would be:
Keeping this in mind, to carry the derivation on correctly one must imagine the gas being altered by one process at a time- say you give it to boyle first to change the pressure and volume. Therefore:
- After Boyle´s process, the gas has: , &
- After Charles´process, the gas has: , &
- After Lussac´s process, the gas has: , &
From here on its just algebra:
- From Eq. (4) we know:
- substituting this value of into Eq. (5) we get
- And finally substituting the value of from Eq. (6) into Eq. (8) we find:
- which simplifies to:
- or in other words: where k is a physical constant.
The combined gas law can be used to explain the mechanics where pressure, temperature, and volume are affected. For example: air conditioners, refrigerators and the formation of clouds. Also used in fluid mechanics and thermodynamics.
- Raff, Lionel. Principles of Physical Chemistry. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 2001.
- Interactive Java applet on the combined gas law by Wolfgang Bauer