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Boyle's Law

Boyle's Law

On Earth, matter exists in one of three states: solid, liquid or gas. Matter in each state exhibits distinct characteristics. Gases, for example, do not have a fixed volume* or shape. As a result, gases respond to pressure changes by changing their volume. In other words, gases are compressible. In contrast, liquids and solids are not compressible: their volume does not change in response to changing pressure. This is the reason air-filled spaces in our ears “pop” during airplane takeoff and landings while the liquid filled spaces in our bodies do not. Boyle's Law describes the relationship between pressure and volume at constant temperature for a fixed mass* (number of molecules) of a gas.

To understand Boyle's law, it helps to visualize the behavior of gas particles (or molecules) in an enclosed space. In a closed container, individual molecules are constantly hitting and bouncing off the container walls. Each time a gas molecule bounces, it imparts a force on the wall.1 In a flexible container such as a balloon, the force of the molecules hitting the inside of the balloon hold the balloon inflated. The force of each impact is small, but the sheer number of collisions create enough force to keep the balloon open.2

Pressure in a closed container changes if

1) temperature changes 2) number of molecules increases or decreases 3) volume changes

Boyle’s Law deals with number 3; the relationship between volume and pressure when the other two remain constant.

According to Boyle’s Law, the amount a gas will compress is proportional to the pressure applied. Its mathematical expression is:


Where, P1 is the pressure of a quantity of gas with a volume of V1 and P2 is the pressure of the same quantity of gas when it has a volume of V2. This means that if nothing else changes, the volume of a given mass of gas is inversely proportional to pressure it is under. It is a linear relationship. If pressure on a gas doubles, its volume will decrease by 1/2. An alternative expression of the law is:

Note by Nicole Ling
3 years, 1 month ago

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Just for laughs...

A New Element added to the Periodic Table... Name: Girl Symbol: Gl Atomic Weight: Don't even dare 2 ask!

Physical Properties: Boils at anytime, can freeze at anytime, melts if handled with love & care,, very bitter if Mishandled

Chemical Properties: Very Reactive, Highly Unstable, Possess strong affinity 4 Gold, Platinum, Diamond & Other precious Metals

Money reducing agent, Volatile when left alone.

Occurrence: Mostly found in front of mirror. Venture Hi · 3 years, 1 month ago

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@Venture Hi lol.... haha.. it's a nice joke :) Nicole Ling · 3 years, 1 month ago

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@Venture Hi Hahahahahahha!! Vishnuram Leonardodavinci · 3 years, 1 month ago

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Well, a different way of writing from my notes! Can I add it to the Chemistry Topics? Christopher Boo · 3 years, 1 month ago

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@Christopher Boo sure... :) Nicole Ling · 3 years, 1 month ago

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Very nice, I like it. ^^ Vishnuram Leonardodavinci · 3 years, 1 month ago

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Great post! ^__^ Marissa Chong · 3 years, 1 month ago

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