Boyle's law (also called Mariotte's law and the Boyle-Mariotte law) is a law about ideal gases.
The law can be stated as follows:
In symbols, the law is:
For a given mass of gas at a constant temperature, the product of the pressure and the volume is constant. As the volume decreases, the pressure increases in proportion, and vice versa. For example, when the pressure halves, the volume doubles.
Suppose you have a tank that contains a certain volume of gas at a certain pressure. When you decrease the volume of the tank, the same number of gas particles is now contained in a smaller space. Therefore, the number of collisions increases. Therefore, the pressure is greater.
Imagine you have a gas at a certain pressure (P1) and volume (V1). If you change the pressure to a new value (P2), the volume changes to a new value (V2). We can use Boyle's law to describe both sets of conditions:
The constant, k, is the same in both cases, so we can say the following:
Example: The pressure of a gas is 3 atm and the volume is 5 litres. If the pressure is reduced to 2 atm, what is the volume?
∴ The volume will be 7.5 litres.
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