Activities

Gas Laws

Explore the interrelationships of pressure, temperature, and volume with atomic models of Boyle's Law, Charles's Law, Gay-Lussac's Law, and Avogadro's Law.

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Requirements

This activity requires the Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart. You can download it at java.com.

In this activity, students study gas laws at a molecular level. They vary the volume of a container at constant temperature to see how pressure changes (Boyle’s Law), change the temperature of a container at constant pressure to see how the volume changes with temperature (Charles’s Law), and experiment with heating a gas in a closed container to discover how pressure changes with temperature (Gay Lussac's Law). They also discover the relationship between the number of gas molecules and gas volume (Avogadro’s Law). Finally, students use their knowledge of gas laws to model a heated soda can collapsing as it is plunged into ice water.

» Teacher Guide

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Subject
Chemistry

Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation

Grade Level
High School

License
LGPL License

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

1. The Nature of Science

1A. The Scientific Worldview
  • 1A/H3d*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that in matters that can be investigated in a scientific way, evidence for the value of a scientific approach is given by the improving ability of scientists to offer reliable explanations and make accurate predictions.

2. The Nature of Mathematics

2B. Mathematics, Science, and Technology
  • 2B/H3*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that mathematics provides a precise language to describe objects and events and the relationships among them. In addition, mathematics provides tools for solving problems, analyzing data, and making logical arguments.
2C. Mathematical Inquiry
  • 2C/H3** (SFAA). By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that to be able to use and interpret mathematics well, it is necessary to be concerned with more than the mathematical validity of abstract operations and to take into account how well they correspond to the properties of the things represented.

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 4D/M3ab. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that atoms and molecules are perpetually in motion. Increased temperature means greater average energy of motion, so most substances expand when heated.
  • 4D/H9a. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that the rate of reactions among atoms and molecules depends on how often they encounter one another, which is affected by the concentration, pressure, and temperature of the reacting materials.
4E. Energy Transformations
  • 4E/H2*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that in any system of atoms or molecules, the statistical odds are that the atoms or molecules will end up with less order than they originally had and that the thermal energy will be spread out more evenly. The amount of order in a system may stay the same or increase, but only if the surrounding environment becomes even less ordered. The total amount of order in the universe always tends to decrease.
  • 4E/H4*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that chemical energy is associated with the configuration of atoms in molecules that make up a substance. Some changes of configuration require a net input of energy whereas others cause a net release.
  • 4E/H7** (BSL). By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that thermal energy in a system is associated with the disordered motions of its atoms or molecules. Gravitational energy is associated with the separation of mutually attracting masses. Electrical potential energy is associated with the separation of mutually attracting or repelling charges.

9. The Mathematical World

9B. Symbolic Relationships
  • 9B/H1b. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that sometimes the rate of change of something depends on how much there is of something else (as the rate of change of speed is proportional to the amount of force acting).
  • 9B/H4. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that tables, graphs, and symbols are alternative ways of representing data and relationships that can be translated from one to another.
  • 9B/H5. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that when a relationship is represented in symbols, numbers can be substituted for all but one of the symbols and the possible value of the remaining symbol computed. Sometimes the relationship may be satisfied by one value, sometimes by more than one, and sometimes not at all.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 11B/M1*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
  • 11B/M2. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that mathematical models can be displayed on a computer and then modified to see what happens.
  • 11B/H2*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that computers have greatly improved the power and use of mathematical models by performing computations that are very long, very complicated, or repetitive. Therefore, computers can reveal the consequences of applying complex rules or of changing the rules. The graphic capabilities of computers make them useful in the design and simulated testing of devices and structures and in the simulation of complicated processes.

12. Habits of Mind

12B. Computation and Estimation
  • 12B/H1*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should be able to: Use appropriate ratios and proportions, including constant rates, when needed to make calculations for solving real-world problems.
  • 12B/H2*. By the end of the 12th grade, students should be able to find answers to real-world problems by substituting numerical values in simple algebraic formulas and check the answer by reviewing the steps of the calculation and by judging whether the answer is reasonable.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="stem-resources/gas-laws">The Concord Consortium. Gas Laws. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2012, September 14.</a>

AIP
Gas Laws (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2012, September 14), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/gas-laws).

AJP
Gas Laws (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2012, September 14), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/gas-laws).

APA
Gas Laws. (2012, September 14). Retrieved 2014, December 20, from The Concord Consortium: http://concord.org/stem-resources/gas-laws

Disclaimer: The Concord Consortium offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure.

Requirements

This activity requires the Java Runtime Environment version 5 (sometimes referred to as 1.5) or later with Java Webstart. You can download it at java.com.

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Science of Atoms and MoleculesThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's Science of Atoms and Molecules project.

Grade Level
High School
Subject
Chemistry
Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation
Rating
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