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What is Charles’ Law?

Chemistry | 7-14 yrs | Interactive

Charles’ Law of Ideal Gases

Charles’ Law of Ideal gases is named after Jacques Charles, who formulated the original law.

An ideal gas maybe defined as a theoretical gas composed of molecules on which no forces act, except upon collision with one another and with the walls of the container in which the gas is enclosed.

It is a gas which perfectly follows Boyle’s Law.

Charles’ Law is a special case of the ideal gas law. It states that the volume of a fixed mass of a gas is directly proportional to the temperature. This law applies to ideal gases held at a constant pressure, where only the volume and temperature are allowed to change.

What is the formula for Charles’ Law?

V/T = k,

where V is the volume of gas, T is the temperature of gas (measured in kelvins) and k is a constant.

According to this formula, at a fixed pressure, the volume of a gas is proportional, to the temperature of the gas. As the temperature increases, the volume of the gas also increases.

6 Facts about Charles’ Law

  1. Jacques Charles, who formulated Charles’ Law of Ideal Gases, is also the inventor of the first hydrogen gas balloon, which made its first flight in August, 1783.
  2. On heating up a fixed mass of gas, that is, increasing the temperature, the volume also increases. Similarly, on cooling, the volume of the gas decreases.
  3. Air conditioners and Fans function using Charles’ Law. Hot air rises up and cold air comes down. Fans function on revolving the air, where as air conditioners also give off a blast of cold air from compressed coolants.
  4. Breads and cakes also use Charles’ Law of Ideal Gases. Carbon dioxide trapped in fermented dough, expands on baking and causes fluffy breads and cakes.
  5. If you keep aerosol and deodrant spray cans in sunlight, they can burst. Compressed gases will expand when the temperature inside the cans increases.
  6. Steam engines and car combustion engines also work on the principle that gases expand as temperatures increase. Charles Law is used to apply mechanical movements in these engines.
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