Assuming that pressure remains constant, the volume and absolute temperature of a certain quantity of a gas are directly proportional. Mathematically, this can be represented as:
Temperature = Constant x Volume
Volume = Constant x Temperature
Volume/Temperature = Constant
Substituting in variables, the formula is:
Because the formula is equal to a constant, it is possible to solve for a change in volume or temperature using a proportion: V/T = V1/T1
Explanation and Discussion:
Charles' Law describes the direct relationship of temperature and volume of a gas. Assuming that pressure does not change, a doubling in absolute temperature of a gas causes a doubling of the volume of that gas. A drop of absolute temperature sees a proportional drop in volume. The volume of a gas increases by 1/273 of its volume at 0°C for every degree Celsius that the temperature rises.
To explain why this happens, let's explore temperature and volume in terms of gases. Temperature is an average of molecular motion. This means that, while all of the gas molecules are moving around their container in different directions at different speeds, they will have an average amount of energy that is the temperature of the gas. The volume of the gas is the size of its container because the molecules will move in a straight line until they impact something (another molecule or the container). However, to move as they do, the molecules require kinetic energy, which is measured by temperature.
So, the volume and temperature are very closely related. If the temperature was not sufficient, the molecules would not be able to overcome the weak forces of attraction among them and would not be able to fill the container.
Charles' Law must be used with the Kelvin temperature scale. This scale is an absolute temperature scale. At 0 K, there is no kinetic energy (Absolute Zero). According to Charles' Law, there would also be no volume at that...
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