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Charles' Law Calculation

Chemistry Quick Review of Charles' Law Calculation

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Temperature and volume are directly proportional when mass and pressure of a gas are held constant.

Temperature and volume are directly proportional when mass and pressure of a gas are held constant.

NASA's Glenn Research Center
Charles' Law is a specific instance of the Ideal Gas Law in which volume and temperature are linearly proportional at constant pressure and mass. Here's how to solve a direct proportion problem using Charles' Law.

Remember volume V and temperature T are directly proportional to each other at constant pressure P and mass n. If you know that T changes by a factor z, then you can calculate Vfinal = z x Vinitial

For example, if the temperature of a 3.5 L sample of helium gas is increased from 300 K to 900 K, what is its new volume?

The temperature has increased by a factor of 3 (900/300) so:

Vfinal = z x Vinitial
Vfinal = 3 x 3.5 L
Vfinal = 10.5 L

Calculation Tip

Be sure the temperature is expressed in Kelvin. If you are given a temperature in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit, convert it to Kelvin before determining the factor z.

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