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Kinetic Molecular Theory

Pressure-Temperature Relation


How does the pressure of a gas depend upon the temperature of the gas?

For a fixed amount of gas at a constant volume, the ideal gas law states that the quantity volume (V) is directly proportional to the temperature (T). Does the Kinetic Molecular Theory correctly predict this behavior?

Start the simulation shown below. The pressure-temperature data is plotted on the graphs at the lower right.

Slowly drag the liquid in the thermometer to change the temperature of the system. (This is admittedly a rather fanciful way to change the temperature of the system.) The new pressure-temperature data will be automatically plotted.


1. Does the system obey the ideal gas law? (That is, is the pressure directly proportional to the absolute temperature?)

2. What property of the gas causes the change in pressure when the temperature is changed?

Bear in mind that the volume of the system is held constant. The mass of each particle is also fixed. Carefully examine the behavior of the particles at a low temperature and at a high temperature. What properties of the gas do change with a change in temperature?

Pressure-Volume Relation                     Diffusion

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