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Chemistry LibreTexts

1: Gases

  • Page ID
    152837
    • 1.1: The Measure of Matter
      The natural sciences begin with observation and this usually involves numerical measurements of quantities. Most of these quantities have units of some kind associated with them, and these units must be retained when you use them in calculations. All measuring units can be defined in terms of a very small number of fundamental ones that, through "dimensional analysis", provide insight into their derivation and meaning, and must be understood when converting between different unit systems.
    • 1.2: The Meaning of Measure
      In science, there are numbers and there are "numbers".  What we ordinarily think of as a "number" and will refer to here as a pure number is just that: an expression of a precise value.  The other kind of numeric quantity that we encounter in the natural sciences is a measured value of something– the length or weight of an object, the volume of a fluid, or perhaps the reading on an instrument. Although we express these values numerically, it would be a mistake to regard them as pure numbers.
    • 1.3: Units and Dimensions
      The natural sciences begin with observation, and this usually involves numerical measurements of quantities such as length, volume, density, and temperature. Most of these quantities have units of some kind associated with them, and these units must be retained when you use them in calculations. All measuring units can be defined in terms of a very small number of fundamental ones that, through "dimensional analysis", provide insight into their derivation and meaning.
    • 1.4: Avogadro's Number and the Mole
      The chemical changes we observe always involve discrete numbers of atoms that rearrange themselves into new configurations. These numbers are far too large in magnitude for us to count , but they are still numbers, and we need to have a way to deal with them. We also need a bridge between these numbers, which we are unable to measure directly, and the weights of substances, which we do measure and observe. The mole concept provides this bridge, and is key to all of quantitative chemistry.
    • 1.5: Observable Properties of Gas
      The invention of the sensitive balance in the early seventeenth century showed once and for all that gases have weight and are therefore matter. Guericke's invention of air pump (which led directly to his discovery of the vacuum) launched the “pneumatic era" of chemistry long before the existence of atoms and molecules had been accepted. Indeed, the behavior of gases was soon to prove an invaluable tool in the development of the atomic theory of matter.
    • 1.6: Ideal Gas Model: The Basic Gas Laws
      The "pneumatic" era of chemistry began with the discovery of the vacuum around 1650 which clearly established that gases are a form of matter. The ease with which gases could be studied soon led to the discovery of numerous empirical (experimentally-discovered) laws that proved fundamental to the later development of chemistry and led indirectly to the atomic view of matter. These laws are so fundamental to all of natural sciences that everyone learning these subjects needs to be familiar with t
    • 1.7: Dalton's Law
      Although all gases closely follow the ideal gas law PV = nRT under appropriate conditions, each gas is also a unique chemical substance consisting of molecular units that have definite masses. In this lesson we will see how these molecular masses affect the properties of gases that conform to the ideal gas law. Following this, we will look at gases that contain more than one kind of molecule— in other words, mixtures of gases. We begin with a review of molar volume and the E.V.E.N. principle.
    • 1.8: Kinetic Molecular Theory (Overview)
      The kinetic molecular theory of gases relates macroscopic properties to the behavior of the individual molecules, which are described by the microscopic properties of matter. This theory applies strictly only to a hypothetical substance known as an ideal gas; we will see, however, that under many conditions it describes the behavior of real gases at ordinary temperatures and pressures quite accurately, and serves as the starting point for dealing with more complicated states of matter.
    • 1.9: More on Kinetic Molecular Theory
      In this section, we look in more detail at some aspects of the kinetic-molecular model and how it relates to our empirical knowledge of gases. For most students, this will be the first application of algebra to the development of a chemical model; this should be educational in itself, and may help bring that subject back to life for you! As before, your emphasis should on understanding these models and the ideas behind them, there is no need to memorize any of the formulas.
    • 1.10: Vaporization and Vapor Pressure
      Because the molecules of a liquid are in constant motion and possess a wide range of kinetic energies, at any moment some fraction of them has enough energy to escape from the surface of the liquid to enter the gas or vapor phase. This process, called vaporization or evaporation, generates a vapor pressure above the liquid. Molecules in the gas phase can collide with the liquid surface and reenter the liquid via condensation. Eventually, a steady state or dynamic equilibrium is reached.
    • 1.11: Real Gases and Critical Phenomena
      When the temperature is reduced, or the pressure is raised in a gas, the ideal gas begins to break down, and its properties become unpredictable; eventually the gas condenses into a liquid.  It is vital for appreciating the limitations of the scientific model that constitutes the "ideal gas".