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describe the main characteristics of the kinetic theory

as applied to an ideal gas.


explain qualitatively,
the conditions for real gas to behave most like an
ideal gas
that gas deviates from ideality at high pressure
and low temperatures


state and use the general gas equation, pV = nRT, in

calculations such as finding the relative molecular

Longman A-Level Course in CHEMISTRY, 4th Edition, JGR Briggs


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The volume of a fixed mass of gas (fixed number of molecules) is inversely
proportional to the pressure, measured at constant temperature.
P 1/V
P1V1 = constant
P1V1 = P2V2
(at constant temperature)

The volume of a fixed mass of gas (fixed number of molecules) is directly
proportional to the absolute temperature, measured at constant pressure.
V = constant x T
V/T = constant
V1/T1 = V2/T2
(at constant pressure)

Equal volumes of any gases measured under the same conditions of
temperature and pressure contain equal numbers of molecules.
The volume of 1 mole of any gas (the molar volume) is therefore a constant at a
given temperature and pressure.

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The Ideal Gas Law is a combination of Boyle's Law, Charles' Law and
Avogadro's Law. It can be expressed by a single equation,

PV = nRT
P is pressure (in Pa or Nm-2),
V is volume (in m3),
n is the number of moles,
R is the gas constant, (value 8.3143 J K-1 mol-1) and
T is the absolute temperature ( in Kelvin).
Ideal Gas Law contains elements that allow you to solve for other quantities,
such as relative molecular mass or density.


To solve for relative molecular mass (Mr):

- start with the equation

-change moles to mass (m) divided by mol. mass (Mr)
PV= (m/Mr) x RT
Mr x PV = mRT

= mRT/PV . (Equation 1)

To solve for density:

-since density = m/V (grams/dm3).

substituting density(d) in place of mass per volume (m/V) in Equation 1,
Mr = dRT/P
To solve just for density, the equation would become:

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d = (Mr x P)/(R x T)
If a gas behaves exactly as predicted as the the ideal gas laws in terms of
volume, pressure, moles, and temperature, then the gas is said to be an ideal
If, on the other hand, the gas deviates from Ideal Gas behavior, then the gas is
said to be acting like a "real gas".
So far, we have been skirting the concept of an ideal gas.

What exactly is an ideal gas?

An ideal gas is one that exactly conforms to the kinetic theory. The kinetic
theory, as stated by Rudolf Clausius in 1857, has these assumptions.
These are:
1. Gases are made of molecules in constant, random movement.
2. The volume of all gas molecules, in comparison to the volume of the
vessel, is negligible.
3. The molecules show no forces of attraction.
4. No energy is lost in collision of molecules; the impacts are completely

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Non-Ideal Behavior
The Kinetic Theory makes several assumptions about an ideal gas. These cause
problems because real gases are not ideal. The main causes of error are related
to pressure and temperature.

At high pressures, the behavior of real gases changes dramatically from
that predicted by the Ideal Gas Law.
When many molecules are packed closely together, their volume and
forces of attraction becomes significant.

When the temperature of a gas is low or close to its boiling point, the
behavior is very different from Ideal Gas Law predictions.
At low temperatures or close to the boiling point, the molecules tend to
stick together when they collide with each other and are thus condensed
to a liquid.

In summary,
Ideal gases have molecular volume and show no attraction between molecules at
any distance; real gas molecules have volume and show attraction at short
distances. Let us first consider what pressure does. Pressure at high degrees will
bring the molecules very close together. This causes more collisions and also
allows the weak attractive forces to become significant. With low temperatures,
the molecules do not have enough energy to continue on their path to avoid that