Solving Gas Law Problems

The two operations you will most often use are multiplying both sides of an equation by some quantity and dividing both sides of an equation by some quantity in order to solve it.

At times you may also need to add or subtract quantities from both sides of an equation.

Before substituting in the values of n, T, and P, we must change the units of temperature to Kelvins.

P and n are already in the right units: atmospheres and moles, respectively.

You know to divide both sides by P because you want to isolate V on one side of the equation (solve for V).

Dividing through by P will cancel P on the left, leaving V by itself.

The Ideal Gas Law can easily be reduced to Charles’, Boyle’s, or Avogadro’s Law.

For example, suppose that n and T are held constant.

In it, you will measure n, T, P, and V for a sample of hydrogen gas, then use these values to compute the value of the gas constant, R.

The actual value of R will depend on the units that you use for P and V (n is always in moles and T in Kelvins).

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