The ideal gas law is the equation of state of a hypothetical ideal gas. It is a good approximation to the behaviour of many gases under many conditions, although it has several limitations. It was first stated by Émile Clapeyron in 1834 as a combination of Boyle's law and Charles's law. The ideal gas law is often introduced in its common form:
where P is the absolute pressure of the gas, V is the volume of the gas, n is the amount of substance of gas (measured in moles), T is the absolute temperature of the gas and R is the ideal, or universal, gas constant.
The early gas laws were developed at the end of the 18th century, when scientists began to realize that relationships between the pressure, volume and temperature of a sample of gas could be obtained which would hold for all gases. Gases behave in a similar way over a wide variety of conditions because to a good approximation they all have molecules which are widely spaced, and nowadays the equation of state for an ideal gas is derived from kinetic theory. The earlier gas laws are now considered as special cases of the ideal gas equation, with one or more of the variables held constant.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to physics:
Physics – natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.
In physics, fluid dynamics is a subdiscipline of fluid mechanics that deals with fluid flow—the natural science of fluids (liquids and gases) in motion. It has several subdisciplines itself, including aerodynamics (the study of air and other gases in motion) and hydrodynamics (the study of liquids in motion). Fluid dynamics has a wide range of applications, including calculating forces and moments on aircraft, determining the mass flow rate of petroleum through pipelines, predicting weather patterns, understanding nebulae in interstellar space and reportedly modelling fission weapon detonation. Some of its principles are even used in traffic engineering, where traffic is treated as a continuous fluid.
Fluid dynamics offers a systematic structure—which underlies these practical disciplines—that embraces empirical and semi-empirical laws derived from flow measurement and used to solve practical problems. The solution to a fluid dynamics problem typically involves calculating various properties of the fluid, such as velocity, pressure, density, and temperature, as functions of space and time.
An ideal gas is a theoretical gas composed of a set of randomly moving, non-interacting point particles. The ideal gas concept is useful because it obeys the ideal gas law, a simplified equation of state, and is amenable to analysis under statistical mechanics.
At normal conditions such as standard temperature and pressure, most real gases behave qualitatively like an ideal gas. Many gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, noble gases, and some heavier gases like carbon dioxide can be treated like ideal gases within reasonable tolerances. Generally, a gas behaves more like an ideal gas at higher temperature and lower pressure, as the work which is against intermolecular forces becomes less significant compared with the particles' kinetic energy, and the size of the molecules becomes less significant compared to the empty space between them.
Charles' law (also known as the law of volumes) is an experimental gas law which describes how gases tend to expand when heated. A modern statement of Charles' law is:
The volume of a given mass of an ideal gas is directly proportional to its temperature on the absolute temperature scale (in Kelvin) if pressure and the amount of gas remain constant; that is, the volume of the gas increases or decreases by the same factor as its temperature.