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Charles’s Law and Absolute Zero: How Low Can You Go?—ChemTopic™ Lab Activity

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Charles’s law describes the relationship between the temperature of a gas and its volume. The temperature of a gas measures the average kinetic energy of the gas particles; when heated, gas particle average kinetic energy increases and when cooled, it decreases. With the Charles’s Law and Absolute Zero: How Low Can You Go?—ChemTopic™ Lab Activity, carry out a modern version of Charles’s classic experiments using gases trapped inside sealed syringes placed in water baths of various temperatures. Test whether Charles’s law is valid for different gases, and graph the data and extrapolate backward to estimate the temperature necessary for the volume of the gas to reach absolute zero.

Concepts

  • Temperature
  • Absolute Zero
  • Charles’s Law
  • Kinetic-Molecular Theory