Case Study:    Analysis of Linear Equations: pV = nRT

Produced by Graham Currell, University of the West of England, Bristol and David Read, University of Southampton, in association with:
Royal Society of Chemistry, 'Discover Maths for Chemists' website
, and

Essential Mathematics and Statistics for Science, 2nd Edition
   Graham Currell and Antony Dowman, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009

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This is a draft version of a new Study Guide - any comments, corrections or suggestions welcome - graham.currell@uwe.ac.uk

 

This study unit aims to develop the skills for handling linear equations in science and uses the ideal gas equation, pV = nRT, as the scientific context for developing these skills.

This is achieved by a series of video tips and associated QVAs - questions with video worked answers.

 

Introduction
Except at high pressures and low temperatures, the behaviour of most gases can be described by the ‘ideal gas’ equation:

        pV = nRT

 where

        p = pressure, in Pascals, Pa (1 Pa = 1 N m-2); V = volume, in m3; n = quantity, in numbers of moles, mol.

        R = gas constant which has a value: 8.314 J mol K-1; T = absolute temperature, in degrees Kelvin, K.
 

Calculations based on the analysis of the ideal gas equation, pV = nRT, using Excel are also developed in:

    Study Guide: Analysis of Experimental Error/Uncertainty using Excel.

 

1. Rearrangement of equation:  

QVAs - questions + video answers

Video Tip: SIX rules for rearranging equations.

Additional help: Study Guide: Rearranging equations.

 

2. Substitution of values:

QVAs - questions + video answers

Video Tip: Using the rules of BODMAS

Additional help: Self-assessment for BODMAS

Video Tip: Using 'powers of ten' for scientific (standard) notation in a calculator and Excel

 

3. Changing units:

QVAs - questions + video answers

Additional help: Study Guide: Units of Measurement in Science.

 

4. Analysis of a straight line:

QVAs - questions + video answers

Additional help: Study Guide: Analysis of Experimental Error/Uncertainty using Excel.

Additional help: Chapter 4, "Essential Mathematics and Statistics for Science"

 

5. Uncertainty in replicate measurements: 

QVAs - questions + video answers

Additional help: Study Guide: Analysis of Experimental Error/Uncertainty using Excel.

Additional help: Sections 8.2, 8.3, "Essential Mathematics and Statistics for Science"

 


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