An assembly diagram of the apparatus used to demonstrate the rela-tionship between pressure and temperature of gasses at a fixed volume.

A Simple Apparatus for Determining the Relationship between Pressure and Temperature of Gases

Neil L. Heckman, Elizabeth D. Tidwell


Nearly every high school and first-year college chemistry and physics course presents the topic of the gas laws.  However, there are very few experiments effectively demonstrate the relationship between pressure and temperature of gases with a fixed volume, often referred to as the Gay-Lussac Law.  This simple and cost effective apparatus is designed to allow students a hands-on experience when studying this concept.  The apparatus consists of a pressurized stainless steel sphere connected to a pressure gauge. Testing of the apparatus determined that sphere sizes greater than 5.1 cm had significantly less error than smaller sizes.  Sphere sizes between 6.4 and 11.4 cm had no statistical difference between them and had percent error values less than 4%.  This apparatus could be an effective means of providing a hands-on exercise to demonstrate the Gay-Lussac Law in an introductory chemistry course.   

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