I haven’t heard this for a while.
This was one of the things compulsory for engineers namely chemical engineers or process engineer or even environmental engineers.
I learned this during my first year in university.
It’s a funny law actually. Well I do find it funny because it doesn’t exist.
I will try to explain, but not too much because it will bore you.
I am giving you an example. Just try to imagine.
Most metals that we use is not found as it is now. Almost all of it was combined with another element as it cannot exist by its own. So to get pure iron, it has to go through a lot of processes.
Imagine a factory. It’s big and huge and it’s red. It’s my factory and I dictate the color. O.K? This factory processes limestone. They got it from a small hill somewhere, took it and try to isolate the elements in limestone. While trying to isolate it, they will use certain chemical process and this chemical process will release a certain gas when reacted with the limestone. In this case, it’s carbon dioxide.
The derivatives are one of the components of common cement.
If you don’t like limestone, you can try iron-ore. Same thing. End product is iron and carbon monoxide.
So your boss will tell you that today the factory will process 500 tonnes of limestone at a certain temperature using a certain process, can you, the environment officer of the vicinity estimate how many tonnes of carbon dioxide that would be released by it?
No, you don’t say fuck you man, do it yourself.
You say yes boss, and told him your equation and smiled because you know you boss is not very smart.
So this is how the Ideal Gas Law comes into action.
There would be a formula involved and all you need is to put the numbers in and out comes the answer.
Interesting part is how you solve the problem in university.
You have to include in the answer that you are using the Ideal Gas Law and you must put your assumptions. Without assumptions, you aren’t getting anything right. I mean you won’t be awarded any marks.
There are 6 assumptions.
1. The molecules in the gas can be considered small hard spheres.
2. All collisions between gas molecules are elastic and all motion is frictionless (no energy is lost in collisions or in motion).
3. Newton’s laws apply.
4. The distance between molecules on average is much larger than the size of the molecules.
5. The gas molecules are constantly moving in random directions with a distribution of speeds.
6. There are no attractive or repulsive forces between the molecules or the surroundings.
No need to crack your head. I am just demonstrating a weird calculation based on assumption. I find this a lot when I was studying and I don’t fancy assuming really.
Do you know why we have to assume all these in order to calculate the gas? Because Ideal Gas doesn’t exist. You assume it exists.
The why do you do it anyway? Because somebody has to.
It’s like an Ideal Man. It’s in the same category. You get married based on assumptions:
1) He doesn’t lie to you. Ever.
2) He makes you happy and you will never cry again
3) He is the perfect husband, father and friend
4) His Mother will love you like a daughter she never had
5) Your life is perfect because you found your Soul Mate
6) He never leaves the toilet seat up.
As The Law proves it, he doesn’t exist.
Good luck in assuming.