Students investigate the properties of gasses using the gas laws and explore the application to aeronautics.
This lesson is adapted from the NASA Education Guide Pushing the Envelope: A NASA Guide to Engines. The activities used include the following: Gas Laws (pg 27-28); Gas Law Problems - Boyle's Law (pg 29-30); Gas Law Problems - Charles's Law (pg 31-32); Gas Law Problems - Gay Lussac's Law (pg 33-34); Air Density (pg 61-62).
This lesson was created as part of the 2016 NASA STEM Standards of Practice Project, a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.
In this video, Hank tells how the work of some amazing thinkers combined to produce the Ideal Gas Law, how none of those people were Robert Boyle, and how the ideal gas equation allows you to find out pressure, volume, temperature, or a number of moles.
We don't live in a perfect world, and neither do gases. It would be great if their particles always fulfilled the assumptions of the ideal gas law, and we could use PV=nRT to get the right answer every time. Unfortunately, the ideal gas law (like our culture) has unrealistic expectations when it comes to size and attraction. It assumes that particles do not have size at all and that they never attract each other. The ideal gas "law" often becomes little more than the ideal gas estimate when it comes to what gases do naturally. It's a close enough estimate in enough situations that it's very valuable to know. In this episode, Hank goes through a bunch of calculations according to the ideal gas law so you can get familiar with it.
In this video, Hank explains how the constants in the gas law aren't all that constant. The ideal gas law has to be corrected for volume because atoms and molecules take up space and for pressure because they're attracted to each other. Einstein was behind a lot more of what we know today than most people realize, but a Dutch scientist named Johannes van der Waals figured out those correction factors in the late 19th century and earned a Nobel Prize for his efforts.
In this video, we continue to spend quality time with gases, more deeply investigating some principles regarding pressure--including John Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures, vapor pressure - and demonstrating the method for collecting gas over water.
As with most things in chemistry (and also in life), how a gas moves is more complex than it at first appears. In this episode, Hank describes what it means when we talk about the velocity of a gas. To understand gas velocity, we have to know what factors affect it and how. Hank also teaches you about effusion, diffusion, and concentration gradients, before showing off a cool experiment that physically demonstrates the things you have just learned. Sound exciting enough for you? Let's get started.