Why is PV nRT

The equation of state of ideal gases

Compact course in physics with virtual experiments and exercises pp 98-105 | Cite as

  • Harry Pfeifer
  • Herbert Schmiedel
  • Ralf Stannarius


We consider a large number of particles that are in a volume V in thermal equilibrium with the environment at temperature T should be located. The intrinsic volume of the particles is negligible and the range of forces between the particles is small compared to their mean distance (dilute gases). In order to exclude certain quantum effects, let the product of the mean momentum and the mean distance between the particles be large compared to the Planck constant, i.e. the de Broglie wavelength (see page 432) should be small compared to the mean distance between the particles. Then you can do the following Equation of state of the ideal gas (ideal gas law), where p the pressure (in Pa), V the volume (in m3), T the temperature (in K) and n the amount of substance (in mol) of the gas. R. is the general gas constant (molar gas constant) (R = 8, 314472 (15) Jmol−1K−1, [COD98]). For the unit K and the relationship with ° C see page 58. A system that satisfies Eq. (161) is called (classical) ideal gas (ideally gas).

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Copyright information

© B. G. Teubner Verlag / GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry Pfeifer
  • Herbert Schmiedel
  • Ralf Stannarius
  1. 1.Institute for Experimental Physics IUniversity LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  2. 2. Institute for Experimental PhysicsOtto-von-Guericke-University MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany