MCAT Physical : Gas Laws

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for MCAT Physical

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Gas Laws

15L of a gas is held at constant pressure as the temperature increases from 300K to 350K. What is the new volume?

Possible Answers:

The volume does not change

12.5L

10L

17.5L

Correct answer:

17.5L

Explanation:

Charles's Law states that . To solve for the final volume, we simply plug in our given values to this equation.

This law applies only for isobaric (constant pressure) changes.

Example Question #3 : Gases

8 liters of an ideal gas is in an isolated container at 30 degrees Celsius. The container is heated at constant pressure until its volume is doubled. What is the new temperature of the gas?

Possible Answers:

60oC

333oC

124oC

150oC

220oC

Correct answer:

333oC

Explanation:

At constant pressure, \frac{V_{1}}{T_{1}}=\frac{V_{2}}{T_{2}}, where the temperatures are measured in Kelvin (absolute temperature).

First, convert the given temperature (C) to Kelvin (K).

K = C + 273 = 30 + 273 = 303K

Plug the temperature and volumes into the above equation and solve for the final temperature.

\frac{8 liters}{303 K}=\frac{16 liters}{T_{2}}

T_{2} = 606 K

Convert this value back to Celsius.

C = K - 273 = 606 - 273 = 333oC

Example Question #4 : Gases

Five moles of nitrogen gas are present in a 10L container at 30oC. What is the pressure of the container?

Possible Answers:

10.5atm

17.2atm

12.4atm

5atm

9atm

Correct answer:

12.4atm

Explanation:

Using the ideal gas law equation we can find that P= nRT/V. We then plug in the given values.

Solving for P gives us 12.4atm.

Note: 30oC must be converted into Kelvin by adding 273K

Example Question #4 : Gas Laws

If one mole of oxygen gas occupies a 5L container at 300K, what is the pressure in the container? 

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Using the ideal gas law, , we can solve for pressure.

Example Question #2 : Gas Laws

Recall that the ideal gas law states that , where   .

If there are 5g of hydrogen gas in a 10L chamber at 32°C, what would be the pressure?

Possible Answers:

6.25atm

12.5atm

3.15atm

1.3atm

Correct answer:

6.25atm

Explanation:

Using the equation  and solving for P you get, .

Recall that hydrogen forms a diatomic molecule when in gas form. This should always be an assumption when working with hydrogen gas on the MCAT. When we convert 5g to moles, we must use a conversion factor of 2g/mol.

Temperature must be converted to Kelvin. You must have this conversion memorized for the MCAT.

Now we can solve for P.

Example Question #41 : Fluids And Gases

A certain gas is initially at a pressure of 2atm in a volume of 5L. It then experiences a decrease in volume to 2L, and is held at a constant temperature throughout the process. What is the new pressure?

Possible Answers:

4atm

2atm

5atm

3atm

Correct answer:

5atm

Explanation:

Since this is an isothermal change (constant temperature), this falls under Boyle's law.

Taking this equation and solving for the new pressure (P2) we come up with 5atm.

Example Question #6 : Gases

A balloon filled with one mole of an ideal gas is leaking molecules at a constant rate of.

After 75 hours, the pressure is half of the initial pressure. What is the new volume in terms of the initial volume, ?

Assume temperature remains constant.

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

We can use the given values to determine how many moles of the gas have leaked out after 75 hours.

We now know that the balloon started with one mole, and that 0.75 moles have leaked. This means that 0.25 moles remain in the balloon. We now have our initial and final mole values and pressure values. We can rearrange the ideal gas law to isolate the variables we need, assuming that the temperature is constant.

Using our proportions, we can try to solve for the final volume. For simplicity, assume the initial pressure is 1 and the final pressure is 0.5.

Example Question #7 : Gases

How many moles of oxygen gas are in a  sample that is at a temperature of  and a pressure of ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

First, each value must be converted to the correct units given for the gas constant.

Next, use the ideal gas law to solve for moles.



 

Example Question #1 : Gas Laws

Regarding the following sets of conditions, which answer option gives the correct listing of systemic pressures from greatest to least?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

This question asks for you to look at a set of conditions for gases, and determine relative pressures. The best equation to use for quick calculation and relation is the ideal gas law, given by:

Rearranging this, and removing the constant (since it will not affect relative pressure), we can generate a proportionality of pressure to the other variables.

We can use this proportionality with each option to determine their rankings by pressure.

Example Question #2 : Gas Laws

How many grams of ammonia gas are in a  sample at  and ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

First, convert temperature to Kelvin.

Next, use the ideal gas law to solve for moles.  

Finally, convert moles of ammonia to grams using molar mass.

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