confused

Discussion in 'MCAT: Medical College Admissions Test' started by ssh18, Mar 5, 2007.

1. ssh18 Member 5+ Year Member

Joined:
Mar 27, 2006
Messages:
104
0
Status:
Pre-Medical
I'm a bit confused...for G.Chem (gases) it says that gases expand when heated and contract when cooled, which makes sense b/c as T increases so does V at constant pressure.
However, then in the thermodynamics section where it talks about E=q+w, it also says that as gases expand they cool and that compressing gases warm up. I'm really confused about this..can someone help me out..thanks!!

2. Schaden Freud MiSanthrope II 2+ Year Member

Joined:
Apr 23, 2006
Messages:
1,313
6
Status:
Medical Student
Here are the different ways of compressing (or expanding) a gas:
In an isothermal process, temperature doesn't change, since as V goes down, P goes up by the same amount, and vice versa. Final PV thus equals initial PV.
In an isobaric process, pressure doesn't change. Thus, as volume goes down, PV goes down, and temperature goes down, and vice versa. (This is your Gen Chem example)
In an adiabatic process, both pressure and volume change (by different amounts). The temperature thus also changes (goes up in a compression, down in expansion). (This is your thermodynamics example)

Gases can also undergo an isometric process, where volume is forced to remain constant. Raising temp will therefore necessarily raise pressure in this case. This isn't an expansion/compression though.

3. booji Member 7+ Year Member

Joined:
Jun 23, 2005
Messages:
111
0
Nice summary!

4. EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious????? Physician 15+ Year Member

Joined:
Oct 16, 2003
Messages:
2,415
226
Status:
Attending Physician
Remember that in a gas, the molecules are very far apart and they rarely bang into each other and they are travelling very quickly so they have a lot of kinetic energy. As you compress the gas, the atoms and molecules will bang into each other more and more often. This is an elastic collision with energy being transferred from one atom to the next. But at the same time, some heat is lost during these collisions.

As you keep on compressing the gas, the rate of collisions increases significantly, which means there is a lot more heat lost during those collisions. There are also more collisions against the walls of the container, which is why the pressure increases as the container volume decreases.

This is why as you compress a gas, more heat is generated. The opposite is true. As you decompress a gas, you get less collisions, less heat generated from those collisions, and therefor the gas cools.

Remember P1V1/T1=P2V2/T2

As volume goes down, temperature goes up and as volume goes up, temperature goes down.

Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

We’ve been on the Internet for over 20 years doing just one thing: providing career information for free or at cost. We do this because we believe that the health education process is too expensive and too competitive.

We believe that all students deserve the same access to high quality information. We believe that providing high quality career advice and information ensures that everyone, regardless of income or privilege, has a chance to achieve their dream of being a doctor.

SDN is published by CRG, a nonprofit educational organization. We’re dedicated to our mission to help you.
• Donate

Donate today!

The volunteer teams works very hard to make sure the community is a valuable resource for all our fellow members. Consider donating today!

We reinvest our revenues into site improvements and development of new resources for the student doctor academic community.