Integrated SequencePhysics Chemistry Organic Biology

Web Resources

Chem1 Virtual Textbook - Real Gases
Great discussion of real gases and the Van der Waals equation of state. Some of the discussion of supercritical fluids may be a bit advanced, but it is well worth the attention.

Purdue University - Deviations from Ideal Gas Law Behavior
Comprehensive presenation of the Van der Waals equation. For the MCAT, pay close attention to the conceptual side to this topic. Quantitative problem solving with the Van der Waals equation is not a traditional emphasis on the MCAT.



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Special points of emphasis

Intermolecular Forces

The Ideal Gas and Kinetic Theory

The States of Matter

Real gas behavior differs from ideal gas behavior primarily for two reasons, the volume of the particles in themselves and their intermolecular forces.

In a real gas, the molecules occupy a minimum volume beyond which the gas cannot be further compressed. This volume is different than the volume corresponding the thermodynamic state of the gas.

Furthermore, real molecules exhibit intermolecular force, which becomes especially significant the more time the molecules spend close together. The greater the opportunity for intermolecular force to play a part in determining the behavior of the system, the greater the deviation of the behavior of the gas from the ideal gas model. For this reason, gases deviate from ideal gas behavior at low temperature and volume.








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