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.

  click if a link is broken

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.

The WikiPremed MCAT Course is a free comprehensive course in the undergraduate level general sciences. Undergraduate level physics, chemistry, organic chemistry and biology are presented by this course as a unified whole within a spiraling curriculum.

Please read our policies on privacy and shipping & returns.  Contact Us.
MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges, which does not endorse the WikiPremed Course.

Creative Commons License
The work of WikiPremed is published under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License. There are elements of work here, such as a subset of the images in the archive from WikiPedia, that originated as GNU General Public License works, so take care to follow the unique stipulations of that license in printed reproductions. You can use the resources here for commercial or non-commercial purposes, but please give attribution and a link to the production credits and edit history of the resource. For the works here which began as my individual work, please attribute "John Wetzel, an author at".