The MCAT loves Graham's Law. To understand Graham's Law, make sure you have a good conceptual picture of the particle point of view within the ideal gas system. Graham demonstrated that at the same temperature the rates of effusion of two gases (gas A and gas B) are inversely proportional to the square roots of their molecular weights. The kinetic theory picture is necessary to understand why this should be so.
Through kinetic theory we understand that at the same temperature, the average kinetic energy per particle of two ideal gases is the same. The equivalence of the average kinetic energy per particle of the two gases leads to the Graham's Law relationship of effusion rates because the rate of effusion is directly proportional to molecular speed. If the average kinetic energy per particle of the two gases is the same, then the ratio of the average speed of particle A to the average speed of particle B (how many times faster is particle A than B) will be the ratio of the square root of the mass of particle B to the square root of the mass of particle A. For two gases at the same temperature, if one is four times heavier, it will have an effusion rate one half as great.
Through kinetic theory we understand that at the same temperature, the average kinetic energy per particle of two ideal gases is the same. The equivalence of the average kinetic energy per particle of the two gases leads to the Graham's Law relationship of effusion rates because the rate of effusion is directly proportional to molecular speed. If the average kinetic energy per particle of the two gases is the same, then the ratio of the average speed of particle A to the average speed of particle B (how many times faster is particle A than B) will be the ratio of the square root of the mass of particle B to the square root of the mass of particle A. For two gases at the same temperature, if one is four times heavier, it will have an effusion rate one half as great.
The WikiPremed MCAT Course is a 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. WikiPremed offers the customers of our publications or our teaching services no guarantees regarding eventual performance on the MCAT.
WikiPremed is a trademark of Wisebridge Learning Systems LLC. The work of WikiPremed is published under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 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. |