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Boyle's Law

Calculating volume-pressure relationships

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Under Pressure

Credit: Sean Michael Ragan
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

A Syringe [Figure1]

Boyle's Law

Boyle’s Law states that pressure and volume are inversely related. This can be seen clearly in the video below, where a balloon is placed inside an enclosed area. The pressure of this area can be changed with a vacuum. You can see when the pressure is increased, the volume decreases, and when the pressure is decreased, the volume increases. For this to work, the system must be at a constant temperature.

Start at :33.

Experimenting with a balloon may be interesting, but it doesn’t have much of a practical use. A real world example of Boyle's Law in action is a syringe. In a syringe, when the tube area gets larger, the pressure inside the tube gets smaller. Now that the space outside the syringe has a higher pressure, the blood flows in to compensate.

Creative Applications

1. What part of the syringe is like the balloon?

2. What part of the syringe is like the pressure changer?

3. Would a syringe work in different temperatures?

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Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Sean Michael Ragan; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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