1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Find n from PV^n=C

  1. Apr 11, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Question is to rearange the formula PV^n=C to find n

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Using logs i come up with n=(P2/P1).ln(V2/V1)

    I understand that this is a really easy question, im just having a mind block from all the studying ive been doing lately.

    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Welcome to PF!

    Hi Gorz! Welcome to PF! :smile:

    (try using the X2 and X2 tags just above the Reply box :wink:)
    uhhh? whatever are P1 P2 V1 and V2? and where did C go? :confused:
  4. Apr 11, 2009 #3


    Therefore P1V1n=P2V2n

    Rearrange and you can get (P1/P2)=(V2/V1)n

    Taking logs of this you get ln(P1/P2)=n.ln(V2/V1)

    Not sure if im right thus for, so cant continue.


  5. Apr 11, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    perhaps i'm misunderstanding the question :confused:
    … but the next step seems to be Vn = P/C, so ln … ? :smile:
  6. Apr 11, 2009 #5
    C, the constant is P2V2n

    So it needs to be rearranged so you have both sets of pressure and volume on each side as you are not given the constant as a value.

    Whats annoying is I done this problem about 3 weeks ago, but ive not had it back from the university yet to look at my working. I know im nearly there, im just making a small mistake somewhere.
  7. Apr 11, 2009 #6
    Correct me if im wrong.


    Giving n: [log(P1/P2)/log(V2/V1)]

    Putting in values gives 0.546.

    It should be 1<n<2

  8. Apr 11, 2009 #7
    I fear i might start losing some sleep over this.

  9. Apr 11, 2009 #8
    remember you need to work with SI units. bars must be converted into pascals.
    other than that, it looks okay to me so far. remember what you are doing. that relationship stems from the adiabatic process of an ideal gas where n = Cp/Cv.
  10. Apr 11, 2009 #9
    n is not = Cp/Cv in this case though, as that would yield the value for gamma, PV^gamma=C, which is already been used for a previous process earlier in the question.

    This process is Polytropic.

    Also on the note of converting to N/m2 (Pa), surely the ratio of P1/P2 will be exactly the same when I use bar in this instance.

    I think the problem with my value for n may lie in my previous working to find the pressure at the start of this process. :uhh:
  11. Apr 12, 2009 #10


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You're value of n is correct given the P1, P2, V1, and V2 you said earlier.

    Were the pressures and volumes given, or did you derive/find them somehow?

    Also you're correct, units don't matter since we are dealing with ratios.

    Finally, why do you say 1<n<2? I know that's true for an adiabatic process in an ideal gas, is that the case here?
  12. Apr 13, 2009 #11
    The value for P1 is derived, but I realised that a mistake in earlier working meant that was wrong.

    It is a polytropic process, hence 1<n<2

    Cheers for the help guys.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook