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Ideal Gas Law question.

  1. Oct 21, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Is the ideal gas law, PV = mRT, only applicable to processes which are carried out isothermally? I mean, can it not be applied to a polytropic process, PVn = k.


    2. Relevant equations
    See above.


    3. The attempt at a solution
    N.A.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2013 #2

    DrClaude

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    No. It is an equation of state: it relates P, V, and T (assuming n fixed). It is valid everywhere (you can't have an ideal gas at pressure ##P_1## occupying volume ##V_1##, and measure temperature ##T_1##, and have the same amount of an ideal gas also at ##P_1## and ##V_1## and measure ##T_2 \neq T_1##).

    For a polytropic process, the equation only tells you what remains constant during the process. In the formulation ##PV^\gamma = \text{const.}##, then ##T## must change when ##P## and ##V## change, such that ##PV = nRT## is maintained.
     
  4. Oct 21, 2013 #3
    Got it. Thanks for that.
     
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