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Homework Help: Virial expansion of van der Waals equation

  1. Sep 13, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Express the van der Waals equation of state as a virial expansion in powers of 1/Vm and obtain expressions for B and C in terms of the parameters a and b. The expansion you will need is

    (1-x)-1 = 1 + x + x2 + ...

    Measurements on argon gave B = -2.17 cm3 mol-1 and C = 1200 cm6 mol-2 for the virial coefficients at 273 K. What are the values of a and b in the corresponding van der Waals equation of state?

    2. Relevant equations
    van der Waals equation: p = nRT/(V-nb) - a(n/V)2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Not sure how to approach this...

    Thanks! This pset is due tomorrow morning so please help! :(
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2009 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    [tex]V-nb = V(1-\frac{nb}{V})[/tex]

    and now you can treat (1-nb/V) as (1-x).

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