# Volume Change of Nitrogen Bubbles in Divers: The Bends Phenomenon

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In summary, deep-sea divers are at risk of experiencing nitrogen bubbles in their blood if they rise to the surface too quickly, known as the bends. To calculate the volume of an N2 bubble at the surface, we use the equation p1V1=p2V2 and assume a pressure difference of 3.23 atm at a depth of 23m and 1 atm at the surface. This results in a volume of 3.2 mm3, but it is possible that the surface tension effect should also be considered.
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## Homework Statement

If deep-sea divers rise to the surface too quickly, nitrogen bubbles in their blood can expand and prove fatal. This phenomenon is known as the bends. If a scuba diver rises quickly from a depth of 23m in Lake Michigan (which is fresh water), what will be the volume at the surface of an N2 bubble that occupied 1.0 mm3 in his blood at the lower depth?(Assume that the pressure difference is due only to the changing water pressure, not to any temperature difference, an assumption that is reasonable, since we are warm-blooded creatures.)
V= mm3

## Homework Equations

p1V1=p2V2
P=(density)(g)(h)+p
density of water= 1000 kg/m3

## The Attempt at a Solution

First, I found the pressure at 23m to be 3.23 atm
Then, I assumed that at the surface the pressure would be 1atm.
Finally using the pv=pv equation i found the V= 3.2mm3. However, this was incorrect. Am I doing this completely wrong?

Last edited:
I got the same answer as you. Who says 3.22 mm3 is incorrect? Check and see whether surface tension effect should be included.

## What is "The Bends"?

The Bends, also known as decompression sickness, is a condition that occurs when a person experiences a rapid decrease in pressure, causing nitrogen bubbles to form in their tissues and bloodstream. This can happen when a person ascends too quickly from deep water, such as scuba diving.

## What causes a volume change in "The Bends"?

The volume change in "The Bends" is caused by the release of dissolved gases, particularly nitrogen, from the body's tissues as the pressure decreases. This can lead to the formation of bubbles, which can cause various symptoms and potentially be life-threatening.

## What are the symptoms of "The Bends"?

The symptoms of "The Bends" can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but common symptoms include joint pain, fatigue, dizziness, numbness or tingling, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, symptoms can also include paralysis, confusion, and loss of consciousness.

## How is "The Bends" treated?

Treatment for "The Bends" typically involves re-pressurization in a hyperbaric chamber, which helps to reduce the size of the bubbles and alleviate symptoms. In some cases, supplemental oxygen may also be given to help with breathing and to speed up the elimination of nitrogen from the body.

## How can "The Bends" be prevented?

The best way to prevent "The Bends" is to follow proper diving protocols, such as ascending slowly and making decompression stops. It is also important to be physically fit and avoid diving if you are sick or have a respiratory infection. Additionally, staying well-hydrated and avoiding alcohol consumption before and during diving can help prevent "The Bends."

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