Universal Gas Constant
Any equation that relates the pressure, temperature, and specific volume of a substance is called an equation of state. The simplest and best-known equation of state for substances in the gas phase is the Ideal Gas equation of state. It was first stated by Émile Clapeyron in 1834 as a combination of the empirical Boyle’s law, Charles’ law and Avogadro’s Law. This equation predicts the p-v-T behavior of a gas quite accurately for dilute or low-pressure gases. In an ideal gas, molecules have no volume and do not interact. According to the ideal gas law, pressure varies linearly with temperature and quantity, and inversely with volume.
pV = nRT
- p is the absolute pressure of the gas
- n is the amount of substance
- T is the absolute temperature
- V is the volume
- R is the ideal, or universal, gas constant, equal to the product of the Boltzmann constant and the Avogadro constant,
In this equation the symbol R is a constant called the universal gas constant that has the same value for all gases—namely, R = 8.31 J/mol K.
The power of the ideal gas law is in its simplicity. When any two of the thermodynamic variables, p, v, and T are given, the third can easily be found. Many physical conditions of gases calculated by engineers fit the above description. Perhaps the most common use of gas behavior studied by engineers is that of the compression process and expansion process using ideal gas approximations.