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Beginner's Guide to Rockets
Charles and Gay Lussac's Law

If so instructed by your teacher, print out a worksheet page for these problems.

After reading the Web page Charles and Gay-Lussac's Law and using the Animated Gas Lab, complete the activity to answer questions.

Additional Materials needed per group of 4 students:

2 empty small plastic soft drink containers of the same size, 2 eight inch balloons, hot plate and pan or beaker of boiling water, ring stand and clamp to hold container in water.

Click on Animated Gas Lab. On the left, under "Freeze One Variable," click on Mass. After mass is frozen, click on Pressure so that it is also frozen. Next, click on the green area "Effect of changing volume on temperature." Answer the questions shown below:

 1. Which variable is plotted on the graph's vertical axis?

2. Which variable is plotted on the graph's horizontal axis?

3. Locate the pressure gauge. You may need to scroll down. What is the pressure in kilopascals?

4. The red plunger is used to exert pressure on the gas molecules in which colored area?

5. Complete the table below as you watch the animated gas lab.


6. What do you predict the temperature will be when the volume becomes 5.5?

7. Sketch the completed temperature-volume graph.

8. Click on "Effect of changing temperature on volume." Describe what is used to increase the temperature.

9. Sketch the completed volume-temperature graph.

10. Write the formula equation for Charles and Gay-Lussac's Law.

11. Write the equation for Charles and Gay-Lussac's Law in words. 

12. In the animated gas lab, the units of temperature are _________________. (Click on Charles and Gay-Lussac's Law if you need help.)

13. What are the units of volume used in this lab?

14. Predict what the volume in this lab would be if the temperature were 525 K.

15. Predict what the volume in this lab would be if the temperature were 275 K.

16. State Charles and Gay-Lussac's Law in your own words.

17. Blow up two balloons to the same size, about 6 inches in diameter. Place the opening of one balloon over the opening of each plastic bottle. Make sure the air doesn't leak out and that both balloons still have the same volume. Leave one bottle on the table and place the other in the hot water bath. Use the clamp to hold the bottle in position, so that it does not float. Describe what happens to the balloons.

18. How does your experience with the balloons compare to the animated gas lab?

Related Sites:
Teaching Standards
Rocket Index
Rocket Home
Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Home


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: June 12, 2014

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