Education Technology

Vernier - Boyle's law

Published on 02/01/2006

Activity Overview

The primary objective of this experiment is to determine the relationship between the pressure and volume of a confined gas. The gas we use will be air, and it will be confined in a syringe connected to a Pressure Sensor (see Figure 1). When the volume of the syringe is changed by moving the piston, a change occurs in the pressure exerted by the confined gas. This pressure change will be monitored using a Pressure Sensor. It is assumed that temperature will be constant throughout the experiment. Pressure and volume data pairs will be collected during this experiment and then analyzed. From the data and graph, you should be able to determine what kind of mathematical relationship exists between the pressure and volume of the confined gas. Historically, this relationship was first established by Robert Boyle in 1662 and has since been known as Boyle’s law.

Before the Activity

  • Prepare the Pressure Sensor and an air sample for data collection

  • Set up EasyData for data collection

  • You are now ready to collect pressure and volume data. It is best for one person to take care of the gas syringe and for another to operate the calculator

  • Examine the data pairs on the displayed graph. As you move the cursor right or left, the volume (X) and pressure (Y) values of each data point are displayed above the graph. Record the pressure (round to the nearest 0.1 kPa) and volume data values in your data table.

  • Based on the graph of pressure vs. volume, decide what kind of mathematical relationship exists between these two variables, direct or inverse.

  • (optional) Print a graph of pressure vs. volume, with a regression line displayed.

  • (optional) If directed by your instructor, proceed directly to the Extension that follows Processing the Data.
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedures.

    After the Activity

    Review students' results:

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging

  • Re-teach concepts as necessary