Q:

What is an application of Charles' Law?

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Quick Answer

An application of Charles' Law is a floating hot air balloon. A torch heats the air inside the balloon causing the air particles to move faster and disperse, making the air in the balloon less dense than the surrounding air so that the balloon floats.

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Full Answer

Charles' Law explains the relationship between the volume and temperature of a gas. It states that heating a gas while holding its pressure constant results in an increase in the volume of the gas. Similarly, the volume of the gas decreases when the temperature decreases.

A hot air balloon is an application of Charles' Law. The fuel used heats the air inside the balloon. Heating the air increases the speed of its gas particles in air, so they move faster and spread out, according to kinetic molecular theory as described by the University of California. This causes the gas inside the balloon to take up more space.

The speed of movement of the gas particles as well as their dispersal causes the air inside the balloon to become less dense than the air surrounding it. As a result, the balloon floats. In short, the hot air in the balloon rises because of its decreased density.

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