We don’t live in a perfect world, and neither do gases - it would be great if their particles always fulfilled the assumptions of the ideal gas law, and we could use PV=nRT to get the right answer every time. Unfortunately, the ideal gas law (like our culture) has unrealistic expectations when it comes to size and attraction: it assumes that particles do not have size at all and that they never attract each other. So the ideal gas “law” often becomes little more than the ideal gas estimate when it comes to what gases do naturally. But it’s a close enough estimate in enough situations that it’s very valuable to know. In this episode, Hank goes through a bunch of calculations according to the ideal gas law so you can get familiar with it.
Gases are everywhere, and this is good news and bad news for chemists. The good news: when they are behaving themselves, it’s extremely easy to describe their behavior theoretically, experimentally and mathematically. The bad news is they almost never behave themselves. In this episode of Crash Course Chemistry, Hank tells how the work of some amazing thinkers combined to produce the Ideal Gas Law, how none of those people were Robert Boyle, and how the ideal gas equation allows you to find out pressure, volume, temperature or number of moles. You’ll also get a quick introduction to a few jargon-y phrases to help you sound like you know what you’re talking about.
All the magic that we know is in the transfer of electrons. Reduction (the loss of electrons) and oxidation (gaining electrons) combine to form Redox Chemistry, which contains the majority of chemical reactions. As electrons jump from atom to atom, they carry energy with them, and that transfer of energy is what makes all life on earth possible.
A lot of ionic compounds dissolve in water, dissociating into individual ions. But when two ions find each other that form an insoluble compound, they suddenly fall out of solution in what’s called a precipitation reaction. In this episode of Crash Course Chemistry, we learn about precipitation, precipitates, anions, cations, and how to describe and discuss ionic reactions.