When a gaseous substance is placed in a container and the volume of the container is decreased, the pressure exerted by the gas on the walls of the container increases. This implies that there is a specific relationship between the volume occupied by a gas and the pressure exerted by it. The Anglo-Irish chemist & physicist Robert Boyle studied this relationship and published his findings as an experimental gas law which is now known as Boyle’s law. The statement of this law can be written as:
The pressure exerted by an ideal gas is inversely proportional to the volume occupied by it as long as the absolute temperature of the gas and the number of moles of gaseous substance are kept constant. Boyle’s law can be expressed mathematically as:
P ∝ 1/V
Where ‘P’ is the pressure exerted by the gas and ‘V’ is the volume occupied by it. It is important to note that this law is sometimes referred to as the Boyle-Mariotte law or as Mariotte’s law. The English experimenter Henry Power and the English mathematician Richard Towneley were the first to note the relationship between the pressure and the volume of gases in the 17th century. Several experiments were conducted by Robert Boyle to confirm this relationship.
This law was also discovered independently by the French scientist EdmeMariotte in the year 1679. Since the law was already published by Robert Boyle in the year 1672, the law is popularly known as Boyle’s law. However, EdmeMariotte did also note the relationship between the temperature of gases and the volume occupied by them.
This law is an experimental gas law and can be proved experimentally. However, this law can also be theoretically derived from the assumptions made in the kinetic theory of gases. To learn more about Boyle’s law and other important properties of matter such as osmotic pressure, subscribe to the BYJU’S YouTube channel and enable notifications.