• Question: can you squash gas particles in any way

    Asked by nascientist to Sarah, Tom on 24 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Sarah Thomas

      Sarah Thomas answered on 24 Jun 2011:

      Yes you can condense gas so that it can be stored in a smaller volume. This requires a highly pressurised container and you have to cool the gas so that it condenses into a liquid. For nitrogen you have to keep it at -200 degrees C for it to be a liquid!

    • Photo: Tom Crick

      Tom Crick answered on 24 Jun 2011:

      Yes! By Boyle’s law (which links the pressure, volume and temperature of a gas):

      For a fixed amount of an ideal gas kept at a fixed temperature, P [pressure] and V [volume] are inversely proportional (while one doubles, the other halves).

      This means that if you increase the pressure and reduce the volume of a gas, its temperature will increase.