While deriving the Ideal gas Equation using Boyle's, Charles', and Avogadro Laws, how are each of the laws, which have different proportionality constants and different quantities as constant combined? (eg: Boyle's law which assumes the temperature and moles of gas to be constant, but in Charles' law temperature changes. How is it possible?)

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    $\begingroup$ If you consider the ideal gas state equation $pV=nRT$, and if you keep either of the 3 state variables p,V,T constant, involving its value into the equation constant, you get each of the respective original gas laws. $\endgroup$ – Poutnik Aug 23 '20 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ Related question: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/58330/…. $\endgroup$ – Mathew Mahindaratne Aug 23 '20 at 16:52

I understand your concern because this is the way it is taught in South Asian schools and colleges and even general chemistry texts taught elsewhere are silent about it. They state all the individual gas laws using a proportionality sign "$\propto$" and magically all gas laws are combined and that becomes $R$- the universal gas constant. This is done in a single paragraph.

This is not the proper way how the ideal gas law was derived. Out of curiosity, I checked the original paper " Mémoire on the Motive Power of Heat" where the ideal gas law appeared in 1834!!. It is in French, but one can see the equations. Not once he used any proportionality sign but there is a lot of calculus there.


You should scroll the original paper and feel the length of it to appreciate that the ideal gas law was not derived as shown in your school / college textbooks.

You would see a formal derivation of the ideal gas law in higher classes using the kinetic theory of gases.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your help everyone. I knew there were other derivations, but I wanted to clarify the validity of the method. $\endgroup$ – Chem Aug 23 '20 at 19:34

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