Examples of Boyle's law in real life

len Alfred Ajibola - 16th February, 2023 @ 02:48 PM

Topics in Chemistry

Gas laws in chemistry Charles's law explained Calculation questions on Charles's law Examples of Charles's law in real life Boyle's law explained Calculation questions on Boyle's law Examples of Boyle's law in real life Summary on the kinetic molecular theory of gases Postulates of kinetic theory of gases Avogadro's number explained with worked examples Mole and Avogadro's Number explained Le Chatelier's Principle: Changes in concentration and pressure in dynamic equilibrium Chemical Equilibrium: Dynamic Equilibrium in Chemistry Static and Dynamic Equilibrium explained with their differences Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, Second Term Chemistry Scheme of Work, SS1, Third Term Compounds in Chemistry: Characteristics of Compounds Types of Mixture: Homogenous and Heterogeneous Mixtures What are mixtures? Characteristics of mixtures

Academic Questions in Chemistry

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

_____ electron(s) is a term that describes the number of electron(s) in the outermost shell of an atom.

  • A. Outer

  • B. Excess

  • C. Valence

  • D. Positive

  • E. Negative

  • F. Last

_____ is the negative electrode in electrolysis.

  • A. Anode

  • B. Anion

  • C. Cathode

  • D. Cation

  • E. Ion

  • F. Electrolyte

Electrovalent Bond - Len Academy

The above diagram shows the _____ type of bond.

  • A. Covalent

  • B. Polar covalent

  • C. Coordinate covalent

  • D. Metallic

  • E. Van dear walls

  • F. Ionic

 Metals are referred to as _____ in their impure state.

  • A. Diluted

  • B. Consecrated

  • C. Coloured

  • D. Ores

  • E. Stained

  • F. Strained

Metals generally have the quality to shine, glow, sparkle, glitter, reflect light and be polished. This characteristic of metals is termed _____.

  • A. State

  • B. Ductility

  • C. Luster

  • D. Malleability

  • E. Hardness

  • F. Inflorescence

The _____ spectrometry experiment conducted on isotopic elements gave a confirmation for the existence of isotopes.

  • A. Mole

  • B. Volume

  • C. Weight

  • D. Number of moles

  • E. Mass

  • F. Amount of substance

John Dalton's first atomic theory was modified based on a discovery made by _____.

  • A. Sir Isaac Newton

  • B. Albert Einstein

  • C. Avogadro

  • D. Rutherford

  • E. Boyle and Charles

  • F. Gay Lussac

Which of the following isn't an element of the periodic table.

  • A. J

  • B. Y

  • C. W

  • D. B

  • E. U

  • F. K

Examples of Boyle's Law in Reality:

Boyle's law state that the volume of a given mass of a gas is inversely proportional to its pressure, provided the temperature remains constant. This law was formulated by an English scientist named Robert Boyle in 1662. However, it may also be referred to as Boyle-Mariotte law or Mariotte's law.

Please read a detailed explanation on Boyle's law here.

Instances of Boyle's law are often seen around us. In fact, the mechanism of breathing is a function of Boyle's law. Below are examples of Boyle's law in real life:


1. Opening a bottle of soda

Boyle's law is typically observed when a bottle of soda is opened. Recall that when sealed, the bottle of soda contains a gas within it, and that's carbon (IV) oxide or CO2. This gas is pressurized, and it remains within the bottle due to its small volume. For this reason, the CO2 has little space to move about, and this is just within the sealed bottle of soda.

When the bottle is opened, and depending on how it is opened, the COis released at varying speed. For instance, if the bottle of soda is vigorously shaken and opened suddenly, the CO2 rushes out with the liquid, hence a foamy substance fizzes up and spill over, and perhaps making a mess of our body or clothes. This happens because the pressurized COmixes up with the liquid when shaken up vigorously. The sudden opening of the bottle rapidly increases the volume of COexposure, thus making it fizz out immediately.

You can read on the physical and chemical properties of acid here.

Meanwhile, understand that one can gently allow the CO2 gas escape from the bottle if the cork is opened slowly. When this is done, the pressure of gas within the bottle gradually decreases while the volume increases simultaneously, which is in accordance with Boyle's law.​​​​​


2. Use of a syringe 

Boyle's law comes into play when a syringe is used. A syringe is a medical equipment utilized in the insertion of fluid into the body. It is also useful in obtaining fluid from the body system.

Parts of a syringe - Len Academy

Parts of a syringe are the barrel, plunger, hub and needle. The barrel may contain fluid depending on its usage, while the plunger functions by increasing or decreasing the volume of the barrel whenever it is pulled up or down. 

When the plunger is pulled up, the volume of the barrel increases and its pressure decreases. When this happens, fluid is sucked into the barrel through the needle and hub. This simple process explains how fluid is taken from the human body into a syringe.

When the plunger is pulled down, the volume within the barrel decreases while its pressure simultaneously increases. Through this process, fluid present inside the barrel is forced out. This is how fluid is passed into the body.

Please read on liquid state of matter here.

If a gas is present inside the barrel of a syringe (instead of a liquid), the same process will occur, and this is in accordance in Boyle's law. Meanwhile, understand that the bicycle pump works in a similar way as the syringe.


3. Filling of balloons

The filling of balloons is a popular activity carried out by kids; and interestingly, Boyle's law is seen during the process.

Before air is blown into a balloon, it typically has a low pressure and large volume within it. For this reason, the balloon remains deflated, and one can easily squeeze it since it contains insufficient air.

Balloon - Len Academy

When air is blown into the balloon, the empty space (volume) within it is reduced as air fills it. The pressure within the balloon increases, and due to its soft and elastic nature, it begins to expand. If air is continually blown into it, the spaces or volume within the balloon may become filled up. If this continues, the balloon may eventually burst from the increased pressure.

Please read a summary of the kinetic theory of gases here.

The balloon ruptures due to the lightness of its material, its elastic nature, the increased pressure and decreased volume (since it has been replaced by air).


4. Breathing in humans

Breathing involves a process of inhalation and exhalation. During inhalation, the diaphragm contracts, and so does the internal intercostal muscles. Also, the rib cage expands. This process increases the volume of the thoracic cage and decreases its pressure, allowing in air through the nostrils into the lungs.

Inhalation and exhalation - Len Academy

You can read on bones of the human skeleton here.

During the process of exhalation, the reverse happens, bringing about a decrease in the volume of the thoracic cage while its pressure increases. This is in accordance with Boyle's law as air rushes out from the lungs through the nostrils.


5. Inflating and deflating tyres

An inflated tyre contains air, and this leaves little space (or decreased volume) within the tubes of the tyre. At the same time, the air pressure is increased within the tyre, giving rise to its pumped and rigid shape. This process obeys Boyle's law.

When a tyre is deflated, air leaves the tyre tubes. The tyre lacks proper shape and strength, thus making vehicular movement difficult. Meanwhile, understand that the tyre was able to become deflated due to an increased air pressure already present within it. Therefore, this air pressure is released outwards if there is an external puncture to the tyre tubes.

Please read on the concept of force and motion here.

Meanwhile, understand that the deflation process (net movement of air out of the tyres) results from a reduced pressure within the tyre alongside its increased volume. This inverse relationship between pressure and volume is in conformity with Boyle's law


6. Use of aerosols

Aerosols comprises spray paints, deodorants, perfumes, insecticides and the likes. Within its container, there are usually two components. These are the primary liquid product, for instance, the perfume, paint or an insecticide chemical, and a highly pressurized sealed gas which had become a solution.

Internal contents of an aerosol - Len Academy

Please read the introduction to gas laws in chemistry here.

On pressing the nozzle of the aerosol, the seal on the pressurized gas is opened, reducing its pressure in the process. On leaving the seal, the volume occupied by the gas increases as the aerosol moves out to a region of lesser pressure. This is a function of Boyle's law, and the net diffusion is felt through the scent of the aerosol, especially if it's a perfume or an insecticide.


7. Deep water diving (scuba diving)

As the name implies, deep water diving requires the diver to dive deep inside a water body such as a river, sea or ocean. Such diver must take caution when going deep into the water, as well as their ascension upwards. If this is done wrongly, they could suffer a decompression sickness (also referred to as 'the bends'), and this happens to be a life-threatening condition.

In scuba diving, the deeper the diver goes, the more an increase in his/her body pressure, and a consequent decrease in the volume occupied by nitrogen gas. This implies that more nitrogen gas will enter into the diver's blood and body fluids. This is in accordance with Boyle's law, and the reverse happens whenever the driver ascend to the top of the water body.

You can read on red blood cells and hemoglobin here.

Now, the major challenge during deep water diving is the rate at which the diver ascend towards the top of the water. If this ascension is rapid, the nitrogen gas inside the diver's blood will also expand rapidly (that is, a sudden increase in volume), and this is dangerous. This is so because the pressure reduces suddenly also, and the nitrogen bubbles in the blood and body fluids begin to expand and return to their normal volume rapidly, which can result to a foamy blood. This process can also cause the blood capillaries to rupture, including the bladder cells and other cell membranes. This results into an expansion of the spaces between the divers joint, which is indeed a very painful experience. These joint pains are called 'the bends'. This explains a similar process why deep-water fish die when they are brought to the water surface.

Please read interesting facts for students.

If the diver ascends slowly in scuba diving, nitrogen gas molecules will expand slowly until they regain their normal volume without causing problems to the diver. This process of gradually reducing the pressure of nitrogen in the blood is termed depressurization, and it should be slow, not rapid.

This volume and pressure relationship of blood nitrogen encountered in scuba diving is a function of Boyle's law.

Similar to skuba diving, this law is supported by the air bubbles blown out by a diver. These bubbles are seen to expand in size as they rise upward, and this is due to their reducing pressure and increasing volume.

Please read calculation questions on Boyle's law here.


Other real life examples of Boyle's law are observed in the following:

  • Storage of gas

  • Space and space suits

  • Air bubbles 

  • Fire extinguisher

  • Internal combustion engine

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Amazing facts in Chemistry

Plastic and Glass can decompose, but not in our lifetimes. It takes an average time of 450 years for plastics to decompose. As for the decomposition of glasses, it takes about 4,000 years

The only letters that failed to appear on the periodic table are letters:

J     &     Q

Gold and copper are the only two non-silvery colored metals.

Copper is the only metal that is naturally antibacterial. For this reason, some children utilize 'copper water bottles' in schools

Water freezes faster when it’s warm than when it’s cold

Most element in their pure state exists physically in different forms. For instance, pure carbon can exist as both diamond and graphite. This phenomenon is called allotropy

If you pour a handful of salt into a full glass of water, the water level will go down rather than overflowing the glass.

Similarly, if you mix half liter of water and half litre of alcohol, the total volume of the liquid will be les than one litre


Periodic Table - Len Academy

The periodic table, also called periodic table of elements or Mendeleev's table, is a table that shows an organized arrangement of the 118 chemical elements according to their atomic number.

Out of the 118 elements; elements 1 - 94 are present in nature while elements 95 - 118 are synthesized artificially.

The manner at which elements are arranged on this table reveals some similarities in their electronic configurations and chemical properties.

Please read on the periodic table of elements here.

A compound composed of iron (Fe) and oxygen (O) was analyzed and found to contain 69.94% iron and 30.06% oxygen. Find the empirical formula of the compound. (Molar mass of Fe=55.85, O=16)

  • Solution:

Step 1: Identify the given parameter from the question.

  • Fe = 69.94%,   O = 30.06%.

  • Empirical formula = Fe?O?


Step 2: Convert the percentages to gram. (just attribute grams to the %).

  • 69.94% = 69.94g while 30.06% = 30.06g


Step 3: To get the mole ratio of each element, convert the gram to moles using the formula (mole = mass/molarmass). Please merorize this formula because we always work with moles in emperical formula.

  • Mole of Fe: 69.94/55.85 = 1.252mol

  • Mole of O: 30.06/16 = 1.879mol


Step 4: Divide both sides by the smallest mole ratio.

  • Iron has the smallest mole ratio in our case, therefore: 1.252/1.252 = 1,    1.879/1.252 = 1.5

  • We now have the formula = Fe1O1.5


Step 5: Multiply each of the moles by the smallest whole number that will convert each into a whole number. (In our case, the number '2' is the smallest whole number that will make '1.5' and '1' whole numbers when multiplied by it.

  • For iron (Fe), we will have 1 x 2 = 2

  • For oxygen (O), we will have 1.5 x 2 = 3


Step 6: Write the empirical formula.

  • The empirical formula= Fe2O3

  • Iron(III)tetraoxosulphate(VI)

In chemistry, hydrocarbons can be classified as either aliphatic or aromatic. Recently, both classifications of hydrocarbon were based on their structure rather than their origin.

Aliphatic hydrocarbons are put into three main groups according to the types of bonds they possess. These are:

  1. Alkanes

  2. Alkenes

  3. Alkynes

They are shown in the image below:

Alkanes, Alkenes and Alkynes - Len Academy

It's important to note the followings:

  • Alkanes have single bonds (only) in their structures.

  • Alkenes always have a carbon-carbon double bond present in their structure.

  • Alkynes always have a carbon-carbon triple bond present in their structure.


Aromatic hydrocarbons are classified into:

  • Arenes: They contain benzene ring as a structural unit. Below is the structure of a benzene ring.

Benzene Ring - Len Academy


  • Nonbenzenoid aromatic hydrocarbons: They possess special stability but lack a benzene ring as a structural unit.

Organic chemistry is the study of carbon and it's compounds.

Carbon is the focus of organic chemistry because it has a wide chemical diversity in the sense that it can combine with other carbon atoms to form a long chain of carbon molecule. This ability and process whereby carbon can form a long chain of itself is called catenation.

Please read the introduction to organic chemistry here

A major challenge encountered when calculating molecular mass is that it becomes difficult or impossible to calculate especially when the relative molecular mass of large molecules, polymers and macromolecules are involved.

Examples of large molecules (with indefinite molecular masses) include carbohydrates, cellulose and complex sugars.

The large molecules (above) have no specific chemical formula throughout their volume.

Please read more on carbohydrates and sugars here

Understand that Relative Molecular Mass prove to be useful only when we calculate substances with small and definite molecular sizes. This was proven through the modifications of Dalton's atomic theory.

Please read on Dalton's atomic theory and its modifications here.