Chemistry 9th Edition

Published by Cengage Learning
ISBN 10: 1133611095
ISBN 13: 978-1-13361-109-7

Chapter 5 - Gases - Questions - Page 234: 22


A bag of potato chips is a constant-pressure container. The volume of the bag increases or decreases in order to keep the internal pressure equal to the external (atmospheric) pressure. The volume of the bag increased because the external pressure decreased. This seems reasonable as atmospheric pressure is lower at higher altitudes than at sea level. We ignored n (moles) as a possibility because the question said to concentrate on external conditions. It is possible that a chemical reaction occurred that would increase the number of gas molecules inside the bag. This would result in a larger volume for the bag of potato chips. The last factor to consider is temperature. During ski season, one would expect the temperature of Lake Tahoe to be colder than Los Angeles. A decrease in T would result in a decrease in the volume of the potato chip bag. This is the exact opposite of what actually happened, so apparently the temperature effect is not dominant.

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