Saturday, March 12, 2011

Boyle's Law

On Earth, naturally occurring matter exists in one of three phases: solid, liquid or gas. Matter in each phase exhibits distinct characteristics. Gases, for example, do not have a fixed volume or shape. As a result, gases respond to pressure changes by changing their volume. In other words, gases are compressible. In contrast, liquids and solids are not compressible. Their volume does not change in response to changing pressure. This is the reason air filled spaces in our ears “pop” during airplane takeoff and landings while the liquid filled spaces in our bodies do not. Boyle's Law describes this relationship between gas pressure and volume.

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