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Boyle's Law

Spray paint

In aerosols such as spray paints or deodorants, there are usually two components inside the can, i.e., the
primary liquid product such as paint or perfume, and a gas which is sealed and kept in a highly pressurized
state so that it is kept at a liquid state even at its boiling point, which is usually below room temperature.
When you push the nozzle of the aerosol can down, the seal on the liquid gas is opened, reducing the
pressure, and giving it an escape route. The gas instantly starts to boil, changing into a gas of increasing
volume, and pushing the perfume or paint out of the can in its efforts to move into an area with lesser
pressure. This same principle can be seen in fire extinguishers too.

The Syringe

This mechanism is far more simple than a can of spray paint. Syringes of all types utilize Boyle's law on a
very basic level.

When you pull the plunger out on a syringe, it causes the volume within the chamber to increase. As we
know, this causes the pressure to do the opposite, which then creates a vacuum. When a syringe is empty,
the vacuum within the chamber sucks fluid in through the needle.

The Soda Can or Bottle

You may have noticed that whenever a person opens a can or bottle of soda, the cap or the lid is opened
slowly, allowing the gas inside to escape at a controlled rate. This is because, opening the bottle too fast
causes the drink to fizz excessively and spill out of the bottle. The carbonation process of soda involves
pushing in CO2 through great pressure inside the water, reducing its volume, and pushing it into a small
confined space. So when the cap is opened slowly, the pressure on the gas in the soda reduces, and is
allowed to gradually expand and escape from the bottle, producing fizz. However, when a soda can or
bottle is shaken, the extra gas at the top of the bottle is mixed with the liquid. When the cap is taken off,
the gas bubbles rapidly expand altogether while still in the liquid, and as the gas tries to escape the bottle,
it pushes the liquid along with it, causing a messy spill.

If someone buys a fully puffed up bag of chips from a store on the top of a mountain, the pack of chips is
likely to explode or leak out the gas once the person reaches the bottom of the mountain. This happens
because the air pressure at the top of the mountain is lower than at its base, which allows the gas to
expand in volume and explode.

Scuba Diving

It is common knowledge amongst scuba divers that, when attempting to surface out of deep waters, it is
extremely essential that the ascent has to be very slow. This is because, as a diver moves deeper
underwater, the pressure on the body begins to increase. Due to this, the volume of nitrogen gas
decreases and gets concentrated in the bloodstream. When the diver starts his return journey to the
surface, the pressure reduces, and the nitrogen bubbles in the body begin to expand and return to their
normal volume. If the diver does not ascend slowly, or use a depressurization chamber, the nitrogen
bubbles will return to their normal volume too fast, and the blood will turn foamy. This often causes blood
vessels, bladders, cells, and membranes to rupture, and cause the spaces between the divers joints to
expand, causing the diver to bend over and experience excruciating pain. This is why deep-water fish die
when they are brought to the surface. As you can see, it is important to regulate the volume of nitrogen,
according to Boyle's law, by adjusting the pressure.

You can also easily see this law in action if you look at the air bubbles that are blown out by a diver. The
bubbles tend to expand in size as they rise upward, due to the reducing pressure.


Boyle's law is essential for the human breathing process. As the muscles of the diaphragm contract, the
decreased pressure causes the volume of the thoracic cavity to expand as you breathe in. When you
breathe out, the volume of the thoracic cavity goes down, increasing the pressure on the lungs, and
pushing air out. Thus, our very lives are dependent on Boyle's law.

Vehicle Tires

While filling air in the tire of a vehicle, you will notice that the air pressure is kept to around 30 - 35 PSI
(pound force per square inch). As you push air into the tire, the increasing pressure reduces the volume
of the air molecules by packing them together. The pressure in the pump has to always be higher than
that which is inside the tire in order for more air to be pushed in. As the air temperature is more or less
constant in that period of time, you can see a real live example of the Boyle's law occurring in front of you.

Charles' Law
Hot air balloon

A torch is used to heat the air molecules inside the balloon. The molecules move faster and disperse within
the space. The gas inside the balloon takes up more space, becoming less dense than the air surrounding
it. As such, the hot air inside the balloon rises because of its decreased density and causes the balloon to

Turkey timer

Pop-up turkey thermometers work by applying Charles’ Law. The thermometer is placed in the turkey. As
the temperature rises and the turkey cooks, the air in the thermometer expands to pop the plunger. The
thermometer is calibrated so that when the correct internal temperature is reached, the thermometer
cap pops off, providing a clear indication that the turkey is done.

Ping pong ball

Pumping up a ping pong ball. If you play ping pong, chances are you’ve come across the occasionally
dented ball. Restore its roundness by popping it in a pan of water. Warm the water gently while stirring
and the air inside the ball will expand as it heats up. The expanding air will push out the dent and restore
the ball’s roundness.
Gay-Lussac's Law

Heating a closed aerosol can.

If you throw a closed aerosol can into a fire, the pressure inside the can will increase due to the
temperature increasing. Therefore the can will explode.

A burning automobile tire.

When a car tire is on fire, the fire heats up the air inside the tire. The pressure of the air increases and the
tire explodes.

Firing a bullet

A lot of really hot gas is released when the gunpowder is burned. The high pressure of the hot gas behind
the bullet forces it out of the barrel of the gun.

A real life application of Gay- Lussac's Law is when a car tire's temperature increases, its pressure also