Cracking the AP Chemistry Exam

Part IV

Content Review for the AP Chemistry Exam

Chapter 4

Big Idea #2: Bonding and Phases


At low temperature and/or high pressure, gases behave in a less-than-ideal manner. That’s because the assumptions made in kinetic molecular theory become invalid under conditions where gas molecules are packed too tightly together.

Two things happen when gas molecules are packed too tightly.

·        The volume of the gas molecules becomes significant. The ideal gas equation does not take the volume of gas molecules into account, so the actual volume of a gas under nonideal conditions will be larger than the volume predicted by the ideal gas equation.

·        Gas molecules attract one another and stick together. The ideal gas equation assumes that gas molecules never stick together. When a gas is packed tightly together, intermolecular forces become significant, causing some gas molecules to stick together. When gas molecules stick together, there are fewer particles bouncing around and creating pressure, so the real pressure in a nonideal situation will be smaller than the pressure predicted by the ideal gas equation.