Charle's Law

Charles law states that the volume of an ideal gas is directly proportional to the absolute temperature at constant pressure. The law also states that the Kelvin temperature and the volume will be in direct proportion when the pressure exerted on a sample of a dry gas is held constant.

This law was formulated in the year 1780 by French physicist Jacques Charles. This law was described extensively in his unpublished work.

Table of Content

What is Charles Law?

Charles’ law also sometimes referred to as the law of volumes gives a detailed account of how gas expands when the temperature is increased. Conversely, when there is a decrease in temperature it will lead to a decrease in volume.

When we compare a substance under two different conditions, from the above statement we can write this in the following manner:




This above equation depicts that as absolute temperature increases, the volume of the gas also goes up in proportion.

In other words, Charle’s law is a special case of the ideal gas law. The law is applicable to the ideal gases that are held at constant pressure but the temperature and volume keep changing.

Charles Law Everyday Examples

Here are some examples by which you can understand Charle’s law very easily.

In winters as the temperature decreases, when u take a basketball outside in the ground the ball shrinks. This is the only reason why to check the pressure in the car tiers when to go outside in the cold days. This is also the case with any inflated object and explains why it’s a good idea to check the pressure in your car tires when the temperature drops.

If you overfill a tube that is placed on a pool on a hot day, it can swell up in the sun and burst. Similarly, as the turkey cooks, the gas inside the thermometer expands until it can “pop” the plunger. Pop-up turkey thermometers work based on Charles’ law. Another common application can be seen in the working of a car engine.

Charles Law Formula

Charle’s Law formula is written as,


Where VI=Initial volume

VF=Final volume

TI=Intial absolute temperature

TF=Final absolute temperature

Here we should remember that the temperatures are absolute temperatures that are measured in Kelvin, not in ⁰F or ⁰C.

Derivation of Charles Law

As we are aware of the fact that, at constant pressure, the volume of the fixed amount of the dry gas is directly proportional to absolute temperature according to Charle’s law. We can represent the statement in the following manner.


Since V and T are varying directly, we can equate them by making use of the constant k.

V/T=constant =k

In this, the value of k depends on the pressure of the gas, the amount of the gas and also the unit of the volume.


Let us consider V1 AND T1 to be the initial volume and the temperature respectively of an ideal gas.

Then we can write equation (1) as


After it lets change the temperature of the gas to T2. Alternatively, its volume changes to V2 then we can write


Equating the above equations that is equation 2 and 3, we get




You are unaware of the fact that, on heating up a fixed amount of gas, that is, by increasing the temperature the volume also increases. Similarly, lowering the temperature, the volume of the gas decreases. And at 0-degree centigrade, the volume of the also increases by 1/273 of its original volume for a unit degree increases in temperature.

Also Read: Gas Laws

It is important to know, as already discussed above that the unit of temperature must be in Kelvin not in Celcius or Fahrenheit for solving the problems related to Charle’s law. The temperature in Kelvin is also known as the absolute temperature scale. For converting the temperature in Celcius to Kelvin, you add 273 to the temperature in the Celsius scale.

According to Charles’ Law which states that the volume (V) of the gas is directly proportional to its temperature (T)  which must be in Kelvin.

When the temperature changes one unit of the Kelvin scale it equals to a change in one Celsius degree. Always remember that 0 on the Kelvin scale means -273 or “Absolute Zero”.

The Density of the gas is inversely proportional to the temperature in the Kelvin when it is at a constant mass and pressure.

Graphical Representation Of Charles Law

ISOBAR- Graph between V and T at constant pressure is known as isobar or isoplestics and it always gives a straight line. A plot of V versus T (°C) at constant pressure is a straight line at – 273.15°C. -273.15-degree Celcius is the lowest possible temperature.

Graphical Representation Of Charles Law

Charles Law Application In Real Life

This law has a wide application in daily life. Some

  • In cold weather or in a cold environment, helium balloons shrink.
  • In winters when the weather is cool, the capacity of the human’s lung decreases. This makes the athletes more difficult to perform on a freezing winter day and it also makes the person difficult to go jogging.

Also, Read About:

Charles Law Solved Problems

1. A gas occupies a volume of 400cm3 at 0-degree Celcius and 780mm of Hg. How many litres of volume will the gas occupy at 80-degree Celcius and 780mm Hg

Solution- According to the question, V1=400cm3

T1=o degree Celcius= 0+273=273K

T2=80 DEGREE CELCIUS=80+273=353K

You need to find the V2.

Here only the temperature is changing, the pressure remains constant

Using Charle’s law, V1/T1=V2/T2

Putting the above values in the Charle’s law we get,




Since 1 cubic centimeters = 0.001 litres,

Then 517.21cubic centimeters=517.21*10^-3=0.517 litres.

2. A sample of gas has an initial volume of 30.8L AND an initial temperature of -67 degree Celcius. What will be the temperature of the gas if the volume is 21.0L?

According to the question,

V1= 30.8L

T1=-67 degree celcius=206K



According to Charle’s law



T2= 21*67/30.8


If V1 is the 3.60L, T1=255K, T2=102K, then find the value of V2?

According to the question V2=?

As we are aware of the Charle’s law



V2= 1.44L

3. A gas occupies 221cm3 at a temperature of 0 C and pressure of 760mm Hg. What will be the volume at 100 C?

It is very clear that the pressure is constant and the mass of the gas doesn’t change, so we can apply Charle’s law here.

The temperature in the question is given in Celcius so as per the rule of Charle’s law it must be converted to the absolute temperature that is Kelvin to apply the formula:


Now, these given values can be put in the formula to get the final volume.



By rearranging the above equation we can get the final volume




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