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Gay Lussac’s Law

Our modern day balanced gaseous equations have their origin from Gay Lussac’s experimental findings. Consider the illustrations below.


2. By similar consideration, one can explain the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen gas to form water vapour following the same argument.


    The ratio of the volumes of the reacting gases above is:
    Ratio of N2, O2 and NO is 1:1:2
    Ratio of H2, O2 and H2O is 2:1;2

The above examples illustrate Gay Lussac’s law. This law states that when gases combine, they do so in volumes which are in small whole number ratios to one another and to that of the products.

In other words, Gay Lussac’s law of combining volumes states that when gaseous reactants combine to give gaseous products, they do so in simple ratios of their volume, temperature and pressure combine.