AP Physics

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A young male adult takes in about 4.0 10-4 m3 of fresh air during a normal breath. Fresh air contains approximately 21% oxygen. Assuming that the pressure in the lungs is 1.0 105 Pa and air is an ideal gas at a temperature of 310 K, find the number of oxygen molecules in a normal breath.

  • AP Physics -

    Calculate the number of moles of ALL gases present at that volume and pressure, and multiply it by 0.21 for the number of moles of O2. Then multiply that by Avogadro's number.

    You could use the PV = nRT equation or the handy rule that one mole of gas occupies 2.4 liters at STP

    4.0*10-4 m^3 is 0.40 liters
    At STP, that would contain
    0.4 l/22.4 l/mole = 0.179 moles

    Apply a correction factor of 273/310 for the number density at the higher temperature, and multiply by .21 for the O2 mole fraction. 10^5 Pa is withing 1.3% of atmospheric pressure, so we can ignore the pressure correction factor 1.000/1.013

    You should end up with about 0.033 moles of O2. Multiply by Avogadro's number to get the number of molecules.

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