Charles's Law Definition in Chemistry

Charles Law Definition and Equation

Charles Law describes the relationship between temperature and volume when mass and pressure are constant.
Charles Law describes the relationship between temperature and volume when mass and pressure are constant. NASA's Glenn Research Center

Charles's law is a gas law that states gases expand when heated. The law is also known as the law of volumes. The law takes its name from French scientist and inventor Jacques Charles, who formulated it in the 1780s.

Charles's Law Definition

Charles's Law is an ideal gas law where at constant pressure, the volume of an ideal gas is directly proportional to its absolute temperature. The simplest statement of the law is:

V/T = k

where V is volume, T is absolute temperature, and k is a constant

Vi/Ti = Vf/Tf

where
Vi = initial pressure
Ti = initial temperature
Vf = final pressure
Tf = final temperature

Charles's Law and Absolute Zero

If the law is taken to its natural conclusion, it appears the volume of a gas approaches zero and its temperature nears absolute zero. Gay-Lussac explained this could only be true if the gas continued to behave as an ideal gas, which it was not. Like other ideal gas laws, Charles's law works best when applied to gases under normal conditions.