Ideal Gas Definition

bottle with gas inside
At low temperature, real gases behave like ideal gases. Greenhorn1/wikimedia commons/public domain

An ideal gas is a gas whose pressure P, volume V, and temperature T are related by the ideal gas law:

PV = nRT

where n is the number of moles of the gas and R is the ideal gas constant. Ideal gases are defined as having molecules of negligible size with an average molar kinetic energy dependent only on temperature. At a low temperature, most gases behave enough like ideal gases that the ideal gas law can be applied to them.

An ideal gas is also known as a perfect gas.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Ideal Gas Definition." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 25). Ideal Gas Definition. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Ideal Gas Definition." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 8, 2023).