Science, Tech, Math › Science 3 Ways To Increase the Pressure of a Gas Share Flipboard Email Print MARK SYKES/SPL / Getty Images Science Chemistry Chemical Laws Basics Molecules Periodic Table Projects & Experiments Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated September 09, 2019 One common science homework question is to list three ways to increase the pressure of a gas container or a balloon. This is an excellent question because answering it helps you understand what pressure is and how gases behave. What Is Pressure? Pressure is the amount of force exerted over a unit of area. P = F/APressure = Force divided by Area As you can see from looking at the equation, two ways to increase pressure are to increase the amount of force or decrease the area over which it is exerted. How exactly do you do that? That's where the Ideal Gas Law comes into play. Pressure and the Ideal Gas Law At low (ordinary) pressures, real gases behave like ideal gases, so you can use the Ideal Gas Law to determine how to increase the pressure of a system. The Ideal Gas Law states: PV = nRT Where P is pressure, V is volume, n is the number of moles of a gas, R is Boltzmann's constant, and T is temperature If we solve for P: P = (nRT)/V Three Ways to Increase the Pressure of a Gas Increase the amount of gas. This is represented by the "n" in the equation. Adding more molecules of a gas increases the number of collisions between the molecules and the walls of the container. This raises pressure.Increase the temperature of the gas. This is represented by "T" in the equation. Increasing temperature adds energy to the gas molecules, increasing their motion and, again, increasing collisions.Decrease the volume of the gas. This is the "V" in the equation. By their very nature, gases can be compressed, so if the same gas can be put into a smaller container, it will exert a higher pressure. The gas molecules will be forced closer to each other, increasing collisions (force) and pressure.