10 Differences Between ideal gas and real gas

Understanding the Difference between Ideal Gas and Real Gas

What is/are ideal gas?

An ideal gas is a theoretical model that follows the ideal gas law, which describes the behavior of gases under specific conditions. It assumes that gas particles occupy no space and have no intermolecular forces between them. Ideal gases undergo elastic collisions and have constant, random motion.

Examples of ideal gas:

  • Hydrogen gas (H2)
  • Oxygen gas (O2)
  • Nitrogen gas (N2)

Uses of ideal gas:

  • Calculating pressure, volume, and temperature in various scientific experiments
  • Studying the behavior of gases in ideal conditions
  • Designing gas turbines and engines

What is/are real gas?

Real gases, on the other hand, deviate from ideal gas behavior due to various factors like intermolecular forces and finite gas particle size. Unlike ideal gases, real gases occupy space and experience attractive or repulsive forces between their particles.

Examples of real gas:

  • Water vapor (H2O)
  • Ammonia (NH3)
  • Methane (CH4)

Uses of real gas:

  • Understanding the behavior of gases under non-ideal conditions
  • Designing storage and transportation systems for real gases
  • Studying the impact of intermolecular forces on gas behavior

Differences between Ideal Gas and Real Gas

Difference Area Ideal Gas Real Gas
Size of Gas Particles Assumes negligible particle size Occupies space with finite particle size
Intermolecular Forces Assumes no intermolecular forces Experiences attractive or repulsive forces
Collisions Follows elastic collisions Collisions may be inelastic
Behavior at High Pressure Assumes no significant deviations Shows significant deviations from ideal behavior
Behavior at Low Temperature May undergo condensation or liquefaction May exhibit more pronounced non-ideal behavior
Gas Mixtures Follows ideal mixing behavior May exhibit non-ideal mixing, with different interactions between gas components
Compressibility Assumes perfect compressibility Shows deviation from perfect compressibility
Volume Occupied Occupies negligible volume Occupies significant volume
Equation of State Follows the ideal gas equation (PV = nRT) Requires more complex equations to account for non-ideal behavior
Experimental Observations Only approximate representation of real gases Aligns more closely with experimental observations


While ideal gases serve as a useful simplification for scientific calculations, real gases provide a more accurate representation of gas behavior under real-world conditions. Real gases exhibit non-negligible particle size, experience intermolecular forces, and often deviate from ideal gas behavior at high pressures and low temperatures. Understanding the differences between ideal gases and real gases is crucial for accurate scientific analysis and practical applications.

People Also Ask:

Q: Why do real gases deviate from ideal gas behavior?

A: Real gases deviate from ideal gas behavior due to factors like finite particle size, intermolecular forces, and deviations caused by high pressures and low temperatures.

Q: Can ideal gases exist in real-life conditions?

A: No, ideal gases are a theoretical concept used to simplify gas behavior under idealized conditions. Real gases deviate from the ideal gas model.

Q: How do intermolecular forces affect real gas behavior?

A: Intermolecular forces, such as van der Waals forces, affect real gas behavior by attracting or repulsing gas particles, leading to deviations from ideal gas law predictions.

Q: Can real gases be compressed?

A: Yes, real gases can be compressed, but their compressibility factor deviates from the perfect compressibility assumed for ideal gases.

Q: Are all gases in our environment real gases?

A: Yes, all gases found in the environment, such as atmospheric gases, are real gases that exhibit non-ideal behavior due to intermolecular forces and particle size.

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