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Diving Physics: Remembering the Laws March 2, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Technical Diving, Training.
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In Divemaster, Instructor and Technical Training there are a number of laws of physics that we have to remember. I usually have no trouble remembering the formulas, but have difficulty with the names of the laws. However, I noticed that they’re introduced more or less in alphabetical order, so that’s how I remember the names. The important ones are:

  1. Boyle’s law: Relates gas pressure to volume
  2. Charles’ law: Relates gas pressure to temperature
  3. Combined gas law: Combination of Boyle’s law and Charles’ law
  4. Dalton’s law: Relates pressure of a mixed gas to the partial pressures of each gas in the mix
  5. Henry’s law: Relates the gas dissolved in a fluid (like water) with the partial pressure of the gas in contact with the fluid.

We could add Van Der Waal‘s equations if we like, which is sometimes taught in gas blending courses. I think of these laws in increasing complexity, and the alphabetical order keeps them straight in my head. This might not help me with the math, but when I write a diving exam that quotes one of these laws, it will help me know which is which.

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