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gas constant (universal molar gas constant)

The gas constant, also known as the universal molar gas constant, is a physical constant that appears in an equation defining the behavior of a gas under theoretically ideal conditions. The gas constant is, by convention, symbolized R.

The pressure, volume, amount of substance, and temperature of a gas are related according to the following equation, known as the universal gas equation:

PV = NRT

where P represents the pressure in pascals, V represents the volume in meters cubed, N represents the amount of substance in moles, and T represents the absolute temperature in kelvins.

In terms of the pressure, volume, amount of substance, and temperature, the gas constant is equal to:

R = (PV) / (NT)

The gas constant has been found, by experiment, to have a value of approximately 8.3145 joules per kelvin per mole (J · K-1 · mol-1).

Also see Table of Physical Constants.

This was last updated in September 2005

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