Ideal Gas Problems

The Hindenburg and its use of the highly flammable gas hydrogen, used to keep it afloat, eventually caught fire and killed 36 people.  Use the Ideal Gas Law through analysis of the Hindenburg and discover why scientists chose hydrogen gas (highly flammable) over helium (non-flammable). 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Introduce learners to the Hindenburg through discussion or a short video, which helps them focus on the chemistry and not the story of the Hindenburg's demise
  • Research other applications of the Ideal Gas Law, including fire extinguishers, scuba tanks, soda cans, aerosol cans, hot air balloons, and propane tanks (there are more)
Classroom Considerations

  • Video assumes the learner understands significant figures and scientific notation
  • Must have a computer, access to the Internet, and a projection device to show the resource to the class
  • Pupils should be familiar with the Ideal Gas Law

  • Video is engaging and full of wit, fast-paced dialogue, and humor
  • Provides cross-curricular concepts using application of the Ideal Gas Law through analysis of the Hindenburg

  • None
Common Core