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Gas Law Project: SCUBA Info by Christopher Carchedi Chemistry I Honors Period 4

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Christopher Carchedi

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Transcript of Gas Law Project: SCUBA Info by Christopher Carchedi Chemistry I Honors Period 4

SCUBA Diving and Science:
An Exploration of the Gas Laws Christopher Carchedi
Chemistry I Honors - 4 Photo Source: http://ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu/212_spring2011.web.dir/nicole_wade/images/scuba_diving_3.jpg WELCOME! Now, what is scuba diving...
and what does it have to do with the gas laws? Self - Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus = SCUBA Scuba diving allows mankind to explore the underwater domain with the convenience of individual mobility, while still having access to a source of air. Using tanks of compressed air coupled with a pressure regulator, recreational divers are able to comfortably swim to depths of over 100 feet below the surface.
Although diver certification is not officially mandated, it is highly recommended for those interested in scuba diving to obtain some form of diving training for personal health reasons. Also, many equipment vendors require proof of diver certification prior to the sale of essential supplies and services.
However, to avoid dangerous health complications associated with alterations in the pressure exerted on your body, it is important to have a basic understanding of the gas laws. Information Source: http://scuba.about.com/od/whatisscubadiving/a/About_Scuba.htm
Photo Source: http://www.contentwire.com/img/7bK3_3r_xPMamMFF.JPG
The Gas Laws Before getting into the possible illnesses that can result from unsafe diving, it is important for you to have a basic understanding of the following gas laws. The following contains each gas law's equation and portrayed relationship. Boyle's Law Charles's Law Dalton's Law P V = P V 1 1 2 2 Pressure is inversely proportionate to volume.
In other words, as pressure increases, volume decreases
(and vice versa). V / T = V / T 1 1 2 2 NOTE: As with all proportions, in order for the relationship to be correct, the units of the data must be the same. Volume is directly proportionate to temperature.
In other words, as volume increases, temperature increases (and vice versa). *Temperature in Kelvin P =P +P +P ... The total pressure exerted by a mixture of gases consists of the sum of the partial pressures exerted by each gas within the mixture. mix 1 2 3 Information Source: Hoyo's Lecture Notes Oxygen Poisoning Oxygen poisoning (also known as oxygen toxicity) is a health concern in which a human being breathes an excess of oxygen for an extended period of time. In order for this illness to occur, the partial pressure (described in Dalton's Law) of pure oxygen must equal 2 atm (or 29.4 psi). This condition can occur when breathing
pure oxygen at a depth of 33 feet
OR
regular air at a depth of 297 feet. Pure oxygen makes up roughly 21% of the regular air humans breathe, exerting a partial pressure of about 3.09 psi. (0.21 x 14.7 psi = 3.09 psi) At a depth of 297 feet, where regular air is at a pressure of 10 atm (or 30.9 psi), even regular air is dangerous to breathe. Fortunately, oxygen toxicity is not a problem for all divers that do not pass the sport diving limit of 100 feet. Symptoms of oxygen poisoning include muscular twitching, sensory problems, nausea, anxiety, confusion, fatigue, and clumsiness.

Treatment: These symptoms swiftly disappear by breathing oxygen at a normal concentration and a regular partial pressure. Information and Photo Source: Open Water Sport Diver Manual. 4th. Colorado: Jeppesen Sanderson, 1989. 2-42. Print. Air Embolism An air embolism is a serious diving ailment that is caused by holding one's breath during ascent. As explained by Boyle's Law, if the pressure exerted on a gas decreases, the gas's volume will increase. Because of this, if the pressure exerted on a sealed container is lessened, the volume of the gas within will increase. If the volume of the gas exceeds the volume of the container, some gas will escape the container, breaking the seal.

Like the container to the left, the alveoli in the human lungs spew out the expanding gas when the pressure exerted on them is lessened. In this case, the excess gas, now trapped within the body in the form of air bubbles, can travel through the bloodstream and possibly plug the flow of a capillary or artery, causing major health problems.

Air embolisms can be avoided by simply breathing regularly during ascent to prevent the lungs from becoming sealed containers for extended periods of time. Symptoms of an air embolism vary based on where the obstruction occurs, and include unconsciousness, fatigue, breathing difficulty, and death.

An air embolism can only be treated through immediate recompression and slow decompression in a chamber to prevent bubbles from forming in the bloodstream. Information and Photo Source: Open Water Sport Diver Manual. 4th. Colorado: Jeppesen Sanderson, 1989. 2-42. Print. Decompression Sickness Like an air embolism, decompression sickness (or more popularly known as "the bends") is a diving illness that involves bubbles of gas in an improper location. However, decompression sickness particularly involves nitrogen gas bubbles. When breathing, nitrogen is transferred in and out of the body regularly. In its gaseous form, it has no real use in the human body and only dissolves into miniscule, harmless bubbles.

According to Boyle's Law, the volume of a gas increases with a decrease in pressure. If a diver ascends too quickly, expanding nitrogen gas within the bloodstream can come out of the solution to form larger bubbles in the blood and body tissue that can block circulation.

To combat the onset of the bends, the U.S. Navy has created an air decompression table for divers that displays the amount of time that has to be spent at certain depths during ascent.

Charles's Law, which states that gaseous volume also increases with a rise in temperature, also plays a role in the occurrence of decompression sickness after a long dive without a properly insulated wet suit. If ascent is hastened due to possible hypothermia, immediate coverage by warm clothing or towels could expand nitrogen bubbles further, leaving freezing divers to choose between hypothermia or a higher risk of the bends. Depending on where the nitrogen bubbles "strike," or form, a plethora of symptoms can arise, ranging from blindness to paralysis to chest pain to death.

Treatment for the bends can only be provided by a recompression chamber, much like that of an air embolism. Information and Photo Source: Open Water Sport Diver Manual. 4th. Colorado: Jeppesen Sanderson, 1989. 2-42. Print. F
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! The first underwater goggles were made by Persian divers using thin, polished pieces of tortoise shell. Air was first pumped to a diver in 1771 by British engineer John Smeaton. The first self-contained air device killed its French inventor, Sieur Freminet, in under twenty minutes of use. The inventor of the first closed circuit rebreather, Henry Fleuss of England, died of oxygen toxicity. The first diving suit with a safe air supply weighed 200 lbs. It was devised by Benoit Rouquayrol and Auguste Denayrouze in 1873. In 1942, Emile Gagnan and Jacques Cousteau designed the first modern regulator, the Aqua-Lung. The deepest verified open circuit scuba dive was set by Nuno Gomes of Egypt in 2005 with a dive to 318.25 meters below the surface. Although it took 10 minutes to reach the record-breaking depth, Nuno spent roughly 9 hours ascending to avoid diving illnesses. This video contains underwater footage from Austria's Green Lake, a meadow that flooded from rainwater. This clip demonstrates that scuba diving provides a glimpse at a world through new eyes. Information Sources: http://inventors.about.com/od/cstartinventors/a/Scuba.htm http://www.scubarecords.com/
Video Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJ-7WD5VdWs
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