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Gas Laws - Rockets

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Montse Garza

on 17 December 2015

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Transcript of Gas Laws - Rockets

How do space rockets work?
Basically, rockets rely on an action-reaction concept (Newton's 3rd law of motion). Exhaust is thrust onto the ground and the rockets react by lifting off the ground and flying away.
This is mainly achieved by either solid-propellant rockets or liquid-propellant rockets. Both kinds of rockets involve the combustion of a fuel (solid or liquid) and an oxidizer to produce large amounts of high pressure gases giving the rocket thrust.
Solid-Propellant Rockets are mostly used in the military with "gunpowder" as fuel, while Liquid Propellant rockets are mostly used for spacecraft. The Space Shuttle used liquid hydrogen (liquid fuel) and liquid oxygen (oxidizer).
So how do Gas Laws Apply to Rockets?
Ideal Gas Law and Boyle's Law - Air-Powered Rocket



Gas Laws - Rockets
Rockets use changes in temperature, volume, and pressure of gases to create exhaust that has the thrust to propel a rocket into the air.
Certain gas laws applied to model rockets can demonstarte how this occurs.
1. Ideal Gas Law
2. Boyle's Law
3. Gay Lussac's Law
As air was being pumped into the water bottle,
of air were being added.
The volume (V), constant (R), and temperature (T) of the gases remained unchanged before the bottle was released.
This indicates that the addition of gas moles into the container with an unchanging volume,
increase the pressure
This pressurized gas is what propels the object upward.

But how did Rockets come to be?
History of Rockets- Hero Engine
One of the inventions that first contained rocket concepts was created back in A.D. 10 to 70 by the Hero of Alexandria.
The Engine involved the heating of a copper sphere with fire. The fire boiled water into steam, and the steam was released through two tubes on the sphere.
When the steam had enough pressure, the copper sphere would rotate.
This can be represented by
Gay-Lussac's Law
: more temperature, more pressure.
Gay-Lussac's Law - Alcohol Air Rockets
P1/T1 = P2/T2
The alcohol-air mixture is flammable, so when the igniter comes in contact with the air, the air ignites resulting in high temperatures that cause the rocket to fly.
This can be modeled with Gay- Lussac's Law because
increasing the gases' temperature also increases the pressure
, thus, propelling the rocket forwards.
Wan Hu Legend
In the sixteenth century, a Chinese man dreamed of flying to space. Therefore, he constructed a chair with 47 gunpowder rockets on the base that would be ignited simultaneously by 47 assistants.
On lauch day, Hu sat on the chair, the rockets were ignited, a huge explosion occured, and Wan Hu dissappeared.
Even though he may have not made it to space, his idea of using rockets with some kind of fuel led to the future.
First Liquid Propellant Rocket
Who we now know as the "father of modern rocketry", Robert Goddard tested the first liquid-propellant rocket engine in 1926.
He used gasoline and liquid oxygen as fuel and an oxidizer in his rocket. When launched, the rocket only reached 12 meters in the air, but from there, liquid-proppelant rockets only improved.

When the high pressures of the gases inside the bottle were decreased by the releasing of the bottle, high volumes of air sprouted from the "nozzle", lauching the rocket.

Less pressure, more volume
By Montse Garza
Full transcript