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MCAT

Unit 3: Lesson 1

Chemical and physical sciences practice passage questions

Ideal gases in medicine

Problem

Noble gases have numerous medicinal functions due to their relative non-reactivity. Helium is beneficial in respiratory treatments due to its low density, low solubility, and high thermal conductivity. Argon is useful for cryotherapy, in which tissue is exposed to sub-zero temperatures for surgical purposes. The anesthetic application of Xenon has been demonstrated to be more effective than previous techniques, although the significant financial expense of the gas makes its use less common. Finally, Krypton finds use in the field of cardiology in its use of detecting abnormal heart openings.
A research assistant in a lab is investigating the properties of Helium, Argon, Krypton, and Xenon for further use in the medical field. In the lab, there are four sealed containers, each of which contains a certain amount of a respective gas. The canisters are labeled with the type of gas contained, the pressure of the gas contained, the volume of the canister, and the # of moles of the gas.
Table 1. Each canister and the element's corresponding pressure, volume, and number of moles.
Pressure of gasVolume of canister# of moles of gas
Helium100,000 Pa0.02mcubed4
Argon200,000 Pa0.04mcubed8
Krypton300,000 Pa0.06mcubed1
Xenon400,000 Pa0.08mcubed2
Sources:
Berganza, C. Zhang, J. (2013). The role of helium in medicine. Medical Gas Research, 3, 18. Loma Linda, CA.
Jordan, B. Wright, E. (2010). Xenon as an Anasthetic Agent. American Association of Nurse Anesthetists Journal, 78.
Chemical Properties. (2015). Krypton. Chemical Properties of Krypton. Lenntech BV. Rotterdamseweg, NED.
What would be the correct ranking of the average kinetic energy of the gas molecules of the gases based on how they are labeled?
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