Charles' Law Mini Lab


Does temperature affect volume? That's the question I'm asking myself for this experiment. I'm doing this lab to test Charles' Law and I'm looking to find how volume increases when temperature increases, and the volume decreases when the temperature decreases. The Charles' law came from a man named Jacques Charles, and he was a French scientist. The law didn't actually come from him but by Joseph Louis Lussac in 1802, but named it in his honor. This picture shown here is the man himself, Jacques Charles!

Safety Procedures and Safety Equipment

Goggles- You always need to be wearing googles when doing an experiment, and this one is no exception! You don't want to water to splash in your eye or the balloon to pop in your face.

Gloves- You need gloves to protect your hands from the boiling water in case it spills, and to bring the erlenmeyer flask to the ice water.

Apron- An apron is a necessity so nothing spills on your clothes.

Don't skip the safety portion! It's very important!


  • Erlenmeyer flask
  • normal balloon
  • 50 mL of water
  • hot plate at the setting of 10
  • pairs of gloves
  • hot pads
  • bucket (alternate: something that will hold the erlenmeyer flask)
  • ice water to fill the bucket or alternate object
  • graduated cylinder


  1. Put your gloves, apron, and goggles on.
  2. Get the bucket and fill it 1/2 to 3/4 full with ice water.
  3. Fill your graduated cylinder up to the 15mL line.
  4. Pour the 50mL of water into the Erlenmeyer flask.
  5. Plug the hot plate in and put the Erlenmeyer flask on the plate.
  6. Turn the nob on the hot plate to 10 and wait for the water to boil.
  7. Get the balloon and put it on top of the Erlenmeyer flask when the water is boiling.
  8. Leave balloon on the Erlenmeyer flask for 3-5 seconds or until it expands to a moderate size.
  9. Turn off the hot plate.
  10. Grab Erlenmeyer flask with the hot pads.
  11. Put the Erlenmeyer flask into the bucket with ice water and hold it there until the balloon shrinks and then is sucked into the erlenmeyer flask.
  12. You've completed the experiment! Now clean up and put everything back where you got it.

Congratulations! You've now proven Charles' law!