Featured in PASCO’s Chemistry through Inquiry Teacher Guide

Chemistry through Inquiry Teacher Guide


Features over 25 inquiry based labs covering the fundamental concepts of lab skills, structure & properties of matter, chemical reactions and more.

Absolute Zero

Lab Summary

Use an absolute pressure sensor and fast response temperature sensor to determine the temperature at which all motion stops (absolute zero).


Determine the temperature at which all motion stops. Through this investigation, students:

  • Show that a directly proportional relationship exists between pressure and temperature for a gas at constant volume.
  • Relate the Kelvin temperature scale to the motion of molecules.
  • Show that Gay-Lussac’s law, P/T = k and P1/T1 = Pz/Tz is valid only with Kelvin temperatures.


Students conduct the following procedures:

  • Use an absolute pressure sensor to determine the pressure of a fixed volume of air at various temperatures.
  • Record collected temperature data in both Celsius and Kelvin units.
  • Graph pressure versus temperature data showing the line of best fit (linear regression).
  • Use the equation for the line of best fit to determine absolute zero.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Chemistry Sensor


Allows students to measure Temperature, pH/ISE/ORP, Absolute Pressure & Voltage in one sensor. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

PASPORT Sensor Extension Cable


Allows an additional two meter length extension on all PASPORT sensors.

Materials Used:

Test tube, 15-mm × 100-mm 
One-hole rubber stopper to fit test tubes
Beaker, 250-mL - 2
Ring stand 
Three-finger clamp 
Glycerin - 2 drops
Polystyrene cup - 2
Rubber band 
Crushed ice - 300 mL
Room temperature water - 300 mL
~45 °C water - 300 mL
~55 °C water - 300 mL
~65 °C water - 300 mL

Your Bundle Options:

Option 1:

Chemistry Starter Sensor Bundle


A sensor bundle specifically designed to get you started using probeware in your chemistry lab. Also: perform 22 Lab Activities from Chemistry through Inquiry teacher guide.

Option 2:

Chemistry Standard Sensor Bundle


Contains the sensors and probes needed to perform all 17 experiments in the Advanced Chemistry Teacher Guide and all 25 labs in the Chemistry through Inquiry Guide.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.