Problem: Which of the following statements best explains why nitrogen gas at STP is less dense than Xe gas at STP?(a) Because Xe is a noble gas, there is less tendency for the Xe atoms to repel one another, so they pack more densely in the gaseous state.(b) Xe atoms have a higher mass than N2 molecules. Because both gases at STP have the same number of molecules per unit volume, the Xe gas must be denser.(c) The Xe atoms are larger than N2 molecules and thus take up a larger fraction of the space occupied by the gas.(d) Because the Xe atoms are much more massive than the N2 molecules, they move more slowly and thus exert less upward force on the gas container and make the gas appear denser.

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at STP

↑ MM = ↑ dense


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Problem Details

Which of the following statements best explains why nitrogen gas at STP is less dense than Xe gas at STP?

(a) Because Xe is a noble gas, there is less tendency for the Xe atoms to repel one another, so they pack more densely in the gaseous state.

(b) Xe atoms have a higher mass than N2 molecules. Because both gases at STP have the same number of molecules per unit volume, the Xe gas must be denser.

(c) The Xe atoms are larger than N2 molecules and thus take up a larger fraction of the space occupied by the gas.

(d) Because the Xe atoms are much more massive than the N2 molecules, they move more slowly and thus exert less upward force on the gas container and make the gas appear denser.

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Based on our data, we think this problem is relevant for Professor Stec's class at UIC.