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As we discussed in the preceding chapter, the study of heat and temperature is part of an area of physics known as thermodynamics, in which we require a system to be macroscopic, that is, to consist of a huge number (such as $$10^{23}$$) of molecules. We begin by considering some macroscopic properties of gases: volume, pressure, and temperature. The simple model of a hypothetical “ideal gas” describes these properties of a gas very accurately under many conditions. We move from the ideal gas model to a more widely applicable approximation, called the Van der Waals model.