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I was going to edit a question to include this tag, but then realized the "real-gas" tag doesn't exist till now! Most of the questions about real-gas are currently tagged under "gas-laws" like this and this and this. We can change the "gas-laws" tag to "ideal-gas-laws", and create another "real-gas" tag.

I think it can easily accumulate at least 30-40 questions under the topics of compressibility factor, virial state equation, van der waal equation, and andrew's isotherms.

I haven't created a tag before so decided to get the green light before doing anything.

EDIT: Even the "Related" section shows there's quite a few questions on compressibility factor alone.


(Added in Mar 2018)

PS: There is a distant cousin with 27 questions exclusively about real gases.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think gas laws doesn't necessarily refer only to ideal gases. I'm not 100% sure about the merits of this, can see arguments for and against. But I lean towards agreeing. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Jan 14 '18 at 13:21
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    $\begingroup$ @orthocresol The easiest and perhaps the only argument for the real-gas tag is that it helps segregate the real-gas questions from the ideal-gas ones ^_^ Re: "Gas laws doesn't necessarily refer only to ideal gases" yes, that's why I said renaming it to "ideal-gas-laws" to make it more clear. $\endgroup$ – Gaurang Tandon Jan 14 '18 at 13:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, but the action to take is not simply renaming the tag. The appropriate action is to (in principle) go through all 438 questions currently tagged with gas-laws and determine whether they should be tagged with ideal-gases or real-gases. This doesn't necessarily have to be done in one day, it can be done over the course of months or years. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Jan 14 '18 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol Oh, lol, I didn't think that there are so many questions xD Well, I'll leave this question open then, in case anyone decides to take this project up, they may. Might be a good project for the next summer holidays now that new year is already gone. "t can be done over the course of months or years" oh that's great! $\endgroup$ – Gaurang Tandon Jan 14 '18 at 13:29
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol So, for at least the questions that I come across, do I start retagging them as ideal-gases and real-gases? $\endgroup$ – Gaurang Tandon Jan 14 '18 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ I would hold off as there is no consensus yet. $\endgroup$ – orthocresol Jan 14 '18 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol Yeah, ok, let's wait a day or two. $\endgroup$ – Gaurang Tandon Jan 14 '18 at 13:31
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While it appears like an easy task, I believe it isn't as much. The currently used is not specifically about ideal gases, as the excerpt clearly states:

Physical and chemical laws describing the properties and behavior of gases.

Yes, the tag is broad, but in my opinion not too broad. I personally don't find it necessary to separate real gases from ideal gases. There is a significant portion of questions that deal with both, those would also have to bear both tags.

I am unsure whether this has enough merit to go through the following:

It is one of our top tags with more than 400 zero or higher scoring questions. This makes any change in the behaviour of this tag much, much more difficult. We would have to screen each and every question, as orthocresol already pointed out in the comments, if the renamed tag still applies.
As a minor concern, we introduce another possibility for misapplying tags. I don't think that is much of a problem, given that almost every question will be edited at one point.
From that point of view, I am strictly against modifying (renaming) that tag. (Anecdote: The homework tag's excerpt states: Do not use in all caps, but it is applied at least a few times every week.)

Instead the better way to do that would be to phase out by introducing and and systematically replace the former with one (or both) of the other. That way you have at least some control what has been done and what is still to do.
That obviously means that we would have to go through 400+ questions, and given the experience with (boo!) and (see Spring Cleaning Chat) it seemingly almost takes forever to go through just a handful of them. Obviously cleaning up the tags involves cleaning up these questions to the best of your ability, including any answers.

Unfortunately, there are currently not that many people working on these minor issues. I would like to point out, that there are similar (more complex) projects still being dealt with, like the functional group/ class of reactions reorganising. There is plenty of to keep us busy for the next years, and there is still some left. Personally I'd rather focus on ridding us of these remnants other than introducing another retagging project, especially since another TRE seems unlikely.

In summary: While I am not against doing this, I'd put it on the "'t'd would be nice" pile of things. The current tag system is not broken and doesn't require immediate action, so better wait a little longer.


Postscriptum; I am always looking for people helping out with some of the earlier mentioned issues. For this purpose the spring-cleaning chat has been continued, serving as an catch'em all documentation service. Occasionally we decide about the fate of some questions. It's open to everyone, and it would take some work of orthocresol's and my hands (and for a long time Brian's, too), which would be very nice, if you drop in and help out a little.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, thanks for the complete analysis! :D I personally had no experience with what the previous TRE were and how many were going on. (Though I did check in Spring cleaning yesterday, seemed fun; and I also checked TRE now, looked cool) so if you feel that we should first focus on existing retagging projects instead of starting a new one, that's OK. Although I would say that personally I can help out in retagging questions on gas laws (because the org and inorg chem on this site is way beyond my brain!!! and my math-y brain loves phy chem (cont)). $\endgroup$ – Gaurang Tandon Jan 15 '18 at 9:42
  • $\begingroup$ (cont) and I am currently studying gas laws in school, so I can help out along the way. Though, I'm not sure I'll be able to do this any faster than you, and considering you said it'll take weeks (:-O) I'll, if you permit, first try fifty questions (~10%of total) and see how much time it takes. $\endgroup$ – Gaurang Tandon Jan 15 '18 at 9:43

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