This diagram illustrates Dalton's Law of partial pressures. When a man is at 99 feet below the surface, he has four atmospheres of pressure on him. When he is breathing regular air at 99 feet, he is acutally breathing four times the amount of nitrogen and oxygen he would be breathing on the surface. On the surface, the partial pressure of the nitrogen is 0.8 (80%) and the partial pressure of the oxygen is 0.2 (20%). Therefore, at four atmospheres of pressure, the partial pressure of the nitrogen is 3.2 and the partial pressure of the oxygen is 0.8. Nitrox evens out the amount of nitrogen and oygen a diver breaths. This allows the diver to dive to deeper depths and not get nitrogen narcosis. With a 60% nitrogen/ 40% oxygen mixture of nitrox, the partial pressure of the nitrogen on the surface is 0.6 and the partial pressure of the oxygen is 0.4. So at four atmospheres of pressure, the partial pressure of the nitrogen is 2.4 and the partial pressure of the oxygen is 1.6. With a 50% nitrogen/50% oxygen mixture of nitrox, the partial pressures are evened out the most. At four atmospheres of pressure, the partial pressure of the nitrogen is 2 and the partial pressure of the oxygen is 2.

 

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