Study of macroscopic and microscopic phenomena in chemical systems in terms of physical laws and concepts [thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, kinetic theory, quantum mechanics...].

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Why does burning magnesium explode when sprinkled with water?

Magnesium powder burns extremely well and reaches temperatures of 2500°C. However, attempts to extinguish such a magnesium fire with conventional water (e.g. from a garden hose) only make it worse: ...
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1answer
55 views

What happens if a free radical is placed in absolute vacuum?

I'd like to know what happens if a free radical has no material around to interact with. I have asked many people but I am not satisfied with their answer. I know there is nothing like absolute ...
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1answer
51 views

Chemical reaction A+B$\leftrightarrow$C. Equilibrium VS Non Equilibrium

Could you please confirm or say why I am wrong? Let us consider the steady state of the chemical reaction $A+B \leftrightarrow^{k_+}_{k_-} C$, with $k_+$ and $k_-$ the forward and backward rates. ...
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0answers
28 views

Given the Pair Correlation Functions for a Multi-component Fluid, is There a Simple Way to Obtain the Helmholtz Free Energy?

I think it may not be possible. Given all the pair correlation functions (e.g. calculated from Ornstein Zernike theory), it seems possible to obtain the internal energy (assuming different species ...
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6answers
4k views

Where should a physicist go to learn chemistry?

I took an introductory chemistry course long ago, but the rules seemed arbitrary, and I've forgotten most of what I learned. Now that I have an undergraduate education in physics, I should be able to ...
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1answer
53 views

Is Boltzmann constant $k_B$ constant?

I heard in a lecture that Boltzmann constant $k_B$ is not constant in some special cases. Do you know the title of the article which contains this one? Do you think this idea is true?
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4answers
70k views

Why do grapes in a microwave oven produce plasma?

Some of you may know this experience (Grape + Microwave oven = Plasma video link): take a grape that you almost split in two parts, letting just a tiny piece of skin making a link between each ...
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1answer
67 views

Why does the rate of melting of an ice block vary in different methods?

I saw that an ice block melts faster when it is placed in a microwave rather than when it is exposed to flame. Could it be because the flame creates a layer of water vapor between the flame and ice? ...
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1answer
2k views

Why does NaCl (aq) conduct electricity but NaCl (s) does not?

Why does sodium choloride in its solid state not conduct electricity, but in its aqueous solution state it conducts electricity easily?
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2answers
808 views

Gas viscosity at high pressure, high temperature

EDIT 1 PER COMMENTS I am wanting to model nitrogen gas viscosity as a function of pressure and temperature OR learn of an existing equation that models nitrogen viscosity for the pressure and ...
17
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4answers
3k views

Boiling water and salt

I would like to have a good understanding of what is happening when you add salt to boiling water. My understanding is that the boiling point will be higher, thus lengthening the process (obtaining ...
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0answers
50 views

Bandwidth-Pulse Duration Relationship

Assuming Gaussian pulse, the relationship between pulse duration and bandwidth is given by: $$\Delta \nu \cdot \tau \geq 0.441$$ If the rms bandwidth and rms pulse duration are used, then the ...
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3answers
85 views
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1answer
51 views

What's the relation between molecular orbitals and electron density?

The way molecular orbitals are drawn represent the "encapsulated" space in which the wave function has a significant amplitude. How do I obtain from this the electron density? Is there a fundamental ...
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0answers
61 views

Isothermal Expansion in Real Gases

I understand that for a ideal gas in the case of reversible isothermal expansion, $\Delta U=0$ and $-Q=W$ but in case of a real or van der Waal gases, how can I find $Q$, $\Delta U$ and $\Delta S$?
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1answer
53 views

How to thermodynamically understand process of burning a piece of coal?

Let's imagine that I have a match in hand and nugget of coal on my desk. Then I light up the match and place it for few seconds near the coal so a tiny piece of nugget catches fire. Then another piece ...
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1answer
7k views

How to know what materials are good conductors of electricity?

I'm not asking a question like "Is the wood conductive?". No. I'm asking what properties do they have to have to be good conductors. Theoretically I mean. Thanks.
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3answers
2k views

What is the quantum mechanical explanation of the octet rule?

What is the quantum mechanical explanation of the octet rule? In other words, what makes the octet rule be true from a quantum mechanical view? How we explain what makes some atoms don't follow the ...
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0answers
55 views

Calculating the heat transfer into CO$_2$ gas at a constant pressure

I am having trouble with a homework question and I am just not sure how to attack it. We have not covered how to deal with non-ideal gases yet, and we are expected to answer this question without that ...
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0answers
176 views

Confusing Chemical potential of mixtures

I feel that there are very few textbook that treat the chemical potential of mixtures in an understandable clear way, which is why I wanted to ask here about certain things? Although I do not have a ...
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0answers
70 views

Why do aromatic rings absorb in UV?

Why do aromatic rings absorb in UV? I think that the whole molecule absorb light which causes transition of an electron to another molecule orbital.
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1answer
189 views

Can ice freeze? [closed]

We know that ice is already the frozen (solid) form of water. The question is more like: Can this frozen form freeze further? Or can it become more solid? (for example, by exposing to colder ...
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1answer
106 views

Why is the objective function used in Nudged Elastic Band method reasonable?

In Nudged Elastic Band (NEB) method, which is used to find reaction pathways when both initial and final states are know, an objective function is first constructed and then minimized to find reaction ...
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1answer
90 views

Increase in Solubility of a Gas with an Increase in Temperature

On the UC Davis ChemWiki I read, "some gases have an increase in solubility with an increase in temperature." I understand why this is applicable to solids in liquids such as water, but why is it ...
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1answer
56 views

How does gas pressure increase the lifespan of Halogen tungsten lamps in the Halogen Cycle?

I am curious about this passage "Since quartz is very strong, the gas pressure can be higher,[5] which reduces the rate of evaporation of the filament, permitting it to run a higher temperature (and ...
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0answers
54 views

What is the argument for detailed balance in chemistry?

Detailed balance is an important property of many classes of physical systems. It can be written as $$ \frac{p_{i \to j}}{p_{j \to i}} = e^{\frac{\Delta G}{k_B T}},\tag{1} $$ where $i$ and $j$ ...
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3answers
480 views

Melting and Boiling Points of Odd Materials

In Chemistry, I was taught that there are three main states of matter: solid, liquid, and gas, and that heat and pressure determine that state. For some substances, the line is blurry between them. ...
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3answers
2k views

How are the calories in food calculated?

This is intended to be a fun question. Calorimetry used for calculating the heat generated from chemical changes has been around for centuries, however, I suspect the process for calculating food ...
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2answers
19 views

Exothermic heat release mechanism in gases

How is heat released when bond formation occurs in gases? For example, when atomic oxygen and molecular oxygen combine to form ozone?
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2answers
73 views

Could we describe acids and bases using electromagnetism?

Why don't we use Maxwell's equations in acids and base theory? Surely the interaction between two charged species is readily described by this. The theory I have so far come across is HASB theory. ...
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3answers
957 views

How much heat from a fire actually warms your home?

A fire in a hearth disperses heat to, I guess, three places: the bricks of the chimney out the hearth (where the person tending the fire is standing) out the chimney, above the house How would you ...
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0answers
20 views

Better gas mileage going fast or slow [duplicate]

In an automobile, do you get better miles per gallon when going faster or slower? Is this question answerable without more information? If more information is needed, assume the following: ...
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1answer
160 views

DFT Calculations, Atomic Ionization Potentials — Which Exchange-Correlation Functional to Use, to Preserve Koopmans' Theorem?

I have a program which can perform density-functional calculations for atoms, given a density functional. Of course the simplest form of exchange potential to use is one relevant for a uniform ...
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1answer
64 views

Should it really be called “valence *sub*shell”?

The Wikipedia article on electron shells states this, which I (a chemical layman) also always assumed: The electrons in the outermost occupied shell (or shells) determine the chemical properties ...
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2answers
149 views

Why Does Air Hold More Water When the Air is Warmer?

I know that when the temperature of the air rises, the maximum amount of Water it can hold before the water condenses to water droplets increases. But why is this - has it got something to do with ...
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0answers
39 views

Like viscoelastic polymers, why there are not storage and loss moduli for cast iron?

Viscoelastic polymers have different paths upon loading and unloading, so there is energy dissipation, so they have storage and loss moduli. Plastic behavior is also shown by cast iron: loading and ...
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4answers
23k views

Why does ice have a lower density than water?

Can someone explain me why is ice lighter than water? As I know, all solids are usually heavier than the liquids (correct me if I am wrong).
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4answers
2k views

Could the Periodic Table have been done using group theory?

These three questions are phrased as alternative-history questions, but my real intent is to understand better how well different modeling approaches fit the phenomena they are used to describe; see 1 ...
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3answers
391 views

Kinetic proof of law of mass action

Suppose we have a chemical reaction of the form $$n_1 A_1 + \cdots + n_r A_r \leftrightarrow m_1 B_1 + \cdots + m_s B_s$$ where $A_i$ and $B_i$ are molecules, and the $n_i$ and $m_i$ are the integer ...
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2answers
79 views

How much entropy is produced in evaporating water due to irreversible evaporation towards equilibrium (humidity=100%)?

$dS=dH/T_{boil}$ for the increase in entropy by changing a phase at saturation ($T=373\text K$ for $p=1\text {atm}$ for water). However, water also obviously evaporates below boiling point when ...
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1answer
43 views

bimolecular reaction master equation

I was wondering how to write down the deterministic rate equation for a bimolecular reaction with similar particles. e.g. $A \rightarrow^{k_+} B +B$ and $B +B \rightarrow^{k_-} A$ now the rate ...
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0answers
30 views

What is the minimum bend radius of a square optical fiber on a microfluidic chip interface?

I want to make a microfluidic chip with colorimetry cuvettes with 100um square optical fibers coupled to the side of them. They should bend at a 90 degree angle to exit the side of the chip in a ...
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0answers
19 views

Mixing liquids when applying a voltage

I'm thinking in the following experiment: A) Two (non mixable (like water and oil)) liquids are going to lie in a container, in the extremes of the container there are two electrodes, those ...
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2answers
493 views

Can we fully simulate molecular physics?

Is our knowledge of physics complete enough to achieve fully natural simulations of molecular interactions in a computer simulation? How far off are we? Reason for question: I wonder how far we are ...
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0answers
37 views

problem about heat in thermodynamics

$$\nabla G=-T\nabla S-T\nabla S_{sur}=-Q+q $$ $$\nabla G=-T\nabla S-T\nabla S_{sur}=-(U-W_{rew})+q $$ $$\nabla G=-T\nabla S-T\nabla S_{sur}=-(q+W-W_{rew})+q $$ $$\nabla G=-T\nabla S-T\nabla ...
7
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1answer
126 views

What would be the first compound formed in the early universe?

This may sound like a chemistry problem, but I suspect this would have lot to do with primordial nucleosynthesis. After all physics underlies everything. It is believed that several elements were ...
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2answers
68 views

How do we represent 'smell' and 'taste' as signals?

I was wondering if we could represent 'smell' and 'taste' as signals like we do for audio. How do we mathematically represent them? Is there any research papers related to it? Can someone give me ...
3
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5answers
158 views

Mass and Energy

Would the mass of burnt firewood be equal to the mass of firewood before burning? Then where does that heat come from? According to Einstein's equation, $E=mc^2$ Shouldn't there be some mass going ...
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1answer
59 views

Boiling is not well described? [duplicate]

It is said that boiling occurs only when the vapour pressure becomes equal to the pressure surrounding the vapour (say atmospheric pressure). Why does it take place only satisfying these conditions ...
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1answer
108 views

Why does intramolecular hydrogen bonding cause molecules to separate?

Today I learned about intramolecular hydrogen bonding, which occurs in molecules such as ortho-nitro-phenol. What I was told is that, in case of intramolecular bonding, the molecules separate from ...