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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Energy per particle vs. chemical potential vs. evaporation energy

There is a system of N particles. They interact and are bound together with a binding energy Eb (or potential energy). To characterize the system there are multiple terms Energy per particle Eb(N)/N ...
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1answer
237 views

Voltage drop over a cell membrane

Again, a problem from exam preparation: [A] cell's membrane allows sodium ions to pass through it, but not chlorine ions. The cell is placed in a salty solution with a ten times higher ...
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227 views

Why are the lighter halogens gases?

In the periodic table of the elements, only a few of the elements are gases at standard temperature and pressure. Those elements include the noble gases some of the halogens, and a few of the elements ...
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3answers
3k views

Why is the energy density of gasoline so high?

We sometimes play a game in my family whereby we trace the energy for a device back to it's source: The Xbox got power from the wall. The wall got power from the local transformer. The transformer ...
3
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3answers
463 views

Is Uranium renewable, or will this science fiction scenario become reality?

In my imagination, nuclear power could disapear when we use up all the uranium generating electricity, or exploding nuclear bombs. Is uranium a renewable resourse? if not, can we prove that this ...
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5answers
4k views

Conversion of mass to energy in chemical/nuclear reactions

Is mass converted into energy in exothermic chemical / nuclear reactions? My (A Level) knowledge of chemistry suggests that this isn't the case. In a simple burning reaction, e.g. $C+O_2\to ...
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2answers
169 views

What would make the bottom of my cocktail glass develop a fractured pattern like this?

I left out the remnants of my Long Island Iced Tea. This was a mixture of various liquors, lemon juice, Splenda, and water from the melted ice. It was left on my kitchen counter for several days: ...
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3answers
410 views

How would steel degrade in space

If there is a steel plate floating in space, for ever, within the solar system, how is it going to degrade? Of course without oxygen it is not going to oxidize (rust), but how are cosmic rays, UV ...
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1answer
285 views

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

As far as I understand a new pattern of crystal growth has been found experimentally. How does it relate to the known 2D and 3D nucleation and growth of crystals? The dominating theory of crystal ...
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1k views

Chemical potential interpretation

Something that has bothered me for a while regards the interpretation of chemical potential for different statistics. While I understand its meaning in metals (and its relation with the Fermi ...
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2answers
102 views

How to determine what an object is composed of?

Heads up: This question has never been asked (here) before the way I will ask it here, so let's shed some light on it a bit. Prelude and anecdote(can be skipped): The other day I was walking home, ...
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2answers
1k views

What meaning do changes in the absolute value of Gibbs free energy have in a simple expansion process?

Below is a simple representation of the thermodynamics of a steam turbine. Stream kinetic and potential energy changes are neglected and no other type of non-PV work is done besides shaft work. ...
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515 views

Where does the Pauli Repulsive Force come from that counteracts the attraction between atoms and ions? [duplicate]

I'm learning about such things as ionic and covalent bonds, and the reason given for the ionic bonds is electrostatic attraction. However, if that were true, then the two ions would accelerate toward ...
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2answers
2k views

Widom-Larsen Theory

Does the Widom-Larsen theory pose a credible underpinning for Low Energy Nuclear Reactions, often incorrectly referred to as "Cold Fusion"? http://arxiv.org/abs/cond-mat/0505026
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2answers
283 views

When do thermal and chemical equilibrium not coincide?

What is an example for a system, which is in chemical equilibrium, but not in thermodynamical equilibrium? And what about the other way around? It seems to me, that as long as Parameters like ...
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1answer
612 views

What does activation energy actually do?

Spontaneous (exothermic) chemical reactions often require a push from the addition of externally supplied energy. This energy is often called activation energy. What does activation energy actually ...
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1answer
447 views

Why is E85 less efficient than straight gasoline?

Why is straight gasoline (or whetever the mixture was before the introduction of ethanol) more efficient (ie, more miles/gallon) than E85? I've known since it's introduction that E85 was less ...
3
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1answer
230 views

determination of voltaic cell voltage

if i understood this correctly, the determination of voltage for a specific voltaic (gallvanic) cell is determined only by the chemical correlation between the two metals. is this true? for an ...
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1answer
338 views

Diffusion of gas in a liquid with changing pressure and solubility (chemical potential)

Modelling the diffusion of a gas dissolved in water in a vertical column of water, several meters deep. Also assuming the water is completely still, so only diffusion plays a role. (Actually a model ...
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1answer
97 views

Why does Relativity effect the melting point of mercury?

I know there is a related question, that references the Dirac Equation, that relies on relativity, but I've just watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtnsHtYYKf0 Which seems to say ...
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1answer
271 views

What is a chemical potential good for?

I read that the definition of the chemical potential is, that it is the partial derivative of the Free energy with respect to the number of particles, $$\mu=\frac{\partial F}{\partial N}.$$ ...
3
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1answer
226 views

Why do hydrogen atoms attract?

That is, why is the potential energy with the orbitals overlapping less than with the Hydrogen atoms 'independent'. Similarly, why is a noble gas configuration stabler than if an electron were to be ...
3
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2answers
306 views

What physical forces give rise to the peculiar bond angle of hydrogen peroxide?

In one of the Periodic Table videos, Prof. Poliakoff shows a model of a hydrogen peroxide molecule and claims that the H-O bonds will always be at right angles to each other. I have a rudimentary ...
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1answer
761 views

How does a stronger magnet affect the MRI image quality?

In which ways is a stronger magnet better for magnetic resonance imaging? I read that: The field strength of the magnet will influence the quality of the MR image regarding chemical shift ...
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1answer
507 views

Energy levels in disordered organic semiconductors?

Now in disordered organics, the band picture is thrown out the window, from what I can tell (due to lack of symmetry). But don't HOMO/LUMO levels basically take the place of conduction/valence bands ...
3
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1answer
56 views

Force field for Calcium ions, potassium ions and water in molecular dynamics

I want to adapt my existing MD simulation so that it can handle these three species. For the interactions of the ions I thought that I would use the coulomb potential, but I don't know what sort of ...
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2answers
51 views

Is there anyway to use a scientific instrument to measure the density of electron around the atomic orbital?

Is there anyway to use a scientific instrument to measure the density of electron around the atomic orbital? Please list both old way and more modern ways.
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2answers
99 views

Can a liquid shrink as something is dissolved into it?

Not much more to add. By shrink, I mean become more dense at the same pressure and temperature. And I don't mean vol(A+B) < vol(A) + vol(B). I'm sure this is possible. Is it possible to ...
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1answer
248 views

How much water is destroyed in photosynthesis, relative to the world's supply?

Water is involved in the photosynthesis. How much water are we talking about compared with the total amount on water on Earth? Is it enough to have an effect on the average age of water molecules?
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2answers
2k views

How to estimate the physical size of a molecule?

I'm reading some chemistry-related papers that employ concepts of droplet evaporation. Since I am no chemist, I am wondering: How can I estimate the actual size of a molecule, say succinic acid? An ...
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1answer
161 views

THT (Tetrahydrothiophene) absorption spectrum

I am looking for the absorption spectrum of THT. What is the best way to find these types of exotic material's spectral characteristics?
2
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1answer
213 views

Are valence electrons located solely in the s and p subshells?

Or are they in all subshells??
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1answer
72 views

Does salt $NaCl$ as a solid float in molten salt?

I know ice floats in water because it's crystalline structure causes $H_20$ solid to be less dense than $H_20$ liquid. Is the same true for salt because it is crystalline? If not why?
2
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1answer
223 views

Man on treadmill and energy/mass conservation

Suppose we put a very obese man inside a large air tight isolated room with a treadmill and he runs on the treadmill for 24 hours and at the end of the day he sees his weight has come down (mostly ...
2
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1answer
4k views

Why is oxygen in a triplet state and what are the consequences?

From Wikipedia here and here: ''Almost all molecules encountered in daily life exist in a singlet state, but molecular oxygen is an exception.'' ''The unusual electron configuration prevents ...
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1answer
68 views

Apparent color of flame as superposition of spectral lines?

In some cases one can identify a substance by the color emitted as it burns in a flame. A green flame might indicate the presence of copper. So here is the question. If we know wavelength and ...
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2answers
52 views

How do you know which atoms are in a specific piece of matter?

If you have a piece of matter in front of you, how can you know of which atoms it consists? And starting from nothing, how can I discover all the elements (or just a lot of them) of the periodic ...
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2answers
137 views

What force creates ions out of neutral atoms?

Consider the reaction between Na and Cl to form NaCl. Na loses an electron and "gives" it to Cl because this makes both atoms more stable. But what forces "pulls" the electron from Na to Cl? Both ...
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1answer
218 views

Electric dipole transitions/expectation value of position

Part of a homework question asks to show that for $\ell=0$ in both $\Psi_i$ and $\Psi_f$, we have $$ \int \Psi_i^\ast \vec{r} \Psi_f \; d\tau = 0 $$ for the position vector $\vec{r}$. (This is for ...
2
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1answer
511 views

How specifically do emulsifiers work?

I'd like to understand better how emulsifiers prevent droplet coalescence. There must be something more they do than just lower the surface tension between the droplet and the ambient substance. I ...
2
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1answer
194 views

Is it possible to mechanically isomerize an sp3 hybridized carbon center?

Imagine I have an sp3 hybridized carbon attached to four separate polyethylene chains. By pulling on the polyethylene chains in some manner, is it possible for me to mechanically isomerize the chiral ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Absorption of a gas into a solid

When a gas interacts with a (crystalline) solid, some scenarios may happen: scattering: gas atoms will not stick or penetrate (do not interact with the solid) Adsorption: gas atoms stick to the ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Change of heat capacity fluid when you add solvent

I am considering a liquid for which I know $C_p$ or $C_v$. I am wondering how this changes when you add a (minor) amount of solvent to the liquid. Is there a general theory around describing how a ...
2
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2answers
126 views

Temperature of thermochemical reaction between propane and nitrous oxide

I'm trying to calculate the properties of the combustion process using propane and nitrous oxide. When I tried to nail down the combustion temperature, the result looks just off to me. I went through ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Why does bringing N 1-orbital atoms together yield N levels?

A common example of this is that when bringing N hydrogen atoms together into a ring. Far apart, assume each electron exists in the 1s state. As we bring them together, instead of each electron ...
2
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1answer
100 views

What are the state functions telling me or how are they related to total energy?

I am quite new to thermodynamics and statistical mechanics so this might be an easy question: In thermodynamics you get a bunch of thermodynamics potentials, so as for example enthalpy, internal ...
2
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1answer
193 views

Reason behind cohesive and adhesive force

What is the real cause behind the cohesive and adhesive forces?
2
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2answers
106 views

Driving a solution of optical isomer molecules with the resonant frequency

What happens when we drive a solution of optical isomer molecules (enantiomers) with a microwave radiation in resonance with the tunneling frequency of the molecules (the frequency of the transition ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Air Regeneration in Closed Systems

I wonder what's the way to regenerate O2 in air without using consumable chemicals (where one can use electricity through electrolisis or using UV lamps)? We can dissolve water into O2 & H2, but ...
2
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1answer
232 views

Vapor pressure higher than equilibrium vapor pressure

Is there any mechanism by which the vapor pressure of a liquid substance (lets say in a vacuum) is measured to be greater than the expected saturated vapor pressure at that temperature? Specifically, ...