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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

5
votes
3answers
332 views

Are chemical bonds matter?

So it recently blew my mind that chemical bonds have mass. And that a spring that's wound up similarly weights a little more. But there is a distinction between mass and matter. I believe that a ...
5
votes
2answers
358 views

Extra vibrational mode in linear molecule

When calculating the number of vibrational modes for a molecule, the formulas differ for linear $(n = 3N - 5)$ and non-linear $(n = 3N - 6)$ molecules, where $n$ is number of modes and $N$ is number ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do some things crystallize? (And others don't, for that matter.)

Ice, for example, will form a crystal when frozen under certain circumstances. Why is this the case for ice? While on the subject of water crystallization, why do snowflakes usually form in base 6 ...
5
votes
2answers
14k 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.
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) Sap & Freezing

This may or may not be the appropriate scientific discipline to ask this question of, but I'll give it a shot. I'll happily invite chemists to chime in as well. It's time to tap sugar maples in the ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

Why are only Group III & V elements used for doping?

Only group III & IV are used for doping in elemental semiconductors like Si and Ge, why can't other groups be used instead?
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Can we model Chemical Reactions using Quantum Mechanics? If so, what is the most complex reaction we can model?

Not a physicist or Chemist, just interested in QM and it's applications. I've been reading lately about Quantum Chemistry and it occurred to me that since we can model electron orbitals in QM and ...
5
votes
2answers
399 views

In condensed matter simulations, how is particle number density computed in practice?

I have been reading a recent paper. In it, the authors performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of parallel-plate supercapacitors, in which liquid resides between the parallel-plate electrodes. ...
5
votes
1answer
310 views

What equation describes the electrostatic potential in these circumstances?

I have a solver for Poisson's equation and it works nicely. It uses finite differences. It works in the presence of multiple dielectrics. It also solves the Poisson Boltzmann equation. That is, fixed ...
5
votes
2answers
347 views

The AntiBonding Orbital with Shrinking Interatomic Distance

I guess this is more of a chemistry question, but whatever. I think it's interesting. Suppose you had two bare atomic nuclei. For concreteness, lets assume the nuclei are the same with atomic ...
5
votes
0answers
84 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 $j$ ...
4
votes
5answers
598 views

Is there no radioactive decay between nuclear fusion and solid material formation?

I'm aware my question might be considered a duplicate of this one: Radio-dating and the age of the earth I read that one and I looked everywhere and I still can't find my piece of mind. I would ...
4
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

Questions about the strange character of antimatter

Its been a few days and i have just been introduced to the concept of antimatter. Every Speck of matter in the world has its anti form basically that we have antimatter whenever we have matter. But I ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does a pitcher with lemon juice have foam, while one with pure water does not?

Whenever I pour water into lemon juice (pouring directly from the tap into the pitcher, not quietly along its edge) I get a foam on top: The same pitcher with water (same water tap, pitcher, time ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Nanorobots. What stops us from producing them yet?

If we can already predicts accuratelly motion on molecular levels, what stops us from developing small robots to, for instance, navigate through our blood vessels looking for cancerous cells and ...
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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. ...
4
votes
4answers
585 views

Dissolving oxygen into water

I was wondering how one would actually calculate how much oxygen would dissolve into water given the necessary initial conditions, and what those initial conditions would need to be. I assume they ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Addition of a neutral electrolyte to water— how can it increase conductivity?

Sparked off by Is sea water more conductive than pure water because "electrical current is transported by the ions in solution"? This question really belongs on chemistry.SE, which is ...
4
votes
3answers
690 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
262 views

Physical Chemistry: What's the relationship between orbital overlap and barrier shape?

This is a question for the physical chemists out there. For a given chemical reaction there is a barrier to traverse in order to proceed from reactants to products. Reactants e.g. an organic base ...
4
votes
1answer
443 views

What's the underlying particle physics of endothermic reactions?

I don't just mean reactions that require heat to proceed, storing surplus energy in chemical bonds. I wonder about strongly endothermic reactions that suck heat out of environment. You take some ...
4
votes
1answer
929 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
405 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
844 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

What is the specific source(s) of sliding kinetic friction

In simplistic (K-8) physics classes, it seems to be generally instructed that the friction between two moving surfaces is due to the unevenness of each surface and the microscopic roughness. However, ...
4
votes
2answers
251 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
786 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
518 views

Jet turbine blades from single crystals, how are they formed?

I know about nothing about crystals, although I do know a bit more about jet turbine engines, and I definitely know that you don't want the fan blade hitting the fan housing. The reason given in the ...
3
votes
5answers
583 views

What compounds or elements only have one phase or two phases?

Wood appears to be one. I think gases like helium and hydrogen cannot exist in the solid state under normal pressures, correct? And why do those "phase cheaters"-- those elements/compounds which ...
3
votes
2answers
176 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
264 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: ...
3
votes
3answers
752 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Why is it easier to remove stains with water?

And I don't mean stain removers, but literally tap water. See here's the thing, you can't remove a stain without some sort of friction, and water reduces friction. Yet if I say, spill some coffee and ...
3
votes
1answer
9k 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?
3
votes
2answers
287 views

Why does smashing a TV remote load its batteries?

Many times I had the same problem: my TV remote's batteries were too weak for it to operate, but then, when I shook the remote a bit and smashed it on my palm, somehow the remote regained its ability. ...
3
votes
1answer
310 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Constant Temperature Cooling

In my thermodynamics textbook there is part of a question that seems to be a contradiction. ...Superheated refrigerant R-134a at 20 C, 0.5 MPa is cooled in a piston/cylinder arrangement at constant ...
3
votes
5answers
252 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
1k 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
343 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
453 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Do sodium chloride(ions) melt the ice or not?

My question is this, In European countries, they use NaCl or KCl to melt ice during the winter season. In Asian Countries, they use NaCl to keep the ice without melting. (Ex- Ice cream boxes, Beer ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Chemical effect on gravitation?

We know, that gravitation field of charged black hole is different than one of uncharged. I this true only for objects with singularity or is true for all objects? If true, then may we say, that ...
3
votes
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
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...