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)

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 do?...
3
votes
1answer
759 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
votes
1answer
293 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the mechanism of dielectric saturation?

It is known from experiments that the dielectric constant of a solvent might decrease in regions where there is a strong electric field, for example, near a highly charged ion in an infinitely dilute ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

The exact mechanism of energy release durning bond formation on the atomic level

Image a situation: We have two atomic hydrogen atoms. We magically collide them together dead center and perpendicular. Each atom has exact amount of kinetic energy. We collide them with precisely ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

Can a Chemical's Opacity be Deduced Mathematically?

all. I have tried Googling but have had no luck. My question is simple (although, I presume the answer is not): If one knows the chemical structure of, well, a chemical, could its optical properties (...
3
votes
1answer
899 views

Why does the thermal conductivity of water decrease with increasing salinity?

Intuitively I would expect the thermal and electric conductivity to be positively related, and since electric conductivity increases with salinity, so should thermal. But according to this table (p.10)...
3
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Physical distribution of salt anions and cations during electrophoresis

If I have a volume of $L$ liters of salt water at a concentration of $\approx N$ mM NaCl and I pour it into an electrophoretic apparatus (like this one: ). Once we turn the apparatus on, and set the ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

What is the origin and nature of the “hydrogen envelope” located on the sun side of a comet coma?

It is tempting to assume the origin of the hydrogen is water vapor from the comet, in which case, what process "breaks up" the water molecule (or perhaps ammonia molecule?)? Is the hydrogen actually ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
172 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
688 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
votes
1answer
474 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
votes
2answers
757 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

Chemistry of water under pressure [closed]

What is the structure of water under extreme pressure, like the bottom of the ocean on a moon like Europa.
3
votes
1answer
161 views

How to compute this change of Gibbs energy for a Van der Waals gas?

The change of Gibbs energy at constant temperature and species numbers, $\Delta G$, is given by an integral $\int_{p_1}^{p_2}V\,{\mathrm d}p$. For the ideal gas law $$p\,V=n\,RT,$$ this comes down to ...
3
votes
0answers
107 views

What is a covalent bond?

What is a covalent bond, quantum mechanically? How does it hold the two atoms together, and at one point can you qualify the electron as being shated between two atoms, versus feeling attractive ...
3
votes
1answer
257 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
482 views

Two soft questions about spin and the particle nature of electrons

How can we define spin as the spin of an electron around it's own axis if an electron is described by a probability cloud of finding an electron in a point in space? How does that probability cloud ...
2
votes
1answer
948 views

How does wax fuel a flame? [duplicate]

I get how an oil lamp runs until the fuel runs out, but a normal wax candle doesn't seem like it works the same way.
2
votes
4answers
835 views

The “binding energy” of bonded particles adds mass?

This is a follow-up my previous question. Several of the answers indicated that the mass of a particle (atom, proton, etc.) increase with the "binding energy" of it's component particles - the energy ...
2
votes
3answers
95 views

Is it possible to reconstruct the wavefunction of a molecule from a collection of spectra?

Spectra of a molecule can be calculated if the wavefunction is known. Is it possible to do the opposite?
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Spacetime curvature effect on chemistry

Do current chemistry / astrophysics / stellar chemistry calculations include the effects of the curvature of spacetime on chemical reactions? For example, the heat transfer from a point closer to the ...
2
votes
1answer
276 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
146 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.
2
votes
2answers
13k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
488 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?
2
votes
2answers
33k views

Do salt lamps really produce negative ions?

Do salt lamps really produce negative ions? Do you know about any scientific study that could support this assertion or disprove it?
2
votes
2answers
207 views

Calculating the radius and potential energy of an atom?

Is there a general equation that gives the potential energy of any element at each energy level? I know that there is an equation for the potential energy of a hydrogen atom at each energy level but ...
2
votes
4answers
5k views

Bond Angles - H2O vs CO2

H2O has a 109.5 degree bond angle, but CO2 has exactly 180 degrees. Is there a qualitative reason for this? It's hard to believe CO2 is exactly 180 degrees unless there were some symmetry, but the ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Potential energy graphs of chemical systems

I really wish someone could dissect this for me in the language of physics. The system is that of two atoms that approximate each other along 'r' (or distance themselves apart). My concerns are ...
2
votes
1answer
439 views

Conductivity of Aqueous Ionic Solutions as a Function of Time

It is well-known that an aqueous ionic solution can conduct electricity. Let's take the electrolyte NaCl for example. In the diagram below, the circuit consists of a voltage source, a light bulb, and ...
2
votes
2answers
768 views

Is every material able to exist in every state of matter?

I was shocked while reading Kittel's "Introduction to Solid State Physics", that the solid state of noble gases is a well described and makes one of the fundamental achievements of solid state physics....
2
votes
2answers
6k views

What is the approximate electrical conductivity $\sigma$ of graphene in S/m or S/cm?

I am trying to find an approximate value of the electrical conductivity $\sigma$ of graphene in units of S/m or S/cm. This table on Wikipedia gives $\sigma$ values for a variety of materials (...
2
votes
1answer
239 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
votes
1answer
240 views

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

Or are they in all subshells??
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Atomic layer deposition applications?

What unexplored areas (known unknowns) are there in atomic layer deposition (ALD)? What unexplored applications of ALD are there? It seems like people use it a lot for coatings of either insulators or ...
2
votes
1answer
316 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
votes
1answer
61 views

Atoms attraction [closed]

Do atoms attract to atoms of same element? And would atoms attract to another atom for forming ionic or covalent bond? I basically want to know what would an atom be attracted to? (Except for ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

What causes an emulsion to be stable or unstable?

The other day I made a salad dressing based on oil and vinegar. To my understanding, there is a positive energy associated with the surface between the oil and vinegar. The most stable state is also ...
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Quenching of binary alloy: Concentration equilibrium

I'm currently reading "Models for phase separation and their mathematics" by Paul C. Fife and there is a paragraph which I don't understand because I lack the necessary background in physics/...
2
votes
4answers
324 views

role of entropy in gibbs free energy intuition

I have looked at various derivations of the Gibbs free energy equation and the underlying definition of the gibbs free energy. However I have been unable to attain direct insight/intuition over the ...
2
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
105 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 table?...
2
votes
1answer
105 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
votes
1answer
616 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 ...