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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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 ...
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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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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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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 ...
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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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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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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?
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3answers
533 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 ...
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101 views

Why don't the actinides start at neptunium?

In their physical and chemical properties, actinium, thorium, protactinium, and uranium are respectively similar to lanthanum, hafnium, tantalum, and tungsten, and thus would seem to belong ...
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600 views

Is mass-energy conversion in chemical reactions experimentally observable

This is a common point of argument on internet forums. I think it is fairly well established theoretically that there is a very small amount of mass converted to energy in an exothermic chemical ...
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0answers
89 views

Calculating the required amount of acid/base to reach a pH [closed]

Bit stuck on working this out - or if it is even possible. I have a reservoir of solution (water/plant feed/dead flies) that is pH 6 and I want to get it to pH 6.25. Here is the information I have: ...
4
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1answer
238 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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1answer
164 views

Circulate smoke in a closed system

Hey i am by no means a scientist but i have a idea for a art work using smoke. Basically what i want to know is whether it is possible to circulate smoke by means of a pump through a transparent box. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
4
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1answer
245 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 ...
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3answers
448 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 ...
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1answer
385 views

Equations describing the liquifaction of gases

I would like to find out how much energy is required to liquify gases (oxygen or nitrogen, for example). What are some relevant equations? I'm curious whether creating small quantities of dry ice or ...
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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 ...
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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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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 ...
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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3answers
667 views

What is the angular momentum spectrum of an sp${}^3$ electron?

So, one thing has been annoying me ever since I learned about orbital hybridization: you explain the shape of molecules by postulating that the orbitals of multi-electron atoms are linear combinations ...
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2answers
393 views

Explaining valence with quantum mechanics

Can anyone give me a quantum mechanical explanation of the theory of valence? (i.e. why atoms bond just enough to have a complete orbital) EDIT: To clarify, I already have an idea of why atoms bond, ...
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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 ...
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3answers
651 views

Why is Avogadro's hypothesis true?

Why is the number of molecules in a standard volume of gas at a standard temperature and pressure a constant, regardless of the molecule's composition or weight? Let's say I have a closed box full of ...
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2answers
316 views

Why are the alkali and alkaline earth metals present in the ashes of burnt wood? [closed]

The alkali earth metals form the two left-most column of the periodic table of the elements, other than hydrogen. See wikipedia articles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkali_metal ...
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585 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 ...
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1k 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
3k views

Why are the noble metals inert?

I am wondering: The noble 'gases' are inert because they have closed shells and don't want to give that up. But the noble metals, such as Copper, Silver, Rhodium, Gold, don't seem to have this. For ...
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2k views

Obtain oxidation numbers from looking at electron configuration?

Suppose I know that Selenium has electron configuration $[Ar] 4s^2 3d^{10} 4p^4$. How can I use this information to then come to the conclusion that its possible oxidation states are 6, 4, 2, 1 and ...