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)

4
votes
1answer
236 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 ...
0
votes
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. ...
2
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
446 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

List of immiscible liquids

I'm looking for a list of immiscible (and miscible) liquids. I currently developing a game that will use the property of differents liquid, some of them will mix, other will not (positioning in the ...
1
vote
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
2
votes
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, ...
9
votes
7answers
7k views

Explanation of “thermite vs ice” explosion

There are several videos of the reaction, where some amount of burning thermite explodes on a contact with ice. An "original" video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuPjlYxUWc8 A Mythbusters ...
2
votes
1answer
213 views

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

Or are they in all subshells??
5
votes
2answers
819 views

What happens to chemical compunds that include radioactive nuclei, when those decay?

Say you have a chemical compound made up of one or more radioactive nuclei. If the nucleus decays, does the compound? Possible outcomes I can think of: the compounds continues to exist if a ...
3
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 ...
3
votes
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
333 views

What is the purpose of a “protect from light” warning?

Some food or medical items, like rasberry juice concentrate I just bought, have a "protect from light" warning on the label. How can light influence products like milk and what does this warning mean ...
2
votes
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
665 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
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, ...
3
votes
1answer
504 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
2answers
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is quicksilver (mercury) liquid at room temperature?

This is a nice question when you find it out, and I am really looking for a proper answer. Take quicksilver (Hg) in the periodic table. It has one proton more than Gold (melting point 1337.33 K), and ...
2
votes
1answer
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
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 ...
5
votes
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
743 views

Why the distribution of elements on Earth?

I've been wondering exactly why the elements are distributed the way they are on Earth. The heavier elements have their origins in the centers of stars, or in supernovae. After the death of the stars, ...
15
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...