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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1k 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
7k 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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1answer
197 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
798 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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1answer
108 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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0answers
98 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: ...
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1answer
293 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
255 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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1answer
206 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
621 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 ...
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1answer
253 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
644 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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402 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
3k 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
536 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
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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1answer
267 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
847 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
466 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
680 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
822 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
361 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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1answer
791 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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2answers
6k 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 ...