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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7
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2answers
533 views

Statistical Mechanics treatment of the reaction process?

I'm searching for an at least semi-rigorous Statistical Mechanics description/treatment of a (spatially resolved) chemical reaction process of a macroscopic portion of at least two different species ...
4
votes
1answer
953 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 ...
1
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2answers
2k views

How thin a filter to filter particles out of salt water to make salt for human consumption?

I have gathered some salt in the Death Valley and for the fun of it I would like to clean it and make it edible. The process I plan to follow is simple: Dissolve the salt in water. Boil water for ...
2
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1answer
242 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?
25
votes
3answers
26k views

Why does the water rise?

It's a very popular experiment (eg), from elementary school : put a burning candle on a dish filled with water, cover the candle with an inverted glass: after a little while, the candle flame goes ...
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 ...
1
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1answer
114 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 ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Is the Mendeleev table explained in quantum mechanics?

Does anybody know if there exists a mathematical explanation of Mendeleev table in quantum mechanics? In some textbooks (for example in F.A.Berezin, M.A.Shubin. The Schrödinger Equation) the authors ...
9
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3answers
1k 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 ...
3
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1answer
311 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 ...
4
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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 ...
17
votes
5answers
20k views

How was Avogadro's number first determined?

I read on Wikipedia how the numerical value of Avogadro's number can be found by doing an experiment, provided you have the numerical value of Faraday's constant; but it seems to me that Faraday's ...
4
votes
1answer
410 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
361 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
212 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
766 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
14k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
842 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
16k 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 \text{CO}...
4
votes
1answer
263 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
3k views

Air Regeneration in Closed Systems [closed]

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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
298 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, ...
12
votes
7answers
13k 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
240 views

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

Or are they in all subshells??
6
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
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 surface),...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
636 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
414 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
1k 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 ...
23
votes
6answers
4k 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
576 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
849 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
253 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
4k 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
3k 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 -...
6
votes
2answers
9k 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
395 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 http://en.wikipedia....
8
votes
3answers
2k 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
1k 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
2k 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, ...
17
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...