# Questions tagged [physical-chemistry]

Study of macroscopic and microscopic phenomena in chemical systems in terms of physical laws and concepts [thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, kinetic theory, quantum mechanics...].

729 questions
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
383 views

### Does salt $NaCl$ as a solid float in molten salt?

I know ice floats in water because it's crystalline structure causes $H_20$ solid to be less dense than $H_20$ liquid. Is the same true for salt because it is crystalline? If not why?
804 views

### Electric dipole transitions/expectation value of position

Part of a homework question asks to show that for $\ell=0$ in both $\Psi_i$ and $\Psi_f$, we have $$\int \Psi_i^\ast \vec{r} \Psi_f \; d\tau = 0$$ for the position vector $\vec{r}$. (This is for ...
263 views

### Why is it possible to use free energy functions on Boltzmann factor?

When the Boltzmann factor is derived on the canonical ensemble, one gets the exponential function of the energy: $\large{e^{-\frac{E}{k_b T}}}$ However, some texts (it is very common on physical-...
420 views

### Constant Temperature Cooling

In my thermodynamics textbook there is part of a question that seems to be a contradiction. ...Superheated refrigerant R-134a at 20 C, 0.5 MPa is cooled in a piston/cylinder arrangement at constant ...
530 views

### Mass and Energy

Would the mass of burnt firewood be equal to the mass of firewood before burning? Then where does that heat come from? According to Einstein's equation, $E=mc^2$ Shouldn't there be some mass going ...
5k views

### How to determine what an object is composed of?

Heads up: This question has never been asked (here) before the way I will ask it here, so let's shed some light on it a bit. Prelude and anecdote(can be skipped): The other day I was walking home, ...
877 views

### When do thermal and chemical equilibrium not coincide?

What is an example for a system, which is in chemical equilibrium, but not in thermodynamical equilibrium? And what about the other way around? It seems to me, that as long as Parameters like ...
84 views

### Would a very strong force of gravity make things break apart?

If I take an hammer and slam it on a table, I will not be surprised to see the table breaking and my anger slowly vanishing. I remember a difference being made between impact and non-impact forces ...
101 views

### Why doesn't optical rotation dispersion spectrally overlap with circular dichroism?

From my understanding of Kramer's Kronig relations applied to chirality: optical rotation dispersion should be correlated to circular dichroism. Why is it then that many molecules have an optical ...
90 views

### Trying to write a hartree fock program; confused about potential energy integral

The book I am working from has the following $${V}_{ij} = \int dr_1 Φ^*_i Σ_a\frac{Z_a}{r_1 - R_a} Φ_j$$ This is for the nuclear-electron attraction. Let's look at a simple case: a hydrogen atom....
764 views

### What is the densest material on earth? [closed]

Apart from the elements, do we know of materials that are denser? I.e. can an alloy be denser than the sum of its compounds, for example if the new lattice packs denser than each of the compounds it's ...
93 views

### Chemical effect on gravitation?

We know, that gravitation field of charged black hole is different than one of uncharged. I this true only for objects with singularity or is true for all objects? If true, then may we say, that ...
296 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 ...
3k 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
838 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 ...
1k 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 ...
350 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 ...
340 views

### Why is it not possible to dope semiconductors with elements with 6 or 2 valence electrons?

As far as I have learnt, semiconductors are often made using elements from the 4th group, and their properties are often enhanced by doping with either pentavalent or trivalent elements. Take the ...
62 views

### Does corrosion of metals depend on electron degeneracy pressure?

Corrosion is about losing electrons for the corroded metal and gaining electrons for the oxidising substance. Is it correct to assume that what controls this process is the electron degeneracy ...
141 views

521 views

### Boyle's Law-$PV= nRT.$ What equation should be used to find pressure if n is not constant, like in an elastic system?

When air is added to an elastic system, like a balloon, the volume and pressure change. Would use Boyle's Law- $PV=nRT,$ but n does not remain constant in this situation. Known: $V_1$ is at ...
624 views

### Do sodium chloride(ions) melt the ice or not?

My question is this, In European countries, they use NaCl or KCl to melt ice during the winter season. In Asian Countries, they use NaCl to keep the ice without melting. (Ex- Ice cream boxes, Beer ...
441 views

### Difficulty in understanding Maxwell Boltzmann distribution in case on ions in a field

I learned that the velocity of molecules obey Maxwell Boltzmann (MB) distribution at a Temperature T. If I have ions of mass 'M' accelerated to 2eV in a specific region. As the ions are not "...
42 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 (...
150 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 ...
429 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 ...
237 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 ...
1k 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, $$\mu=\frac{\partial F}{\partial N}.$$ ...
1k 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 ...
4k 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 artifacts,...
50 views

### Concept of polarization in microwave rotational spectroscopy

I am trying to understand the concept of polarization of molecules after they are excited by a microwave pulse. The context is: The complexes are produced in a pulsed supersonic jet expansion of a ...
83 views

### How did we first discover oxygen exists as $\rm O_2$ and not just $\rm O$?

How did we first discover oxygen exists as $\rm O_2$ and not just $\rm O$ ? (similarly hydrogen as $\rm H_2$ and not $\rm H$) I vaguely remember knowing a story about how the chemical formula of ...
88 views

### Is $H_2O$ the only compound which has a density anomaly? [duplicate]

My question is simple: are there any elements, compounds or materials other than water ($H_2O$) which have a density anomaly characterized by a turning point in the $T-\rho$ curve?
69 views

### Why does bread sticks on a hot pan? [closed]

What causes a slice of bread when placed on a non stick (hot) pan without much oil/butter to stick to it. And why does it not in presence of butter or oil ?
36 views

### Stability of saturated energy levels

In The Feynman Lectures on Physics, Vol. 3, Section 15-5, there's a discussion of the stability of various benzene ions. It turns out that the ions for which the all the energy levels up to a certain ...
161 views

### What are physical reasons for chemical reactions? [closed]

I don't know what are the molecular reasons that two substance will form another substance. Why oxygen molecules can form to ozone molecules? Why hydrogen and oxygen makes water? What are the ...
140 views

### Why are chemical reactions the same at different gravity levels?

Are all chemical reactions the same at a quantum level in different levels of gravity? How does the mass of subatomic particles change atomic behaviour at different gravity, in terms of speed and ...
228 views

### On thermodynamics of spontaneity of the reduction-oxidation chemical reactions

According to the first and second law for a closed system containing different chemicals we have \begin{align} &\delta Q - \delta W = dU = T dS - p dV +\sum_i \mu_i d N_i\\ &\Rightarrow\;\...
192 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 ...
189 views

### Is water the only substance freezing at 0°C?

When reviewing with my son his science homework (12 years old = ~7th grade, 5ème in France), he told me that "when the phase transition graph shows a plateau between phases then the substance is pure. ...
82 views

### In chemical compounds, where does the “magic” come from in atomic “magic numbers”?

It is well known that atoms with a full electron shell are more stable, it is one of the first facts taught in a middle school Chemistry course: "An element whose atoms have no electrons outside ...
707 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 ...
5k views

### How is mass reduced in a normal chemical reaction which releases energy like heat, sound or light?

I was reading this link. Just above the paragraph titled "OTHER CONSERVATION LAWS", it says that "This conversion of mass to energy happens well below the speed of light, in a very small way, when ...
1k 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.
4k views

### Is 12 amu for Carbon-12 exact or rounded?

I'm having a difficult time understanding how Carbon-12 has an atomic mass of 12. Each proton and neutron has an atomic mass that is just slightly above 1 amu, so wouldn't Carbon-12 also be above 12? ...
1k views

### What laws (formulas) govern forces between atoms?

What laws (formulas) govern the fundamental forces of nature? For example, gravity is governed by the inverse-square law. I am thinking about how particles attract each other, but also repel. All ...
1k 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 ...