Questions tagged [physical-chemistry]

The study of chemical systems using the laws and concepts of physics. This usually requires the techniques of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics.

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Effect of light on ionic compounds

If I had an ionic molecule which needed $\pu{4 eV}$ to break the ionic bond, a $\pu{7 eV}$ photon is shot at it. If it is absorbed by the molecule and breaks, where does the rest of the energy go?
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120 views

Is it possible to form bubbles of ionized hydrogen and ionized oxygen under the right pressure/temperature conditions during electrolysis of water?

When we run a current through water (pure or not), $\ce{O_2}$ forms at the anode while $\ce{H_2}$ forms at the cathode. If I understand correctly, as water is already slightly ionized, $\ce{H}$'s snap ...
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How can oxygen atoms suddenly appear on the product side of an equation?

The question states the following equation: $$ \ce{C(s) + 2H2(g) -> CO2(g) + 2H2O}$$ And then asks you to calculate the enthalpy change for it, given enthalpies of combustion. The stated values ...
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How to determine which gas is more soluble

I have a chemistry homework problem that asks whether $Br_2$ or $O_2$ is more soluble in water in room temperature. However, I can't seem to find a way to figure it out, short of looking it up. Is ...
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What is the chemical composition of a Rubbermaid Roughneck container and is it feasible for me to make my own molds?

I'm looking for more information on the composition of a Rubbermaid Roughneck container. The description says "Roughneck containers are made with a durable polyethylene material for a lifetime of ...
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1answer
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What commonly availible salts are strong dessicants?

I'm looking into building an absorption chiller as a decidedly non-professional DIY project. For safety reasons and because temps. > 0°C are sufficient, I won't be using ammonia but some saline ...
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1answer
880 views

What is the nature of chemical energy? [closed]

Is chemical energy basically stored energy? I'm not sure how to define "chemical energy" while I know many physical formulas for energy e.g. potential, movement and other. Is chemical energy an ...
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3answers
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Why shouldn't Uranium come in contact with water?

In the documentary about Chernobyl, it was mentioned that Uranium should not come in contact with water, otherwise an explosion occurs. What is the reason for that? What kind of reaction makes it ...
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What is a pure substance?

I found as I was preparing to teach "Introduction to thermodynamics" that there are varying definitions or examples of pure substances. For instance the text book I have to use "Thermodynamics an ...
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392 views

Balancing and combining the half equations in redox

I can understand redox equations of the following form, I break these down into half equations and combine them. $$\ce{MnO4^- + C2O4^{2-} -> Mn^{2+} + CO2}$$ Where I have issue is with the ...
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5k views

Why does the boiling and freezing-point of non-polar molecules rise with increasing molecular mass?

In the section about fuels, my textbook mentions that the boiling and freezing-points of alkanes (which are non-polar) increase with an increase in molecular mass due to London dispersion forces. ...
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743 views

Kinetic energy of electrons emitted in Photoelectron Spectroscopy

In multiple sources (example), I found the information that the kinetic energy $E_k$ measured using (Ultraviolet / X-ray) Photoelectron Spectroscopy is given by: $E_k = h\nu - B.E._F - \phi_{spec}$ ...
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Why does radium have a higher first ionisation energy than barium?

I'm wondering why radium appears to buck the general trend that first ionisation energies decrease as you move down a group in the periodic table: barium (the group 2 element preceding it) has a first ...
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Why is the relative atomic mass of carbon not exactly 12?

Relative atomic masses of atoms of all chemical elements are numbers without units, being the value of proportion compared to $\frac{1}{12}^\text{th}$ the mass of the carbon atom. But the relative ...
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857 views

How to derive partial gas equation?

If the following gasses are to mix, what is the partial pressure of neon? The correct answer is 0.1. I cannot figure out how my professor derived this equation. From the ideal gas law, all I ...
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343 views

Classical reason for good heat conductance in diamond?

My teacher in my physics course attributed this effect to phonons, more here, but I am skeptical about this argument, it feels like he is overlooking the whole question -- what about with Silica that ...
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1answer
890 views

Does sublimation happen only on the surface or throughout the body?

Like evaporation happens only on the surface of a liquid, and boiling/vapourisation takes place throughout the body, how does sublimation occur? Why?
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Simultaneous equilibria

Rephrasing: The following reactions are a small example of my big system $$(1)\ \ce{A + B <=> AB}$$ $$(2)\ \ce{AB -> CB}$$ $$(3)\ \ce{A -> C}$$ $$(4)\ \ce{C + B <=> CB}$$ with $...
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446 views

Can we create a galvanic cell with only half a cell connected to the ground? [closed]

I have a question about electrical potential in galvanic cells ,suppose that we have only half a cell wich means that we have only one Ox/Red couple (one metal and the other as ionic solution ...)...
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Why don't the electrons move through the electrolyte (instead of the circuit) in a galvanic cell?

I was learning about galvanic cells and I had a problem understanding why electrons do not travel through the electrolyte solutions themselves, instead preferring to travel through metals. Can ...
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1answer
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How do I calculate partial pressure here?

I need some help with partial pressures of reactions for a fuel cell project. The overall reaction for a fuel cell is $$\ce{H_{2} +\frac{1}{2}O_{2}->H_{2}O}$$ Which means that the mole fraction ...
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What exactly is happening when sodium, potassium, or other alkali metal explodes in water?

There are lots of videos on YouTube showing sodium, potassium, etc. exploding when dropped into water (this, for example). I understand that when an alkali metal is exposed to water, a violent ...
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1answer
242 views

Reduction and re-oxidation of TiO₂

I'm having a hard time finding data about an experiment that I know has been done a bunch of times: I have a sheet of single crystal rutile $\ce{TiO_{2}}$ (110) that I want to reduce to various $\ce{...
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3answers
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Electronegativity of zinc vs copper in galvanic cell

I am reading up on how galvanic cell works and I realised that the flow of electrons is from Zn to Cu. But Zn is more electronegative compared to Cu according to periodic table trends I read it ...
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Why does gas particle velocity affect rate of effusion?

I understand why smaller particles have more velocity, but I don't understand what velocity has to do with rate of effusion: My reasoning is thus: Pressure is the number of impacts of particles in a ...
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Why does hydrogen form on such a long time scale?

If we were trying to figure out the time scale for a gas-phase reaction between two hydrogen atoms in a molecular cloud (which has density $~\pu{10^4cm^-3}$), apparently the reaction would happen on a ...
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Which materials/compounds expand in response to cold temperatures?

Which materials or compounds expand in response to cold temperatures? This material or compound should expand at a slow (but constant rate), from about 0–20 months when in the following temperature ...
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137 views

What is in silico energy optimization?

While doing computational chemistry for both organic and inorganic compounds, an energy optimization of that compound is done before starting a study. For example, if we do drug docking studies using ...
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449 views

Negative Kelvin Temperature

I remember my Physical Chemistry Professor saying that very tiny negative Kelvin temperatures have been achieved on the quantum level. Is this true?
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Why can dissolution reactions (e.g. dissolution of calcium chloride) be exothermic?

Dissolution reactions are normally endothermic, and crystallization reactions are normally exothermic, but there are some exceptions -- such as the dissolution of calcium chloride. Why is this so?
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535 views

Writing the chemical equation given molarity

If I am given the molarity of two substances and I know how they react, how can I write the balanced chemical reaction? i.e. experimentally I found: $\pu{1.0 M}$ $\ce{NH_3(aq)}$ mixed with $\pu{0.1 M}...
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Does potential difference or current drive electrolysis?

Would a high voltage ( of the order of a few score kV ) drive electrolysis? Or, does it require a large current and low voltage? Alternatively, does electrolysis require both large voltage & ...
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282 views

What undergoes reduction in a zinc-copper voltaic cell?

In a $\pu{Zn-Cu}$ voltaic cell, the electrolyte is sodium chloride solution. The question was: In this cell, which of the following undergoes reduction? My answer was copper, but why is the exact ...
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Maximum temperature attainable by thermite reaction

In the thermite reaction $$\ce{2Al(s) + Fe2O3(s) -> 2Fe(l) + Al2O3(s)}$$ what is the maximum temperature attainable by the products? Assume reactants at $25\ \mathrm{^\circ C}$ and $1\ \mathrm{...
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What is the opposite of a surfactant?

Surfactants decrease surface tension between two fluids. What do you call a substance that increases the surface tension between two fluids? How is this effect acheived?
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Compounds that vary water's superheated and supercritical limits [closed]

Are there any compounds that reduce water's sensitivity to extreme heat change and/or volatility to high heat (over 800 degrees Fahrenheit), whether organic or inorganic?
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1answer
535 views

What would happen to a Water/Lard Mix under pressure and high heat?

If water is mixed with lard oil and heated (creating some super-critical water), how does this affect the volatility of the mixture in comparison if it is a pure mix of either water, or lard oil? ...
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1answer
2k views

Should I use specific heat to calculate how much fuel is required?

Question: A backpacker wants to carry enough fuel to heat $\pu{3.0 kg}$ of water from $\pu{20 ^\circ C}$ to $\pu{100.0 ^\circ C}$. If the fuel he carries produces $\pu{36 kJ}$ of heat per gram when ...
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Which element is being reduced in this reaction?

Which element is reduced in this reaction: $$\ce{2KMnO_4 +3NaSO_3 +H_2O ->2MnO_2 +3NaSO_4 +2KOH}$$ I am trying to figure out which elements lose their electrons, but how am I supposed to know ...
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986 views

Dalton's Law Of Partial Pressures

I'm given a container of volume of 4.0 Litres that containes Nitrogen at $25 ^\circ C $ and 803 kPa. This container is connected by a valve to another container of 10.0 litres volume that containes ...
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Chemical reactions with a room-scale cooling effect

Are there chemical reactions that could cool down an average sized room by a noticeable amount (say 5 °C)? I would like to investigate if it is possible to have a situation where I can mix 2 ...
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1answer
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Is ash fireproof?

At high temperatures (almost) everything burns to ash. Is ash 'fireproof'? Is further combustion of ash possible for example by combining with hydrogen, oxygen, etc?
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Understanding dissolution of CO₂ in Selexol and Rectisol

I'm trying to understand pre-combusiton carbon capture processes as described in this presentation. I'm told that solvents such as chilled methanol ($\ce{CH3OH}$) and dimethyl ethers of ...
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1answer
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Is there a similar characteristic of the lanthanide contraction in the other transition metal groups?

Basically, does the lanthanide contraction also occur with the 4d, 6d groups as well? I am at a lack of understanding in this topic, I am just wondering what specific elements does this jump in a ...
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Calculating the heat capacity of a calorimeter

I've been struggling with this problem that I can't seem to figure out. I think I know how to solve it but I think there's missing information. The combustion of 1 mole of glucose $\ce{C6H12O6}$ ...
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What is the 'ancestral term' in the LS coupling scheme?

On the physics.nist.gov site: http://physics.nist.gov/Pubs/AtSpec/node06.html The table titled "Atomic structural hierarchy in LS coupling and names for the groups of all transitions between ...
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multielectron spin-orbit coupling and energy level

For multi-electron atoms for which the Hamiltonian (including the spin-orbit coupling) reads $$H=\sum_i T_i-Z\sum_i V_i+\sum_i V_i^{\text{s.o.}}+\sum_{i>j}V_{ij}$$ The $T_i$ are the kinetic ...
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Can molecules diffuse upstream when emptying a cup of tea?

I was drinking some tea, and I randomly decided to pour some into the toilet in an unbroken stream; can particles travel "upstream" quickly enough to reach the mug of tea? How fast can diffusion occur ...
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Is there any scenario in which the size of a molecule increases due to an increase in temperature?

Take an ice cube for example. Heat is applied in a closed container until it is vaporized completely. Will the molecule's size be larger (on average)? Is there a substance that you know of that has ...
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deduce chemical properties of a compound from elements

If we know the properties of two elements e.g Oxygen and Hydrogen. We know the following properties sound speed boiling point melting point refractive index etc. given that information, is it ...