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Chapter 8

Study tips and resources for Chapter 8 – Physical Chemistry by Laidler, Meiser, Sanctuary

Electrochemical Reactions in building Better Batteries

Standard Daniell Cell

Click to enlarge

We live in an age where batteries have crossed the threshold of being a convenience to a necessity. Billions are spent each year and it is a never-ending race to come up with one that lasts longer, is 100% rechargeable or ultimately one so small it can barely be seen.

Batteries are simply a contained redox reaction that is spontaneous with the flow of electrons being diverted to whatever device it is attached to. The key to a great battery is finding chemicals that provide the maximum amount of energy while not being toxic or costing more than the battery is worth to the consumer. Continue reading

Making Sense of Everyday Redox Reactions

Redox reactions

Screengrab of interactive multimedia from the Physical Chemistry book (click to enlarge)

A favorite demonstration of mine is sticking a couple of zinc and copper electrodes in potatoes and magically running a clock. When I allow the students to place the electrodes into various pieces of produce and they create a charge they can read on a voltmeter, they are even more amazed.

Surely the science behind such magical occurrences should be horribly complex, but it is not. In fact it is really quite simple and occurs around us every day:  rusting iron, combustion, cooking, turning on a flashlight. Even breathing. Continue reading

Chemical Reactions; What? How much? How fast?

Standard Daniell Cell

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When dealing with chemical reactants, three important questions are usually asked.

(1)    What product(s) can be made,

(2)    How much can be made and

(3)    How fast can it be made.  Continue reading

Redox reactions in electrochemistry and electrochemical cells

Standard Daniell Cell

Click to enlarge

Electrochemistry is the study of the changes that cause electrons to flow to create electricity. This flow of electrons is created by oxidation – reduction reactions (redox reactions); and these redox reactions are what takes place in electrochemical cells. Chapters 1,7 and 8 of the physical chemistry book tackle this subject in detail, so this post will provide an overview of the topic. Continue reading

Nernst equation, solving it vs. pronouncing it

Walther Nernst

Walther Nernst

The last part of General Chemistry course in the Faculties of Engineering and Agricultural Sciences at my University is electrochemistry (covered by Chapter 8 of the Physical chemistry textbook).

I believe the Nernst equation (below) to be one of the most elegant results of thermodynamics, as well as a really powerful tool for a society which heavily relies on electricity – and, thus, desperately needs it, both for big factories and for personal mobile phones!

 

Continue reading

Try our bestselling undergraduate Physical Chemistry courseware

Thermodynamics Module - Physical Chemistry
Thermodynamics module
Chapters 1 to 6 of Physical Chemistry - Laidler, Meiser, Sanctuary


Includes multimedia that opens on relevant pages and allows the student to visualize many of the concepts by varying parameters and plotting different graphs. Things students often have difficulty with, such as isothermal, isobaric, isochoric and adiabatic process, are clearly visualized.

Get it from: Thermodynamics Module - Physical Chemistry



Physical Chemistry - Laidler, Meiser, Sanctuary
Physical Chemistry textbook
by Laidler, Meiser, Sanctuary


This popular Physical Chemistry text book is now available in electronic format. We have preserved much of the material of the former hard copy editions, making changes to improve understanding of the concepts in addition to including some of the recent discoveries in physical chemistry. Many chapters have new sections and the coverage of several chapters has been greatly expanded.

Get it from: Physical Chemistry - Laidler, Meiser, Sanctuary

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