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College Science Software BundleCollege Science Bundle: The three college level courses - General Chemistry, General Physics (calculus) and Organic chemistry, bundled together in one package.College Science Software Bundle

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Gaetano Giammarino

He has received a PhD in Computational Chemistry at Università degli Studi della Basilicata, where he teaches General Chemistry in the Faculty of Engineering.

Chemical Kinetics Part III: Dragons, Caves & Catalysts

A gnome on a gold dragon?

In 1974, Gary Gygax revolutionized the world of fantasy games by publishing the first edition of a game: it was called “Dungeons & Dragons”, and it soon became clear that the potential was so big that other game designers tried to jump into the cart producing similar games (now collectively known as “role-playing games”), even clones or with similar names (“Tunnel & Trolls”, etc). Continue reading

Chemical Kinetics Part II: In great deeds, something abides!

Bvt. Maj. Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Bvt. Maj. Gen. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

With all due respect to Joshua Chamberlain; what about little deeds? By “little” I don’t mean “less important”, but “microscopic”.

When studying (and understanding) chemical kinetics, I’ve always found marvelous that a microscopic interpretation of some phenomena is not only possible, but simple too! Continue reading

Kinetics Part I: do not be hasty!

Chemical Kinetics

Click to enlarge

In the Lord of The Rings book, Tolkien imagines a very ancient creature (an Ent, or tree-man, called “Treebeard”) who happens to cross the way of two little, and very anxious, hobbits. The wise Ent’s frequent advice to the hobbits is “do not be hasty!”.

This is a good advice for chemists to hear, too… when in University, we usually look for the perfect reaction’s outcome, 99% conversion, 99% yield, 99% enantiomeric excess. But, as soon as we leave this fairy kingdom, industries demand other objectives from us: 99% money, 0% waste, 0% time spent. How very different! Continue reading

Kinetic law says ‘last will be first’

Chemical Kinetics

Screen grab of interactive animation explaining concept. (Click to enlarge)

Reactions are usually complex events. Bonds are broken, formed, stretched and atoms driven by enthalpy and entropy in their marvelous path. From reactants to products, and vice versa.

Even when a system reaches equilibrium, it is very unusual for compounds to rest peacefully; instead, they will start going back and forth in perpetual motion. 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.

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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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