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 About Virtlab
Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885) "Der Alchemist"

 Virtlab Demonstration
Pietro Longhi (1701 - 1785) "The Alchymist"


Plots like this are used to find equilibrium concentrations in Virtlab.

Chemical Equilibrium Resources For Students And Teachers!

Equilibrium concentrations (graphical method), equilibrium concentrations (analytic method), extent of a reaction, Lê Chatelier's principle, immiscible solvents, extractions

What is Virtlab?

  • Virtlab is a laboratory manual that uses laboratory simulations to perform its experiments. Simulations are also available as electronic spreadsheets that you or your students can build and explore. Our authors pioneered this approach and have refined it over many years. We are among the first educators in the world to integrate personal computers and science education.

  • Virtlab is divided into two sections. "Free Virtlab" shows you how the process works. "Full Virtlab" offers you our complete storyline. If you are uncertain about the value you will find in Virtlab then subscribe for one month at US$ 4.95. If you like what you see then extend your subscription for six months using the far more cost effective 6 month subscription of US$14.95.

Chapter 5 - Liquids, Solutions, And Phase Equilibria:

  • Exercise 5.1 - Finding Equilibrium Concentrations: A Graphical Method: This exercise uses electronic spreadsheets to explore a graphical technique for determing the equilibrium concentrations of reactants and products in a reaction. (Exercise 5.1 is part of "Full Virtlab".)

  • Exercise 5.2 - Finding Equilibrium Concentrations: Analytic and Other Methods: This exercise explores numerical techniques. In some cases simple algebra is sufficient to find the roots of the relevant polynomial equation. In other cases more advanced numeric analysis techniques are required and Newton's method is described. (Exercise 5.2 is part of "Full Virtlab".)

  • Exercise 5.3 - The Extent of A Reaction: In this exercise students "role play" at a summer job in which it is necessary to find the conditions that maximimize the conversion of reactants to product when one reactant is expensive and the other inexpensive. An imaginary laboratory device (not shown) is used to deliver deliver different concentrations of the reactants into a reaction vessel and then the equilibrium concentrations of the reaction are observed. Lê Chatelier's principle is introduced. (Exercise 5.3 is part of "Full Virtlab".)

  • Exercise 5.4 - Extractions: In this exercise a beaker (not shown), resting on a magnetic stirrer and containing a stirring bar, is positioned beneath two pipettes and a cage. The pipettes are used to dispense the two immiscible solvents, and the cage is used to deliver solute to either of the two solvent layers. Various strategies are explored for extracting the solute from one of the solvents. (Exercise 5.4 is part of "Full Virtlab".)

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Virtlab is based on the simulations and guided exercises found in N. Simonson & Company's pioneering text: Dynamic Models in Chemistry by Daniel E. Atkinson (University of California, Los Angeles, CA), Douglas C. Brower, and Ronald W. McClard (Reed College, Portland, OR). Laboratories are also under development for Dynamic Models in Physics (Volume I: Mechanics) by Frank Potter (University of California, Irvine, CA), and Charles W. Peck (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA), and Dynamic Models in Biochemistry by Daniel E. Atkinson (University of California, Los Angeles, CA), Steven G. Clarke (University of California, Los Angeles, CA), and Douglas C. Rees (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA)

Virtlab's browser requirements are quite high. You must have a recent version of the Flash Plugin (version 8 or higher) installed and Javascript and cookies must be enabled. This is the default situation in most browsers. The site has been tested on recent versions of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari but should work on most browsers. We have been unsuccessful in getting Virtlab to work successfully with the Opera Internet Browser. We will continue to seek resolution to remaining browser incompatibilities.

Copyright (c) 1989 - 2011 N. Simonson & Company. All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of the publisher. Javascript DHTML API by Walter Zorn, http://www.walterzorn.com, Copyright (c) 2002-2003 Walter Zorn. All rights reserved. SWFObject Flash Player Detection and Embed by Geoff Sterns, http://blog.deconcept.com/swfobject/, Copyright (c) 2006 Geoff Stearns. Walter Zorn's website no longer exists. Word has reached us that he is deceased. We are deeply in his debt!

A new exercise Simple and Fractional Distillation now exists. Other recent simulations include explorations of stoichiometry (moles, mole fractions, limiting reagents), the Ideal Gas Law and the Equation of State, Charles Law, Boyles Law, Raoults Law, and acidic dissociation (including isoelectric points). Stoichiometry is an important subject and Charle's law, Boyle's Law, together with Raoult's Law and acid base titrations are important matters. Daltons Law of Partial Pressures, sometimes called Dalton's Law of partial pressures play crucial roles can help in understanding fractional distillation. dalton's law of partial pressures (daltons law of partial pressures) should be understood by all students. Along with fractional distillation. Will you be ready for acid base titration or acid base titrations. We hope so. And don't forget or stoichiometry exercises.