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

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

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Acids, Bases, And Ions
Resources For Students And Teachers!

Acidic dissociation, titration, weak acid, strong base, isoelectric point, buffer strength, mole fractions of ionic forms, pH and solubility.

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 6 -Acids, Bases, And Ions:

  • Exercise 6.1 - Acidic Dissociation: Some Virtlab laboratory setups permit students to monitor quantities that are not normally accessible in real time. Consider, for example, an aqueous solution of some weak acid (say H3PO4) residing in a beaker beneath a burette of strong base such as NaOH. During the titration, Virtlab permits students not only to plot pH vs base added but to simultaneously monitor the change in the mole fractions of the ionic forms of the weak acid. This exercise leads naturally into the "magic meters" of Exercises 6.2 and 6.3 where the isoelectric point of a weak acid (not shown) and the buffer strength of a weak acid (shown) are explored.(Exercise 6.1 is part of "Full Virtlab".)

  • Exercise 6.2 - Acidic Dissociation: Isoelectric Points: If you replace the "Buffer Strength" meter with a "Net Charge" meter in the animation to the left you have a picture of the laboratory in Exercise 6.2. This laboratory is used to find the isoelectric point of several weak acids. In the "Models" tab students build an electronic spreadsheet that can be used to find the isoelectric point of different polypeptides. (Exercise 3.2 is part of "Full Virtlab".)

  • Exercise 6.3 - Buffers: The labooratory on the left is used to explore the relationship between buffer strength and the mole fractions of weak acid ionic forms. Students also are invited to identify a weak acid from its titration curve and asked to choose appropriate buffers in situations where protons are either consumed or liberated (Exercise 6.3 is part of "Full Virtlab".)

  • Exercise 6.4 - pH, Extractions, And Solubility: A laboratory setup similar to that described for Exercise 5.4 (but not shown here) is used to explore the pH dependence of the distribution of a weak acid between two immiscible liquids. (Exercise 6.4 is part of "Full Virtlab".)

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Virtlab has registered users in over 100 nations:

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  • Indonesia - It makes it easier to imagine what I am teaching about.
  • Kenya - It offers exciting opportunities for both teachers and learners.
  • Brazil - Your educational potential ís fantastic!
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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.