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

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

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Kinetics Resources For Students And Teachers!

Rate laws (numeric methods), first- and second-order reactions, approach to equilibrium, forward and reverse reaction rates, dynamic equilibrium, equilibrium vs kinetics (the control of a chemical reaction).

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 7 - Kinetics:

  • Exercise 7.1: Rate Laws: Analytic Methods And Exercise 7.3: Rate Laws: Numeric Methods: This exercise has no "Laboratory". All work is performed using electronic spreadsheet models. Students explore the kinetic behavior of reactions amenable to analytic methods and the general behavior of both first- and second-order reactions are examined. Real data is analyzed to determine if a reaction appears to follow first- or second-order kinetics. (Exercises 7.1 and 7.3 are part of "Full Virtlab".)

  • Exercise 7.4 - Approach To Equilibrium: A device similar to the laboratory setup shown on the left is explored. Students can observe instantly the relationship between changes in reactant and product concentrations and forward and reverse reaction rates. The fact that dynamic equilibrium is achieved as forward and reverse reaction rates become equal can be seen instantly! By changing the values of the forward and reverse rate constants, students can see how equilibrium concentrations of reactant and product are affected. (Exercise 7.4 is part of "Full Virtlab".)

  • Exercise 7.5 - Equilibrium Versus Kinetics: The Control of A Chemical Reaction: The direction in which a reaction can proceed and the extent of the reaction at equilibrium can be determined from a knowledge of the equilibrium constant K. The reaction rate at all times during the reaction can be determined from a knowledge of the rate constants (k1, k-1, etc.) and their associated rate laws. In this exercise, students explore the enzyme-catalyzed interconversion of three organic acids: cis-aconitic acid, citric acid, and isocitric acid. Students discover that, early in the reaction, the concentration of isocitric acid rises temporarily to above its final equilibrium level. Study of this apparently impossible result offers students deep insight into the interplay between the principles of chemical equilibrium and chemical kinetics. (Exercise 7.5 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)

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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.