EDUCATION: Follow the Bouncing Molecule

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Science  13 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5601, pp. 2097
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5601.2097d

These six Java applets are like a virtual chemistry set, letting undergrads absorb principles by “messing around,” according to creator Christopher Grayce, a chemistry prof at the University of California, Irvine. The simulations explore subjects such as the second law of thermodynamics, the reversibility of reactions, and statistical mechanics. Students learn by tweaking key variables—for example, they can adjust the concentration of reactants and the reaction rate constants to better understand the notion of chemical equilibrium. A detailed explanation wraps up each simulation.

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