EDUCATION: An Eyeful of Chemistry

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Science  11 Jul 2003:
Vol. 301, Issue 5630, pp. 147
DOI: 10.1126/science.301.5630.147a

Virtual Chemistry, a catchy site from Oxford University, uses everything from animated flights across the surface of a protein to video of various substances going up in flames to explain chemical reactions, structures, and techniques. Seven interactive experiments step through topics such as the synthesis of superconductors and the organization of inorganic solids such as potassium. Like a good teacher, some lessons stop to pose questions and won't let you continue until you've gotten the right answer.

The site also screens a film festival's worth of movies. Settle in to watch 18 reactions that are often demonstrated by lecturers, along with some longer films that zoom through crystals and probe atomic orbitals. You can also bone up with tutorials on infrared and Raman spectroscopy, reaction mechanisms, and the synthesis of ketones.

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