Foundations of Chemistry

ISSN: 1386-4238

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  1.  27
    Introducing UV–visible spectroscopy at high school level following the historical evolution of spectroscopic instruments: a proposal for chemistry teachers.Maria Antonietta Carpentieri & Valentina Domenici - 2024 - Foundations of Chemistry 26 (1):115-139.
    Spectroscopy is a scientific topic at the interface between Chemistry and Physics, which is taught at high school level in relation with its fundamental applications in Analytical Chemistry. In the first part of the paper, the topic of spectroscopy is analyzed having in mind the well-known Johnstone’s triangle of chemistry education, putting in evidence the way spectroscopy is usually taught at the three levels of chemical knowledge: macroscopic/phenomenological, sub-microscopic/molecular and symbolic ones. Among these three levels, following Johnstone’s recommendations the macroscopic (...)
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  2.  9
    What is a mathematician doing…in a chemistry class?Ernesto Estrada - 2024 - Foundations of Chemistry 26 (1):141-166.
    The way of thinking of mathematicians and chemists in their respective disciplines seems to have very different levels of abstractions. While the firsts are involved in the most abstract of all sciences, the seconds are engaged in a practical, mainly experimental discipline. Therefore, it is surprising that many luminaries of the mathematics universe have studied chemistry as their main subject. Others have started studying chemistry before swapping to mathematics or have declared some admiration and even love for this discipline. Here (...)
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  3.  6
    Deciphering the physical meaning of Gibbs’s maximum work equation.Robert T. Hanlon - 2024 - Foundations of Chemistry 26 (1):179-189.
    J. Willard Gibbs derived the following equation to quantify the maximum work possible for a chemical reaction$${\text{Maximum work }} = \, - \Delta {\text{G}}_{{{\text{rxn}}}} = \, - \left( {\Delta {\text{H}}_{{{\text{rxn}}}} {-}{\text{ T}}\Delta {\text{S}}_{{{\text{rxn}}}} } \right) {\text{ constant T}},{\text{P}}$$ Maximum work = - Δ G rxn = - Δ H rxn - T Δ S rxn constant T, P ∆Hrxn is the enthalpy change of reaction as measured in a reaction calorimeter and ∆Grxn the change in Gibbs energy as measured, if (...)
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  4.  7
    Bond order and bond energies.Peter F. Lang - 2024 - Foundations of Chemistry 26 (1):167-177.
    This work describes the concept of bond order. It shows that covalent bond energy is correlated to bond order. Simple expressions which included bond order are introduced to calculate bond energies of homo-nuclear and hetero-nuclear bonds. Calculated values of bond energies are compared with literature values and show there is very good agreement between and calculated and experimental values in the vast majority of cases. Bond order reveals the strength of a bond and shows the number of bonds in both (...)
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  5.  10
    Celebrating the birth of De Donder’s chemical affinity (1922–2022): from the uncompensated heat to his Ave Maria.Alessio Rocci - 2024 - Foundations of Chemistry 26 (1):37-73.
    Théophile De Donder, a Belgian mathematician born in Brussels, elaborated two important ideas that created a bridge between thermodynamics and chemical kinetics. He invented the concept of the degree of advancement of a reaction, and, in 1922, he provided a precise mathematical form to the already known chemical affinity by translating Clausius’s uncompensated heat into formal language. These concepts merge in an important inequality that was the starting point for the formalization of non-equilibrium thermodynamics. The present article aims to reconstruct (...)
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  6.  6
    Hydrogen over helium: A philosophical position.René Vernon - 2024 - Foundations of Chemistry 26 (1):15-36.
    Hydrogen is troublesome in any periodic table classification. This being so it may as well be placed in a position that confers desirable attributes to the arrangement of the elements, while notionally recognising its lineage to the group 1 alkali metals and the group 17 halogens. Since the noble gases bridge the halogens and the alkali metals, and hydrogen encompasses the transition from the alkali metals to the halogens, there is more to the idea of hydrogen over helium. (Meyer 1870, (...)
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  7.  3
    Relating screening to atomic properties and electronegativity in the Slater atom.Balakrishnan Viswanathan & M. Shajahan Gulam Razul - 2024 - Foundations of Chemistry 26 (1):89-113.
    Slater’s method is an integral part of the undergraduate experience. In actuality, Slater’s method is part of an atomic model and not simply a set of rules. Slater’s rules are a simple means for computing the effective nuclear charge experienced by an orbital. These rules are based on the shell-like structure of the Slater atom in which outer shell electrons are incapable of shielding inner electrons. Slater’s model provides a qualitative description of the valence electrons in multi-electron atoms with tremendous (...)
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  8.  10
    Johann Rudolph Glauber: the royals’ alchemist and his secret recipes.Curt Wentrup - 2024 - Foundations of Chemistry 26 (1):3-13.
    Compelling evidence is presented that Glauber worked as a laborator (laboratory assistant) for Landgrave Georg of Hesse-Darmstadt from 1632/33 till he was appointed apothecary in Giessen in 1635. During this time, he was also used as laborator by the landgrave’s personal physician, Helwig Dieterich. Glauber became a famous chemist, whose alchemical secrets were keenly solicited by King Frederik III of Denmark, Queen Christina of Sweden, and, according to the 1662 diary of Ole Borch, King Charles II of England. A 1689 (...)
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  9.  17
    Co-authorship in chemistry at the turn of the twentieth century: the case of Theodore W. Richards.K. Brad Wray - 2024 - Foundations of Chemistry 26 (1):75-88.
    It is widely recognized that conceptual and theoretical innovations and the employment of new instruments and experimental techniques are important factors in explaining the growth of scientific knowledge in chemistry. This study examines another dimension of research in chemistry, collaboration and co-authorship. I focus specifically on Theodore Richards’ career and publications. During the period in which Richards worked, co-authorship was beginning to become more common than it had been previously. Richards was the first American chemist to be awarded a Nobel (...)
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