International Year of Chemistry, 2011

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization IUPAC - International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry

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International Year of Chemistry 2011

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Quantum Chemistry, Astrochemistry, and Cosmochemistry

Idea by Charles Umesi   |   added on Jun 21, 2010 12:57PM Suggestion Suggestion
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When is a "piece of cake", not really a piece of cake?

Using a piece of cake to illustrate the organisation of matter from that piece of cake down to crumbs, then atoms, and then the "quantum" level, a bizarre world where a piece of cake becomes a piece of Mars or some alien entity from the furthest reaches of the galaxy.  Illustrate the difference between a particle and a wave in the real world using a football, a bowl of water, a person, and a population, and how this clear distinction breaks down at the level of electrons.  Explain how all matter becomes indistinguishable at the quantum level.  A simplistic, but effective introduction to quantum mechanics, and its central importance to chemistry and the existence of everything, including our universe, to non-scientists.


Topic: educating the public, inspiring young children Audience: general public, school children
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