Are you struggling in your physical chemistry class? Don't feel alone, because physical chemistry classes can be challenging. Physical chemistry courses require you to put the concepts you learned in prior chemistry, math, and physics classes to good use. If you struggled in one of those classes, then it is especially important to study hard to further your understanding of the new concepts you are learning. To make studying easier, Varsity Tutors' Learning Tools offers several physical chemistry study help activities that can help you prepare for your classes. The free flashcards online are perfect to study with when you don't have time to sit down and take a full practice test or want to focus your studying on a specific physical science topic you need a little extra help with.
The Learning Tools Flashcards for physical science make squeezing in quick study sessions easier, because you can use them when you are at home, in your dorm, or on-the-go. You can access them from any computer, tablet, or smartphone, so they are perfect to use when you have unexpected downtime during your day and only have your tablet or smartphone handy. Instead of playing that game on your smartphone that you typically play when you need to kill some time, you can pull up the physical science review flashcards and study instead!
The physical science study flashcards cover many important concepts you may be learning in your class. The large deck of flashcards is also broken up into many smaller decks that each focus on a specific physical science concept. You can study the full deck when facing your final exam or want to get a head-start on material you will be learning later in class, or you can study with one of the smaller decks to help further your understanding of a concept you will soon face on a test or assignment.
The flashcards cover many important physical science concepts and topics, including electrochemistry, equilibrium and kinetics, quantum chemistry, nuclear chemistry, molecular chemistry, phases of property and matter, thermochemistry, thermodynamics, and many others.
In addition to the ready-made physical science flashcards, you can also make your own flashcards with the flashcards builder. You can use this Learning Tool to make the questions and answers you have on bulky study materials easier to practice while on-the-go. Once you open the flashcards maker by clicking on the “Create Tests & Flashcards” icon, you will then be provided with blank flashcards templates that you can then enter your own physical chemistry questions and answers into.
After you make your own flashcards with the flashcards creator, you can also add some ready-made flashcards to the deck, if you would like. Don't worry about losing the new deck you create, because once you save it, you can study with it as often as you want without having to re-enter the same questions. However, you can add new questions to the same deck as you progress in your class, or you can make new decks when learning a new concept or moving to a new textbook chapter. If you save all of the decks you create throughout the semester, you will then also have a super-handy way to prepare for your final exam!
Some materials give off sparks of light when they are rubbed, crushed, or broken. This phenomenon is known as triboluminescence or fractoluminescence. It may hold clues to how changes in pressure produce chemical reactions.
Quartz and Sugar Crystals
Quartz is a mineral that forms very large crystals. Centuries ago, it was used in ceremonies where quartz crystals were rubbed together to create sparks of light, an eerie effect in the darkness. Diamonds also glow when they are rubbed or cut. It is also seen when sugar cubes are rubbed together. Scientists noticed in the 1790s that sparks flew when bits of sugar were chipped off in dim light, so that the sparks were visible.
Figure 1: When quartz crystals are rubbed together, the flash of light that is produced is an example of triboluminescence.
Adhesive tape is also pressure sensitive, so that the glue on the tape sticks to the surface and forms a bond. When the tape is pulled away from the roll in darkness, tiny sparks fly. When scientists recently studied the glow in a vacuum, they saw that light similar to X-rays were produced.
Wintergreen Lifesavers candy also produces triboluminescence when it is crushed in the dark. Dr. Linda Sweeting, who has conducted extensive experiments with objects that show the phenomenon, theorizes that the blue-green flash is intensified by properties in the oil of wintergreen in the candy. The oil of wintergreen itself adds fluorescence, making the light visible.
Figure 2: The flashes of light from the cracks in a wintergreen lifesaver are caused by triboluminescence.
Ionization and Triboluminescence
When crystals of sugar, quartz, or other materials are fractured, the electrons along the area of the fracture on either side leap the gap, release energy, and emit tiny flashes of light. Ions on one side of the gap are positively charged, and ions on the other side are negatively charged. The reason why some materials behave this way and others do not, is unclear. It may be due to the shape of the crystals themselves, because many of the objects that are triboluminescent fracture in a way that is not symmetrical. The ionization of the atmosphere that produces lightning is similar, but on a much larger scale. The phenomenon that produces triboluminescence may be used in sensors that detect changes in pressure or fractures, such as in air bags or other devices.
Figure 3: Flashes of lightning result from ionization in the atmosphere.
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