Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Fun with Science

So, here’s something fun.

2H2O + 2N2 + 5O2 = 4HNO3 ∆G = -85 kcal/mol

If you’re a chemist, you know what this means. For those of you lay people, I’ll explain: The reaction shows water, elemental nitrogen, and elemental oxygen combining to form nitric acid. The value for ∆G is negative, which indicates that the reaction is thermodynamically favorable.

“Wait a second,” you might think. “Why don’t standing bodies of water turn into pools of acid?”

It turns out the kinetic barrier is far too high. Neat, huh?

And you thought science was good for nothing.

2 comments:

Slublog said...

Fun?

Chemists are odd.

Hal said...

Hey, I'm glad I know why the world's oceans aren't acid baths.

Do you have useless information like that? Hm?