Sol-Eq - Tutorials on the Fundamentals and Principles of Equilibria in Solution;
a teaching package for use under all versions of Windows
Aims: The tutorials are prepared for use by middle and advanced level university undergraduates. They are intended for use either in individual study or in class teaching. They are user-interactive.
They cover the principles of equilibrium in solution chemistry: acid-base, redox, solubility and metal-ligand chemistry, in both homogeneous and heterogeneous systems. Each of these topic areas is complemented by tutorials which introduce examples of equilibrium in real systems: in biology, in soils, in natural waters.
Preparation has been encouraged by the Equilibrium Data Commission of IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry). The tutorials are consistent with IUPAC's commitment to Education as part of its responsibility for the advancement of pure and applied chemistry.
Preparation was prompted by the pivotal role of equilibrium principles in chemistry, by the increasing interest in use of these principles (through speciation calculations) in the study of environmental and biological processes, and by the general lack of resources for those wishing to study and apply these principles.
Sol-Eq is provided free of charge.
Overview: The tutorials and inter-linked software packages are designed for personal or class use, as a stand-alone course on Acid-Base, or Metal-Ligand or Redox or Solubility Equilibria, or as a supplement to other resources available to the student. They are all 32-bit applications, for use under Windows 95/98 and NT.
Unlike a text book the tutorials offer access to a stability constants database containing equilibrium data for some 18,000 solution (homogeneous) or solubility (heterogeneous) reactions. They also have access to a sophisticated speciation program which can handle multi-ligand / multi-metal equilibria which may include a solid phase.
The student is taught how to select appropriate data for, and how to complete speciation calculations for environmental systems. These features can be accessed through tool bar buttons on screen.
The tutorials include interactive graphical displays for acid-base and buffer systems, for complexometric titrations, for redox titrations and precipitation titrations. They include a demonstration of iterative calculations step by step, in real time.
Thy are grouped into modules, covering principles and applications of homogeneous and heterogeneous equilibria. The tutorials in each module are graded, according to difficulty. Three levels are used: introductory (level 1), intermediate (level 2) and advanced (level 3). Each tutorial commences with a list of Learning Objectives and finishes with a Summary and Bibliography. In addition a number of software packages can be accessed in the module Helpful Programs. This contains software for calculating and displaying species distribution curves, interrogating a database of metal-ligand complex stability constants, ionic strength corrections and simulation of titration curves.
Many of the tutorials require use of the Database or the speciation program Species. These can also be accessed from the appropriate buttons on the tool bar at the top of the page. The user can move easily between pages in a tutorial either by using the arrow buttons or page tabs. In the text the words in green and underlined are hypertext active; double-clicking on these will activate a window with a linked hypertext file containing additional information. This generally has an aquamarine background. Additional resources accessed through speed-bar buttons include a periodic table of the elements, selected atomic weights, a table of solubility products, thermodynamic calculations and some Windows accessories (e.g. Calculator and Notepad).
The tutorials contain many exercises. When an exercise is completed the answer is accessed via an Answers button. Most pages of text can be copied into a text editor or word processor via the Windows Clipboard. Curves generated in speciation calculations and profiles generated from the database can also be copied and printed.
Tutorial contents (text and graphics) can be viewed and printed as MS-Word documents.
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