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[WIRED] Imaging Breakthrough: See Atomic Bonds Before and After Molecular Reaction - Page 2

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Until now, scientists were only able to infer molecular structures.
This is so not even close to accurate it'd be funny if it weren't so sad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarin View Post

Molecular conformation is not related to quantum physics in this way. The quick and dirty explanation is that bonding is determined by ΔG, entropy, and orientation. It is impressive how faithful the line drawing convention we use is to reality.
Although you can describe bonding thermodynamically, it's ultimately driven by quantum mechanics.
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post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post

Although you can describe bonding thermodynamically, it's ultimately driven by quantum mechanics.

Well dude the microscope doesn't happen to be able to see the quantum workings so "ultimate" is not really relevant in terms of human capability. The fact that we can even take high-speed pictures of a chemical reaction taking place (in the first place) is a real (ultimate notwithstanding) testament to our capability so far.
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post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post


This is so not even close to accurate it'd be funny if it weren't so sad.
Although you can describe bonding thermodynamically, it's ultimately driven by quantum mechanics.

I am not saying this is incorrect, but it is far easier and fully accurate to alter the kinetic and thermal characteristics of a given system to achieve reaction rather than the quantum properties. It is a little reductionist to accredit everything to quantum interactions (because you could).
Edited by Solarin - 5/31/13 at 9:20pm
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post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavefunction View Post

Quote:
Until now, scientists were only able to infer molecular structures.
This is so not even close to accurate it'd be funny if it weren't so sad.

Although you can describe bonding thermodynamically, it's ultimately driven by quantum mechanics.

Both of these. Agreed
Quote:
Originally Posted by un-midas touch View Post

Well dude the microscope doesn't happen to be able to see the quantum workings so "ultimate" is not really relevant in terms of human capability. The fact that we can even take high-speed pictures of a chemical reaction taking place (in the first place) is a real (ultimate notwithstanding) testament to our capability so far.

Technically, what you are seeing is the direct effect of quantum mechanics. Psi squared tells the probability density of the particle being in a place at time (t). ((From schrodinger eqn)). In this case you are seeing the electron clouds between bonded atoms, as predicted using quantum mechanics.
 
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post #15 of 15
Edit:

But seriously it is still cool.

We didn't arrive at these coordinates by "proper" quantum mechanics, because we had already done so by the time we discovered what quantum mechanics was, formally. It was mostly by deduction Holmes and Watson style.

The point is prediction works. Even most of the contemporary understanding of quantum mechanics is based in theory, so when otherwise neutral, practical tests happen we can use their results as evidence to validity. Hands down.
Edited by un-midas touch - 5/31/13 at 10:30pm
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