Unstable molecules - is the instability relative to environment?

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Simfish
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Unstable molecules - is the instability "relative" to environment?

There are many highly unstable chemical configurations. Most chemicals, after all, would prefer to move from high-energy states to low-energy states. This is usually possible due to the presence of a reaction pathway that makes this possible.

But what if there was no possible reaction pathway? On Earth, those reaction pathways are almost always possible. But in space, you might have no possible reaction pathway, so many molecules that are highly unstable on Earth - could conceivably be highly stable in space. In areas of almost complete vacuums, you could conceivably have molecules that are *extremely* ionic. Do those molecules even exist?

Of course, in every environment, there is a point where the least energy would be achieved if the molecule simply dissociated into individual atoms rather than maintain itself.
 

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  • #2
Borek
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You don't need to go into space, it works even on Earth. For example free radicals are usually very reactive, but in some cases steric hindrance makes them quite stable. They are called then "persistent radicals".

Same about phosphorescence. To emit energy molecule has to go one from energy state to another. Sometimes these transitions are "forbidden" - for example they require change in multiplicity - so the excited molecule is quite stable.
 
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I have one question, When we mean complete vacuum, do we mean the absence of everything therein inside that space or just a few chosen things...(I am not referring to existence of Ether or not..)
Coz space is not vacuum... you have many galaxies in it.. So how is it vacuum?
And if there is a vacuum, then how can things be stably floating in vacuum, what about pressure inside a vacuum chamber.. If it is a vacuum, then it must have been filled...at some point in time..
And well if you take the chemical reaction into vacuum, u would not have vacuum but your experiment...
Dont we have X-Rays travelling though space.. (well forgot it is part of the big baggage called light, including radio waves and microwaves)
Well I am not trying to reply to your experiment.. but would only like to know how we define space as a vacuum.. and how we define space as being something apart from the many galaxies in it.
Another quick question... In the atom, is there any space left between the protons and neutrons, in the electron cloud region, well if there is space and nothing is there.. or there are tight spaces where nothing fills, is that vacuum too. Just a thought!!??!!??
Merry Christmas or well wishing everyone a wonderful year ending....
 
  • #4
Borek
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It is all about the volume you are interested in. Take a cubic meter of space - in some places it will contain many moles of substances, in some places it will contain single molecules. The less, the better vacuum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outer_space#Intergalactic
 

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