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What are the fundamental forces involved in the chemical reaction?

  1. Dec 26, 2009 #1

    Pythagorean

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    I'm assuming the standard reductionist viewpoint: that chemistry is simplified quantum physics.

    Of the four fundamental forces in modern physics, what forces play a role in chemical reactions? Is it safe to assume it's solely electromagnetics?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 26, 2009 #2

    sas3

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    Yes, from what I understand all chemical reactions involve transfer or sharing of electrons, and thus are electrical in nature.
    But wiser people here can correct and/or punish me if I am wrong.
     
  4. Dec 26, 2009 #3

    HallsofIvy

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    That's my understanding- purely electro-magnetic. The distance between atoms is too great for nuclear forces (strong and weak) to play a roll and the masses are too small for gravity to be significant.
     
  5. Dec 26, 2009 #4

    Pythagorean

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    As for gravity, what about in the case of turbulence (in fluid chemical reactions) and precipitation reactions?

    I suppose there's somewhat of a conceptual divide here. Gravity would have no effect on the stochiometry, for instance, because stochiometry equations assume perfect contact between reagents, but gravity may have an effect on a chemical experiment's end results if the question was a physical one.

    I'm asking this question from the perspective of neurology, as to whether the reductionist view of brain science to electromagnetic forces is valid. My opinion so far is that it is.
     
  6. Dec 26, 2009 #5

    alxm

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    Electromagnetism and the Pauli principle, whether you want to consider the latter a force or not was just debated in another thread. But in any case, exchange contributions are necessary for chemistry.

    The functions of the brain are probably reducible to chemistry but there's probably no reason to go for a full chemical description. The behavior and dynamics of biochemical systems is routinely studied with quasiclassical MD simulations.
     
  7. Dec 26, 2009 #6

    Pythagorean

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    What is MD?

    I've been studying the molecular neuroscience summary from the science education forums here on PF (Thanks PF). I suppose it would be considered quasiclassical because of the chemistry backbround?

    http://www.cord.edu/faculty/ulnessd/neuroscience/neuronotes.pdf [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Dec 26, 2009 #7

    sas3

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    MD=molecular dynamics
     
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