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Physical chemistry is on the border between the fields of chemistry and physics. Its main task is to explain in theory and with experimentation the properties of chemical substances and to create generally reliable mathematic formulas for chemical properties and how they change. In other words, physical chemistry provides the theoretical basis for process technology and technical chemistry. In order to ensure that your documents in the field of physical chemistry are translated free of errors, we hire exclusively native speaking translators with the necessary expert knowledge. These individuals have been raised with the target language and are capable of following the text’s content. Our experienced project managers will be happy to advise you by phone and by email.

The history of physical chemistry

Physical chemists were around long before there was even a name for them. Two of these early chemists were Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhof who developed spectral analysis. Included as well are Thomas Graham, Hermann von Helmholtz, Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (the man who discovered the laws of thermal expansion of gases), and Robert Boyle (co-founder of the concept of chemical elements). Physical chemistry was first introduced at universities as its own field of study in 1890. Svante Arrhenius, Wilhelm Ostwald, Jacobus Henricus van ’t Hoff, and Walther Nernst are considered the fathers of physical chemistry and led the first university chairs.

The different fields that make up physical chemistry today

Electrochemistry, kinetics, chemical thermodynamics, spectroscopy, and theoretical chemistry in particular are all considered to be within the realm of physical chemistry. Theoretical chemistry aims to develop mathematical formulas based off of the properties of molecules and macroscopic quantities. It lays the groundwork for understanding the structure of matter. Chemical thermodynamics deals with the heat energy generated by chemical reactions, gas expansion, and increasing the temperature of a substance. Electrochemistry mainly has to do with the effects of an electric current on chemical substances. Major applications of this include electrolytes (aqueous ion solutions), electroplating (precipitation of metals on surfaces), and fuel cells. As for kinetics, its main focus is the rates of chemical reactions. It is applied to understand the basics of the effects of catalysts and diffusion. Spectroscopy has to do with how energy from the electromagnetic radiation (such as radio waves, microwaves, x-rays, and UV light) of various substances is given off and recorded. Using the spectrum, conclusions can be made regarding the structure and composition of these substances.

The importance of physical chemistry

Physical chemistry has a wide array of applications and plays a vital role in science, research, industry, agriculture, and in people’s everyday lives. If no more progress were made in electrochemistry, there would be no innovations to enhance the performance of cell phone and laptop batteries. Without kinetics, there would be no state-of-the-art catalytic converters in our cars to reduce environmentally harmful emissions. Physical chemistry is as essential to food production and the manufacturing of fertilizer as it is to new types of drugs and medical agents. Nanotechnology would also not exist without physical chemistry. If you are also involved in the field of physical chemistry and need your documents to be professionally translated, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will always find the right translator for each project. We would be happy to provide you with a non binding quote. Send us your documents by email today.


Erwin Vroom
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