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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 12 Issue 4 (2007) pp 224-228

Chemical Oscillations: Two-Variable Chemical Models

Kathleen M. Beutel and Enrique Peacock-López*

Department of Chemistry, Williams College, Williamstown, MA 01267,
Received February 3, 2006. Accepted July 17, 2006.

Published online: 4 August 2007

Abstract. In most modern physical chemistry textbooks, chemical oscillations are introduced by analyzing Lotka’s 1910 ecological model, which does not show any of the observed properties of chemical oscillations; therefore, chemically relevant two-variable models that show oscillations are valuable for instructors interested in teaching nonlinear chemical kinetics. We choose five models that are closer to experimental systems, and, using dimensionless equations, we study analytically and numerically their transitions from stable steady states to oscillatory states.

Key Words: In the Classroom; physical chemistry; kinetics

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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Issue date: August 4, 2007

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