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Academics

Step-by-Step Math Tools in Wolfram|Alpha Help Your Chemistry Course Prep

Math is one of the main things that deters students from wanting to learn more about chemistry. Being a chemical engineering student, I understand this, especially for students who just have to get chemistry out of the way as a general education requirement. Essentially, step-by-step solutions are like your own on-demand math tutor: in addition to calculating the answer, Wolfram|Alpha shows you how it got there. Here are six important math skills that you will definitely use on a regular basis in your chemistry class and how they relate to different chemistry concepts.

Leading Edge

Wolfram|Alpha Notebook Edition Turns One: Now with Support for Chemistry, Demonstrations and More

Wolfram|Alpha Notebook Edition was released nearly a year ago, and we're proud to share what the team has been working on since. In addition to the improvements made to Wolfram|Alpha itself, new input and output suggestions were added. There were parsing fixes, additions to the Wolfram|Alpha-to-Wolfram Language translation and some of the normal improvements one would expect. There are also some bigger features and interesting new capabilities that we will explore in a bit more detail here.

If you haven't checked out Wolfram|Alpha Notebook Edition in a while, we'd like to invite you to revisit. With education looking a little different for many people right now, this could be a great time to explore this exciting new way to interface with Wolfram technologies.

Academics

Quantum Chemistry: Step-by-Step Chemistry Series

After working our way through chemical reactions, solutions and structure and bonding, we close out our step-by-step chemistry series with quantum chemistry. Quantum chemistry is the application of quantum mechanics to atoms and molecules in order to understand their properties.

Have you ever wondered why the periodic table is structured the way it is or why chemical bonds form in the first place? The answers to those questions and many more come from quantum chemistry. Wolfram|Alpha and its step-by-step chemistry offerings won’t make the wave-particle duality any less weird, but they will help you connect chemical properties to the underlying quantum mechanical behavior.

The step-by-step solutions provide stepwise guides that can be viewed one step at a time or all at once while working through a problem. Read on for example problems covering orbital diagrams, frequency and wavelength conversions, and mass-energy equivalence.

Academics

Structure and Bonding: Step-by-Step Chemistry Series

We’re back this week with more chemistry, to explore molecular structure and bonding with Wolfram|Alpha and its step-by-step chemistry offerings. Read more on chemical reactions and solutions from previous weeks, and join us next week for our final installment on quantum chemistry!

Structure and bonding in chemistry refer to where the atoms in a molecule are and what holds those atoms together. Molecules are held together by chemical bonds between the atoms comprising the molecule. Understanding the interplay between molecular structure and the electrons involved in bonding is what facilitates the design of new molecules, the control of chemical reactions and a better understanding of the molecules around us.

To master structure- and bonding-related calculations, the step-by-step solutions provide stepwise guides that can be viewed one step at a time or all at once. Read on for example problems covering Lewis structures, oxidation numbers and orbital hybridization.

Academics

Chemical Solutions: Step-by-Step Chemistry Series

Last week, we kicked off a four-part series on Wolfram|Alpha's step-by-step chemistry offerings with chemical reactions. Future posts will cover chemical structure and bonding along with quantum chemistry. We continue this week with chemical solutions, another foundational component of all chemistry classes.

From the blood in your veins to the oceans covering the planet, solutions are everywhere! Understanding their chemical properties is essential to sustaining life, creating new materials and treating illness. As such, disciplines ranging from biology to material science to the health professions all must be comfortable doing solution-related computations.

To master such calculations, the step-by-step results provide stepwise guides that can be viewed one step at a time or all at once. Read on for example problems covering solute concentration, solution preparation, pKa and colligative properties.

Best of Blog

Chemistry Step-by-Step Solutions: Chemical Reactions

If you’re studying chemistry or are in a discipline requiring chemistry prerequisite courses, then you know how expensive the required textbooks can be. To combat this, the chemical education community has developed open educational resources to provide free chemistry textbooks. However, although free textbooks keep cash in your wallet, they don’t include solution guides for all the homework problems.

Luckily, the Step-by-Step Solutions feature of Wolfram|Alpha has got your back! Whether you’re studying remotely or collaborating via video conferencing, Wolfram|Alpha helps you learn and apply the problem-solving frameworks for chemical word problems. The step-by-step solutions provide stepwise solution guides that can be viewed one step at a time or all at once. The guides not only hone efficient problem solving, but also facilitate digging deeper into concepts that might still be murky.
Academics

15 Ways Wolfram|Alpha Can Help with Your Classes

We all know Wolfram|Alpha is great for solving calculations and math problems, but not everyone knows about the full breadth of useful data it provides. I entered college as a biology major and was quickly overwhelmed with the amount of information I had to memorize. Class lectures moved at a fast pace, and often my notes had gaps in them where I hadn’t finished writing down what the professor was saying before she moved on. I was up late at night making flashcards for tests and searching desperately through Yahoo! Answers, trying to find information like what exactly the alimentary system does (hint: it “functions in food ingestion and digestion; absorption of water and nutrients; secretion of water, acids, enzymes, buffers and salts; waste excretion; and energy storage”—thanks, Wolfram|Alpha!).

Thinking back on those late-night study sessions, I would have saved a lot of time if I had properly used Wolfram|Alpha as a study tool. Because I was a biology major, many of the areas in which I most frequently sought information were related to scientific fields such as chemistry, but Wolfram|Alpha can be a valuable resource in so many more areas. Here are 15 applications of Wolfram|Alpha in topics beyond mathematics. I hope you will find these to be useful both inside and outside the classroom!

Academics

The Ease of Wolfram|Alpha, the Power of Mathematica: Introducing Wolfram|Alpha Notebook Edition

The Next Big Step for Wolfram|Alpha

Wolfram|Alpha has been a huge hit with students. Whether in college or high school, Wolfram|Alpha has become a ubiquitous way for students to get answers. But it’s a one-shot process: a student enters the question they want to ask (say in math) and Wolfram|Alpha gives them the (usually richly contextualized) answer. It’s incredibly useful---especially when coupled with its step-by-step solution capabilities.

But what if one doesn't want just a one-shot answer? What if one wants to build up (or work through) a whole computation? Well, that's what we created Mathematica and its whole notebook interface to do. And for more than 30 years that's how countless inventions and discoveries have been made around the world. It's also how generations of higher-level students have been taught.

But what about students who aren't ready to use Mathematica yet? What if we could take the power of Mathematica (and what's now the Wolfram Language), but combine it with the ease of Wolfram|Alpha?

Well, that's what we've done in Wolfram|Alpha Notebook Edition.

Announcements & Events

Enhanced Step-by-Step Solutions Now on Mobile: Announcing Wolfram|Alpha 2.0 for iOS

Since it was first launched about ten years ago, Wolfram|Alpha has been one of the most useful sites on the web. You can use it to do arithmetic, solve differential equations, find out how many calories there are in a cake, track the airplanes near your current location, track any given constellation, find out how many runs Ken Griffey Jr. scored in 1995 and even perform calculations that make absolutely no sense.

In October 2009, a few months after the website launched, we released Wolfram|Alpha 1.0 for the iPhone. Today, we are announcing the latest evolution in Wolfram|Alpha for your iOS phone or tablet, Version 2.0, which is available now on the iOS App Store.