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NS 102 Science of Nature II

Fall 2014 Semester

Midterm Exam 1
November 8, 2014 (10:00 12:30)

Student No:

Problem 1 (15 points):

Problem 2 (15 points):
Problem 3 (17 points):
Problem 4 (15 points):
Problem 5 (16 points):
Concept Questions (22 points):
BONUS (10 points):

5 problems (78 points in total), concept questions (22 points in total), and a
BONUS problem worth 10 points
Show all your work and in-between steps clearly to receive full credits

1) (15 pts) In a controlled experiment to study the effects of greenhouse gases, 0.01 moles of methane gas is
filled in a 5.0 L container at 25oC. For methane, the values of the van der Waals constants are a = 2.25 L2 atm
mol-2, b = 0.0428 L mol-1
a) If methane is not an ideal gas, what is the pressure in the box?

b) In a second experiment, the experimental conditions are changed so that methane behaves like an ideal gas.
The temperature is kept constant at 25oC. Oxygen and nitrogen gases are also added to the container. In the final
mixture 1 mole percent methane, 20 mole percent oxygen and 79 mole percent nitrogen exist in the container.
The total pressure in the container is 5 atm. What is the partial pressure of methane in the container?

c) Compare the pressures you calculated in (a) and (b). Why do you think they are different?

2) (15 pts) 5 moles of oxygen gas (assume ideal) is expanded isothermally and irreversibly from 5 m3 to a final
volume against a constant external pressure 0.001 atm. The total work done during the process is 2500 J.
(a) Compute U, H, and q for the process.

(b) If the system is at equilibrium at the end of the expansion, what is the temperature of the system?

3) (17 pts) Two moles of a greenhouse gas that behaves ideally is expanded to twice its initial volume at a
constant temperature of 300 K.
a. What is the change in entropy?

b. In the second step, temperature is decreased to Tf at constant volume so that the initial entropy is restored.
What is the final temperature, Tf ?

c. The temperature at the stratosphere, where the ozone layer is, is a few degrees below the normal freezing
point of water. Does the gas at the end of the process (at the end of (b)) has lower or higher entropy than
stratospheric ozone (assume the same pressure)? Justify your answer. Do not calculate.

d .What is the amount of work done throughout the total process ((a) + (b))?

e. What is the heat exchanged, q, for the total process ((a) + (b))?
Take molar cv = 5R/2.

4) (15 pts) The decomposition of the ozone reaction is given below. Also given are the concentrations of each gas
at sea level:

a) Is this reaction spontaneous or not under given conditions (1 atm and 273 K) and the given concentrations?
Show all your calculations.

b) Do you think it is likely to find ozone at the sea level? Justify your answer using thermodynamical arguments.

5) (16 pts) In a given reaction molecular nitrogen reacts with atomic oxygen to form nitric oxide and atomic
nitrogen. This reaction is the rate limiting step in the high temperature combustion of nitrogen gas taking place in
burning coal. Note that NO compounds act as catalysts in forming ozone at sea level, and it is essential to control
their amount for environmental reasons.

A set of experiments were performed with different concentrations of atomic oxygen ( ) and molecular nitrogen
(OO ) and initial rates of the reactions were measured. Results are shown below.

a) What is the reaction order with respect to oxygen (O)? With respect to nitrogen (N2)?

b) Write the rate law for the reaction.

c) At 800oC, the initial rate of reaction is measured as 4.85 x 10-6 mol/L/sec for an initial oxygen amount of 0.5 x
10-7 mol/L and initial nitrogen amount of 0.1 x 10-8 mol/L. Find the rate constant at 800oC.

d) If the activation energy of this reaction is 315 kJ/mol, what is the rate constant at 1100oC?

Concept Questions
6.1) (6 pts) To make a snowball, you need to squeeze the snow hard. This will slightly melt the snow. When you
release the pressure , it refreezes, sticking the snow together and a snowball forms. Using the phase diagram
given below, answer the following questions:
Note: Please use the graph to show the changes in pressure and temperature during squeezing.

a) If you squeeze the snow too hard, the snow will melt completely and you wont be able to form a snowball.
Why? At 0oC, up to what pressure should you squeeze to make a snowball?

b) Why cant you form a snowball in Mars by squeezing the snow in your hand? (In Mars the atmospheric
pressure is 0.006 atm and the temperature is -25oC)

6.2) (5 pts) Ozone (O3) is an unstable form of oxygen that is formed in the stratosphere. The ozone layer in the
upper atmosphere protects life on the earths surface from high-energy ultraviolet light from the sun. Ozone is
produced from oxygen gas:
3O2 (g) 2O3 (g)

The reaction given is endothermic. At what T will the reaction be spontaneous? Explain your answer.

ii. If a system will never spontaneously absorb thermal energy from the surroundings to undergo a change,
does that mean the reaction will not occur? In the case of the production of ozone in the stratosphere, which
goes on every day, what is needed for this reaction to take place?

6.3) (5 pts) a) Explain how energy is obtained from hydroelectric power. Discuss if hydroelectric energy is a better
alternative to fossil fuels.

6.4) (6 pts) a) Describe the greenhouse effect. What is its role in climate change?

b) What makes a gas greenhouse gas?

Bonus Problem: (10 pts) Scientists estimate that 4 billion years ago the Sun was 30% dimmer (or less intense)
than it is today. The current value of Earths solar flux (S) is 1367 W/m2.
a. If Earths albedo had been the same then as it is now (A=0.3), what would have been the effective radiating
temperature 4 billion years ago?

b. If Earths surface temperature 4 billion years ago was the same as it is today (288 K), the greenhouse effect
would have been how much different than today (report result as difference in temperature) ? The greenhouse
effect today is 33K.

c. Write at least two gases that could have accounted for this greenhouse effect.

List of formulas, constants and other data

Given: = 5.6703 10-8 (W m-2K-4) - The Stefan-Boltzmann Constant

Unit conversions:
1 Joule = 0.01 L.atm
1 L = 0.001 m3

Correlation coefficient:

Plancks Formula for blackbody radiation:

Stefan Boltzmann Law:

R T 4

Effective radiative temperature:

Ideal gas law:
Daltons law:

pV = nRT
pj = xj p

The van der Waals equation:


w = -pext V


Heat capacity:

Internal energy:



Gibbs Free Energy:

A reversible system

G = H TS
G = VP - ST

Gibbs free energy of a reaction at Standard

Gibbs free energy of a reaction

Reaction quotient

(depending on reaction)
At equilibrium