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Peer Review

Spectroscopic Simulator



Overall Rating:

4.33 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jan 08, 2002 by Chemistry Editorial Board
Overview: This applet lets the student study and simulate Infrared Spectra for diatomic moleules
at finite temperatures.
Learning Goals: Understanding spectroscopy of diatomic molecules and all of the factors influencing
intensity and energy.
Target Student Population: Physical Chemistry students and some analytical students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: basic understandings of diatomic energy levels (rotational and vibrational).
Type of Material: Simulation

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Flexibility of being able to specify molecule and conditions is superb.
The content is remarkable. However, it would be very useful if the possibility of isotopic mixes was permitted.
Concerns: The transition lines between Delta J = +-1 don't show beneath the spectrum. It would be helpful if a frequency marker was placed on the abscissa for high resolution work so that one could see the effect of resolution. Need to allow for DCl and HCl37 which is what is seen in the lab. Significant figures need to be appropriate and consistent. When the temperature is changed, clearly there are fewer lines but the spectrum seems to spread out, giving the students a false sense of energy levels (even though the frequencies change). Don't know quite what to suggest here but students remember the graph, not the numbers. What about a Boltzmann curve on the y axis of the energy level diagram..

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Flexibility
Concerns: When the content concerns addressed earlier are met, this will be an extremely effective site. There should be a little more theoretical background so that the equations relating the parameters derived are known or accessible perhaps by click access.

Graphic is a little bit misleading because the frequency axis changes with parameters. Some sort of applet flexibility should be brought in so that students are not mislead into thinking such things as "When it cools down, the peaks spread apart so the energy levels are more widely spaced".

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This is an outstanding simulation and will be used widely in P.Chem. courses. It reflects a great effort.
Concerns: Flexibility in specifying molecule type and temperature conditions.

Navigation back to the previous or other applets is nonexistent and needs to be made easier. Some sort of menu would be useful. It would be very useful to have a small pop up that gave a few instructions..