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On the Autonomous Existence of Chemical Entities

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According to a traditional assumption, in principle chemistry could be derived from physics because chemical entities are nothing else than very complex physical entities. This assumption counts against the autonomy of chemistry as a scientific discipline or, at least, supports its secondary position with respect to physics. In this paper we review the arguments used for and against the idea that chemistry is nothing else than a branch of physics. In particular, we consider the status of chemical entities in the light of the discussions around the supposed visualization of orbitals. On this basis, we defend the autonomous existence of the chemical world.

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Keywords: Autonomous Existence; Born-Oppenheimer approximation; Dirac's words; Existence of Orbitals; Molecular Chemistry; Molecular chemistry; Orbitals; Quantum Mechanics; Quantum mechanics; Reduction; SchrOdinger equation; Semiclassical-electrons; Wavefunction; billiard-ball; contextuality of quantum mechanics; hypothetical superposition; illuminating metaphor; macroscopic phenomena; medieval alchemy; multicomponent systems; phenomenological science; quantum mechanics; quasi-classical WKB; secondary science; unacceptable self-contradiction

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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  • Current Physical Chemistry publishes full-length and short reviews, and topical issues on the important recent developments in physical chemistry and allied disciplines.The scope of the journal covers all areas of physical chemistry, including surface science, colloids and interfaces, thermodynamics, spectroscopy, molecular structure, solid state chemistry, catalysis, kinetics, theoretical chemistry, chemical physics and biophysical chemistry.Current Physical Chemistry is an essential journal for every physical chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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