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Published: Kem. Ind. 69 (11-12) (2020) 659–664
Paper reference number: KUI-13/2019
Paper type: Professional paper
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Special Theory of Relativity in Chemistry

N. Raos


Application of Einsteinʹs special theory of relativity in chemistry seems to be superfluous; energies are too low. The average velocity of electron in hydrogen atom (1s1) is 1/135 c, making its actual mass only 26,6 ppm larger than the rest of the mass. However, for heavier elements (about Z > 60), relativistic effects have to be taken into account and, more than that, many phenomena cannot be explained without ascribing a new mass to electrons, in accordance with Einsteinʹs theory. In this paper, such phenomena are described: colour of metallic gold and Bi and Pb compounds, low melting point of mercury, contraction of Ln-X bond of lanthanoide trihalides, voltage of lead-acid and Zn/HgO battery, and the shape of gold clusters. In addition, essentials of Einsteinʹs theory and quantum chemistry are presented, as well as the problems concerning the validity of Lavoisierʹs law.

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chemical education, periodic system of elements, atomic orbitals, colour of gold, lead-acid battery, atomic orbitals