Discovering the gas laws in a simulated laboratory

General Chemistry                                                                                    Fall 2013

Discovering the gas laws in a simulated laboratory

We’ll use a simulation environment called Molecular Workbench (MW). In a recent publication the authors described MW:

MW is a tool for designing and conducting computational experiments with atoms and molecules, based on molecular dynamics and quantum dynamics simulation methods that originate from molecular modeling research. These computational methods approximate the fundamental laws in the world of atoms and molecules, and so MW’s computational engines create dynamic visualizations of atomic motions and electron waves. The molecular dynamics engine uses classical mechanics to predict the motion of atoms according to the forces computed from potential energy functions that model interatomic interactions (Xie et al., 2011).


Use your Marlboro username and password to login to the classroom pc. Download and install Molecular Workbench .

Once MW is running, register by going to “My MW Space” [it's one of the tools at the top of the MW window; register as "other - not student or teacher]. By registering you can save your work and create a “report.”

From the MW homepage, to the right of "Featured Activities," select "Browse all activities..." Then under “Activities for the science of atoms and molecules project” select Gas Laws. Begin with the Introduction and work through each page.

In all sections that ask you to collect data you must create graphs in Excel. Then when you are asked “which graph bests represents the relationship between …….,” you can refer to your graph in Excel.


 Xie, C., R. Tinker, B. Tinker, A. Pallant, D. Damelin, B. Berenfeld (2011)  Computational Experiments for Science Education. SCIENCE 332(24):1516-1517.

Last modified: Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 10:42 AM