Conrad Trumbore (University of Delaware, USA)
We have found interactive animations to be a key to revealing the chemical foundations for environmental concepts such as the greenhouse effect and greenhouse gases. We first illustrate the dynamic nature of molecules and photons. Then, an animated case is made for an interaction between an infrared photon’s oscillating dipole and the oscillating dipoles of the greenhouse gas molecules, resulting in absorption of the photon. The symmetric and asymmetric stretching modes of carbon dioxide and water molecules and their interactions with photons are illustrated with animations. The dynamic nature of these animations gives students a much better feeling for both the greenhouse effect and molecular behavior. These animations will be demonstrated and discussed.