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ERIC Number: EJ824963
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 23
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Using Compression Isotherms of Phospholipid Monolayers to Explore Critical Phenomena: A Biophysical Chemistry Experiment
Gragson, Derek E.; Beaman, Dan; Porter, Rhiannon
Journal of Chemical Education, v85 n2 p272-275 Feb 2008
Two experiments are described in which students explore phase transitions and critical phenomena by obtaining compression isotherms of phospholipid monolayers using a Langmuir trough. Through relatively simple analysis of their data students gain a better understanding of compression isotherms, the application of the Clapeyron equation, the balance between enthalpic and entropic contributions to the chemical potential, critical phenomena, and phase diagrams in general. Students use their data to determine the latent heat of transition, the entropy of transition, and the critical temperature for the liquid condensed to liquid expanded phase transition of a monolayer. Students also gain a general understanding of how molecular level changes in the structure of phospholipids, such as changes in chain length affect the structure and function of biological membranes. (Contains 3 figures and 1 table.)
Division of Chemical Education of the American Chemical Society. Subscription Department, P.O. Box 1267, Bellmawr, NJ 08099-1267. Tel: 800-691-9846; Tel: 856-931-5825; Fax: 856-931-4115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Students; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A