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Dr. Miles Authors Paper in Journal of Chemical Education

BRINGING HIP-HOP TO THE CHEMISTRY CLASSROOM

Associate Professor of Chemistry Deon Miles recently wrote an article published in the Journal of Chemical Education entitled “Run-D.M.C.: A Mnemonic Aid for Explaining Mass Transfer in Electrochemical Systems” (J. Chem. Educ. 2013, 90, 1649−1653).  The article focused on the use of a novel mnemonic device relating the well-known hip-hop group, Run-D.M.C., to an important concept in electrochemistry.  Specifically, the three modes of mass transport to a working electrode surface are diffusion, migration, and convection.  Using the mnemonic aid “Run-D.M.C.” helps students recall these different processes in electrochemical systems.    

The article can be accessed at the following URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/ed400208u

The abstract for the article is provided below:

Electrochemistry is a significant area of analytical chemistry encompassing electrical measurements of chemical systems. The applications associated with electrochemistry appear in many aspects of everyday life: explaining how batteries work, how the human nervous system functions, and how metal corrosion occurs. The most common electrochemical technique performed in an instrumental analysis laboratory is voltammetry. For a measurement of current to occur in a voltammetry experiment, an electroactive species must continuously be moved from the bulk solution to the surface of the working electrode, where the reaction will take place. There are three modes of mass transport to the working electrode surface: diffusion, migration, and convection. These modes of mass transport are important features of the electrochemical process that determines reaction rate. Using the mnemonic aid “Run-D.M.C.” helps students recall these different processes. This mnemonic device also aids in the interpretation of a typical concentration profile near the working electrode surface for a hydrodynamic (e.g., rotated disk) voltammetry experiment. The popularity of the hip-hop music group that this mnemonic device is named for is important for potential widespread use of this teaching aid.