THE USE OF 3D TOOL FOR TEACHING CHEMICAL REACTIONS
In the course of our lectures at the Faculty of Chemistry (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) we have face with the student problem of understanding abstract concepts in the field of chemistry. The main problem is the abstraction of facts in order to understand the chemical reactions. During the last 6 years we have used stereoscopical tool in order to teach the course of Organic Chemical Reactions. With the aid of severals Molecular Modeling programs we have been able to show the electronic density, orbital population, steric effects, of a series of reactions.
The implementation of the 3d structures have been in several ways:
-The use of circular polarized light:
In order to implement this presentation, we use two DPL displays with left and right circular polarization from of each one, with the use of a silver screen, we are able to get two polarized images in the same screen, and with the use of circular polarized lenses, the student can see in real 3D the molecules and the outcome of the reactions. The advantage of this system is the simplicity of the set up and the low cost of the environment. The disadvantage is the set up of the projectors in a fixed frame to obtain the adequate separation of the two images for each eye and this reduce the portability of the system.
-The use of a stereoscopic projector :
Some years ago the availability of portable 3D displays has been a reality and Infocus has a real 3D projector at a low cost, ideal for small presentations, in order to use it, is necessary to have a graphic card that can handle 3D images (open Gl), a device to synchronize the images with the lenses and shutter lenses. The outcome is really spectacular and the interaction with a 3D world is real.
-The use of a stereoscopic display:
During the last year several 3D screens have appear in the market. Samsug has severl display ranging from 22" to 50" in. that can handle real 3D together with Nvidia graphics cards. The use of shutter lenses is necessary.
- The use of stereoscopy display without shutter glasses:
Sharp has several computer displays that can be used to show stereoscopic images without the aid of any additional device. This devices are limited to a small audience.
-The use of special 3D auditorium:
At the Dirección General de Cómputo Académico (UNAM) we have an special auditorium with 50 places and a 180° screen with 3 projectors to simulate 3D environment. This tool has been very useful for research and Teaching (Sala Ixtli).
So far we have develop more than 500 models of 3D chemical structures and dynamic reaction for teaching the different courses of organic chemistry.