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C. Rius-Alonso, H. Torres-Dominguez

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (MEXICO)
The use of virtual reality is a powerfull tool for teaching chemistry.
At the Faculty of Chemistry UNAM we have developed during the last 5 years Molecular Models to ilustrate Reaction Mechanism in 3D. We have also produced several videos for the laboratory courses. So far because limitation of the technology the videos were in 2D. Starting last year we have been prepared 3D videos of practical experience in the laboratory.

Camcorders routinely have one lens and are only able to record in 2D. The first system we used was a Canon 3CCD digital video camcorder GL2 with a Nu-View stereoscopic 3-D camcorder adapter with 2 element parallelpiped precision prismatic high index beamspliter w/ high efficiency transmiting anti-feflective surfaces with orthogonally polarizing beamspliter. The signal is sincronized with the speed of the camera by an electronic circuit. The convergence of both images is very important to produce the 3D effect the setup of the convergence is very important in order to have a real 3D efect.

Recently we started using a Fujifilm Digital camera Finepix Real 3D W3 to record the video. The edition of the video is done in an Acer Aspire 5738DZG with a 3D screen. The videos can be recorder in 3 sizes; 320x 240, 640x 480 and in High Definition 1280x720 pixels in a 16:9 relation.
Students can watch the videos in several ways, using a 3D laptop computer (like acer aspire 5738DZ) , or in a clasroom using a 3D Infocus projector with shutter polarised glasses and a silver screen to view the image. Also we have an auditorium with a semicircular screen and 3D projectors to show the material.

We will review the advantage and disadvantage of the two systems.

We are using the 3D videos and the 3D Molecular Models together to teach in a much simpler way the hard to learn concepts of Chemistry. The students are inmersed in the laboratory and can watch the chemical reactions as if they were performing the experiments, also with the aid of the Molecular Models they can understand the different steps of the reactions.