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Chemical Kinetic Modeling with Mathematica Helps Ensure Air Quality

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Ahhhhhh. We can all breathe a little bit easier because of the Clean Air Act, especially when driving down the highway. Cars no longer spew heavy black exhaust into the air--at least not usually--and Matti Maricq, a principal research scientist at Ford Motor Company, makes sure the cars of tomorrow run even cleaner. To do this, Maricq studies atmospheric chemistry and uses Mathematica for chemical kinetic modeling.

Maricq's research looks at the chemistry that underlies air pollution to determine if changes made to cars will actually help reduce air pollution. Certain chemical models are created and Mathematica is used to solve the numerical coupled nonlinear equations by which concentration versus time curves are computed from the proposed reaction model.

"For this research the numerical differential equation solver and the graphics of Mathematica are most useful," Maricq said. "It's also convenient to use Mathematica because it can handle repeatedly graphing a model as you change variables."

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