- Course Description
surprising amount of chemistry can be explained without recourse to
detailed theories of atoms and molecules. Indeed, most of what we
will cover in this course was developed prior to the concept of
atomic "structure." We will begin with a discussion of the
bulk properties of gases, including deviations from ideal gas
behavior. Most of the course will be devoted to exploring the
consequences of the laws of thermodynamics, using ideal gases and
other simple models to investigate thermochemistry, phase diagrams,
solutions, chemical equilibria and electrochemistry. A short
diversion into probability and statistical thermodynamics will relate
the bulk properties of matter to our modern atomic-level models. We
will wrap up the semester with a brief discussion of chemical
- Course Objectives
At the end of this course, you should be able to
- Apply the basic tools of calculus to concepts in chemistry.
- Manipulate the gas laws to describe real and ideal gas behavior.
- Discuss the Three Laws of Thermodynamics and their development.
- Use the Maxwell equations and other thermodynamic relations to
compute thermodynamic quantities from thermodynamic data tables.
- Be able to derive relationships between thermodynamic quantities.
- Interpret phase diagrams and discuss phase equilibria in terms of chemical potential.
- Explain the origin of the equilibrium constant and its relationship to
fugacity and activity, and apply these concepts to real and ideal solutions.
- Use the Boltzmann distribution to describe the energy distribution
associated with a chemical system at equilibrium.
- Use the results of quantum mechanics to evaluate molecular and canonical
- Relate the canonical partition function to the thermodynamic energy and entropy.
- Use kinetic information to arrive at plausible reaction mechanisms and/or rate laws.
- Apply the steady-state hypothesis to obtain rate equations.
- Course Materials
The text is McQuarrie and Simon's "Physical Chemistry: a Molecular Approach",
University Science Books, 1997, ISBN 0-935702-99-7.
- Meetings and Announcements
- The lecture meets in Payson Smith 203 (Portland), Mondays and Wednesdays from
1:15 to 2:30, weather permitting. (Check the USM storm line,
780-4800, for cancellations.) Any changes to the schedule, syllabus,
etc. will be announced in class. You are responsible for all such
announcements, whether you attended class or not.
Homework and in-class assignments will count for 40% of your grade.
There will be 2 in-class exams and a final, each worth 20% of your grade.
All exams are cumulative, but will emphasize material covered since the previous exam.
Click here for the tentative
schedule of topics to be covered.
- Students with disabilities
- If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a
disability, please inform me during the first week of the semester,
after consulting with the Office of Academic Support for Students with
Disabilities, 237 Luther Bonney, 780-4706. For problems with writing or
study skills, make an appointment with the Learning Center, 253 Luther
Bonney, 780-4228, or the Counseling Center, 106 Payson Smith, 780-4050.
- Academic Integrity
- All students are expected to follow the academic integrity
policies that have been implemented by the University. If you need to
review the policy, you can visit the website for the Office of