Applied Physical Chemistry
CHE 327
Course Syllabus
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Spring 2000
University of New England

Instructor: Dr. J. Mullin                                                                                                                                          Phone: 207-283-0170 ext 2538
Lab: Alfond 340                                                                                                                                                         Office: Decary 347
Web Page:

Introduction: Physical chemistry is that area of chemistry which concerns itself with the study of the physical properties and structure of matter and with the laws and theories governing chemical interactions. Thus, our study of physical chemistry will begin with a study of the properties of gases, liquids, solids, solutions and colloidal dispersions. Next, physical chemistry is interested in investigating the energy relationships that are involved in chemical and physical transformations, the rates at which these transformations take place and the specific pathways followed in these changes. Therefore, we will explore the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical and physical changes. Finally, matter itself must be examined in order to determine its nature and structure, and to understand its interactions with electricity and light, so we will explore atomic and molecular structure as well as electrochemistry and the theoretical aspects of molecular spectroscopy. While the focus of our discussions will be to gain an understanding of the fundamental principles of the field, we also will consider practical applications of these important concepts in related fields.

Course Objectives:

1. Develop an understanding of the fundamental principles of physical chemistry.

2. Explain the fundamental principles and their applications in related fields.

3. Develop improved problem-solving skills by expressing important relationships in mathematical terms, and in applying mathematical techniques to the solution of relevant problems.

4. Integrate the fundamental material learned with practical applications and experiment.

Office Hours: A schedule will be posted on my Decary office and Alfond lab doors, and will be available on the Web page. To schedule an appointment for a specific time, shoot me an e-mail or call.

Attendance: Attendance at all class meetings is highly recommended. Class attendance per se will not be directly figured into the course grade unless there are excessive unexcused absences (>3). Make-up exams and quizzes will not be given. An unexcused absence from an exam or quiz will result in a grade of zero.

Text: Peter Atkins, The Elements of Physical Chemistry, 2nd Ed., W.H. Freeman, 1997.

Evaluation: Course grades will be determined on a percentage basis, based on the following tentative scheme:

                                                                        Exams (4 @ 100 pts each)             400 pts
                                                                        Quizzes (4 at 25 pts each)             100
                                                                        Final Exam (comprehensive)         150
                                                                        Total                                                 650

Note 1: Management reserves the right to modify this scheme, including the possible addition of other assignments.

Note 2: Exams will be given at mutually convenient times outside of the normal class time to remove the 50-minute constraint inherent in class-time exams. Quizzes will be given in class.

Tentative Exam and Quiz Schedule:

Exam 1: W, Feb 1 Exam 2: W, Mar 1 Exam 3: W, Mar 22 Exam 4: W, Apr 19

Quiz 1: F, Jan 21 Quiz 2: F, Feb 18 Quiz 3: F, Mar 10 Quiz 4: F Apr 14

Final Exam: TBA by Registrar's Office; will be given during Final Exam Week.

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Applied Physical Chemistry: Course Outline

CHE 327                                                                                                                                                                                                         Spring 2000

I. Physical Properties of Matter I (Ch. 1)

    A. States of Matter
    B. Properties of Gases
            1. Equations of state; the ideal gas law
            2. Gas mixtures; partial pressures
            3. The kinetic-molecular theory of gases
            4. Real gases: deviations from ideal behavior
            5. Liquifaction of gases; critical temperature and pressure

II. Thermodynamics I (Ch. 2)

    A. Conservation of Energy
    B. Internal Energy
    C. The First Law of Thermodynamics
    D. Enthalpy
            1. Definitions
            2. Enthalpy changes
                    a. physical changes
                    b. chemical reactions
            3. Standard enthalpy of formation
            4. Variation of enthalpy with temperature

III. Thermodynamics II (Ch. 3)

    A. Entropy and spontaneous change
    B. The Second Law of Thermodynamics
    C. Free Energy
            1. Free energy change of physical and chemical processes
            2. Standard free energy and standard free energy of formation
            3. Variation of free energy change with temperature
    D. Free Energy and Equilibrium

IV. Physical Properties II: Phase equilibria (Ch. 4)

    A. Phase Diagrams of Pure Substances
    B. Properties of Nonelectrolyte Solutions
            1. Thermodynamic descriptions of mixtures
            2. Colligative properties
            3. Phase diagrams of mixtures
                    a. mixtures of volatile liquids
                    b. liquid-liquid phase diagrams
                    c. liquid-solid phase diagrams

V. Chemical Equilibrium (Ch. 5)

Review this material on your own; it will not be covered in class.

VI. Electrochemistry (Ch. 6)

        A. Electrochemical Cells I: Galvanic Cells
                    1. Half-reactions and electrodes
                    2. Cells, cell reactions
                    3. Standard reduction potentials
                    4. Cell potentials
                    5. The effects of concentration on cell potentials; the Nernst equation
                    6. Applications
                            a. the electrochemical series
                            b. electroanalytical applications
                    7. Thermodynamics and electrochemistry

VII. Chemical Kinetics (Ch. 7)

        A. Reaction Rates and factors that affect rates
        B. Experimental techniques
        C. Rates and Rate Laws
                    1. Rate Laws and rate constants
                    2. Reaction order
                    3. Integrated rate equations
                    4. Half-life
        D. Activation Energy and the Temperature Dependance of Rate
        E. Catalysis
        F. Reaction Mechanisms
        G. Chain Reactions
        H. Photochemical Reactions

VIII. Atomic Structure (Ch. 8)

        A. Black-body radiation
        B. Heat Capacity
        C. The wave-particle duality of light
        D. Atomic and Molecular Spectra
        E. Quantum Mechanical Description of the Atom
        F. Structure of Atoms
                    1. The Hydrogen atom
                    2. Spectral transitions and Selection Rules
                    3. Electronic structure of many-electron atoms
        G. Periodic Trends in Atomic Properties

IX. Chemical Bonding (Ch. 9)

        A. Valence Bond Theory
        B. Molecular Orbital Theory

X. Intermolecular Forces and Structure (Ch. 10)

        A. The Origins and Nature of Intermolecular Forces
        B. Fluids
                    1. Real gases
                    2. Liquids
                    3. Liquid crystals
                    4. Disperse systems (e.g., micelles)
        C. Solids; crystal structure

XI. Molecular Spectroscopy (Ch. 11)

        A. General; Experimental Techniques; Definitions
        B. Rotational Spectroscopy
        C. Vibrational Spectroscopy
        D. Electronic Transitions: UV-Vis Spectroscopy
        E.  Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

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