CHEM301 (Physical Chemistry) Fall 2014
Scott Heinekamp ( Stratton 302 ext 3361

Course overview
This is an advanced course in Chemistry (and Physics), often abstract and heavily mathematical. Let's hope that the mathematics never obscures the important physico-chemical principles that we discover. Traditionally, physical chemistry is concerned with two subject areas: thermodynamics (and its important kinetic theory component), and quantum mechanics. Both subjects are central to the physics of the atom and of matter, and chemists apply these basic principles to real-world behaviors of chemically-reacting systems. Here, we will exclusively deal with the thermodynamic side of things.
In some ways, thermodynamics is the most "timeless" branch of physics. It works in the classical realm of slow-moving large things; it works in the quantum realm of rapidly-moving tiny entities; it can describe electromagnetic radiation; it even has been applied with great success to such exotic situations as the environment of a black hole! It is essentially the science of energy, and deals with very fundamental questions concerned with the meanings of heat, and temperature, and whether energy can be used to "do" something, or whether it is irretrievably lost.
Text: Atkins and de Paula Physical Chemistry [ninth edition]. This is a clear and comprehensive text with the status of a true classic. I encourage you to use the Wells library to scope out other books (and don't limit your search to "chemistry" books -- physical chemistry is as much about physics as it is about chemistry!). And, it must be said that the internet has become a very good way to obtain factually correct information about topics in science and engineering.
Lecture Schedule

Week I (week of 1 Sep)
  • Ch F Basic properties and nomenclature for the atomic theory of matter. The ideal gas law. The Boltzmann distribution. Electromagnetism.
    Week II (week of 8 Sep)
  • (Ch 1 Intro, 1.1-1.4) Concepts of volume, pressure and temperature. Zeroth law of thermodynamics. The gas laws (Boyle's, Charles's, Gay-Lussac's, Avogadro's). The ideal gas equation of state. Dalton's partial-pressure rule. Real gases and the virial expansion. Critical constants. van der Waals equation of state.
    Week III (week of 15 Sep)
  • (Ch 1.4) More on van der Waals equation of state. (Ch 20 Intro, 20.1-20.3) Kinetic theory of gases. Maxwell's velocity and speed distributions. Mean free path. Collisions and effusion.
    Week IV (week of 22 Sep)
  • (Ch 20.3-20.4) Viscosity and diffusion of matter and energy.
  • (Ch 2 intro, 2.1-2.3) First law of thermodynamics. Internal energy. State functions. Equipartition. Heat and Work. Expansion examples: isobaric, isothermal. Reversible, irreversible and free processes.
    Week V (week of 29 Sep)
  • (Ch 2.4-2.6 Calculating heat. Heat capacities and specific heats. Expansion examples: isothermal, adiabatic,... Cycles. Adiabatic processes.
    Week VI (week of 6 Oct)
  • Ch 2.6-2.9 Enthalpy. Thermochemical methods. Bond energies and enthalpies. Standard enthalpies of formation and Hess's law. Temperature effects.
    Week VII (partial week of 15 Oct)
  • Ch 4.6-4.7 Mathematics of state functions and exact/inexact differentials. The Joule-Thompson effect.

    Week VIII (week of 20 Oct)
  • Ch 3 intro, 3.1-3.3 Irreversibility and spontaneity. Entropy. The Carnot cycle. The Clausius inequality.
    Week IX (week of 27 Oct)
  • Ch 3.3-3.4 Entropy change examples: mixing, heating, phase changing. Engines and refrigerators.
    Week X (week of 3 Nov)
  • Ch 3.5-3.9 Third law of thermodynamics. Gibbs and Helmholtz "free" energies. Gibbs energy of formation. More formal thermodynamics.
    PHASES OF MATTER (Chapters 4 & 5)

    Week XI (week of 10 Nov)
  • Ch 4 intro, 4.1-4.6 Pure substances. Phases and phase boundaries. The chemical potential. Clausius-Clapeyron equation.
    Week XII (week of 17 Nov)
  • Ch 5 intro, 5.1-5.5 Phase equilibria with two components. Colligative properties. Osmosis.
    (partial) Week XIII (partial week of 24 Nov)
  • Ch 5.6 Vapor pressure.
    Week XIV (week of 1 Dec)
  • Ch 5.7-5.12 Colligative properties. Liquid-liquid and liquid-solid phase diagrams. Eutectics. Activities.
    Week XV (partial week of 8 Dec)
  • Presentations

    Rules of the Game
    Attendance is expected at every lecture, as is showing up punctually, so that we can make best use of the time. I expect that you will have read the material BEFORE the class, to maximize the value of the lecture and discussion. Of course, you are encouraged to bring questions to class, where all class members will benefit from our conversation about the subtleties of QM. Your grade will be influenced by the level of participation in class. It goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that cell phones are to be turned off, and no laptops may be used except for taking notes, or perhaps the occasional accessing of some on-line resource.

    Grading in this course
    Homework/class participation (25%):
    The set of homework assignments may be found at Homework Assignment. The homework will be collected and looked over but not graded. If you aren't sure how to do a particular problem, then ask about it! It is no secret that the solution manual can be obtained on the web or purchased there, so I will assume that you have access to it.
    Exams (50%): 3 of them, 20% each except that the lowest score is weighted 10%.
    Final paper/project (25%).
    This syllabus (web address, is the course's home page.