Introduction to Physical Chemistry

University of Manchester

Gain a rigorous introduction to physical chemistry suitable for undergraduates starting university. The course provides a unique, in-depth introduction to the three main pillars of physical chemistry: thermodynamics, kinetics and quantum mechanics.

Chemical reactions underpin the production of pretty much everything in our modern world.  But, what is the driving force behind reactions?  Why do some reactions occur over geological time scales whilst others are so fast that we need femtosecond-pulsed lasers to study them?  Ultimately, what is going on at the atomic level?  Discover the answers to such fundamental questions and more on this course in introductory physical chemistry.  

The course covers the key concepts of three of the principal topics in first-year undergraduate physical chemistry: thermodynamics, kinetics and quantum mechanics. These three topics cover whether or not reactions occur, how fast they go and what is actually going on at the sub-atomic scale.

Syllabus

Thermodynamics
  • Thermodynamic definitions
  • The zeroeth law of thermodynamics and temperature
  • The first law of thermodynamics and enthalpy
  • The second law of thermodynamics and entropy
  • The third law of thermodynamics and absolute entropy
  • Heat capacity 
  • Reversible change
  • Hess’ Law 
  • Gibbs energy and spontaneous change
Chemical Kinetics
  • Reaction rate
  • Effect of stoichiometry 
  • Order of reaction
  • Half-life
  • Determining reaction order
  • Molecularity
  • The Arrhenius equation
  • Collsion theory 
  • Transition state theory
  • Complex reactions
  • Rate-determining step
  • Steady state approximation
  • Catalysis

Quantum Chemistry
  • Introduction
  • Planck’s constant 
  • The photoelectric effect 
  • de Broglie’s particle waves 
  • Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle
  • Schroedinger’s wave equation 
  • The free particle 
  • The particle in a box and application to linear polyenes 
  • Hydrogenic atoms 
  • Born’s interpretation of the wavefunction
  • Interpretation of radial and angular wavefunctions for hydrogenic atoms

Recommended Background

In order to get the most out of the course a good knowledge of general chemistry and familiarity with algebra and basic calculus (simple differentiation and integration) is recommended.


Suggested Readings

No textbook is required for this course, but for further supplementary reading we are happy to advise on suitable textbooks and online resources at the start of the course.

  

Course Format

The course is divided into three sections: thermodynamics; kinetics and quantum mechanics. In addition to an introduction and video lecture segments lasting no more than 30 minutes at a time, each section will provide an interactive laboratory activity, designed to elucidate the material covered, and finally a short multiple choice assessment all supported by an online forum.

FAQ

  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

    Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    For this course, all you need is an Internet connection and the time to think about the material presented.

  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

    You will learn that disorder is every bit as important as energy in chemical reactions, that you should never judge a reaction by its stoichiometry and that electrons exhibit wave-particle duality, seemingly enabling them to be in two places at once!

Dates:
  • 2 February 2015, 6 weeks
  • 2 June 2014, 6 weeks
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
  • Certificate:
  • MOOC:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Email-course:
  • Language: English Gb

Reviews

No reviews yet. Want to be the first?

Register to leave a review

Show?id=n3eliycplgk&bids=695438
NVIDIA
More on this topic:
Mooc_statistical_mechanics_2609 Statistical Mechanics: Algorithms and Computations
In this course you will learn a whole lot of modern physics (classical and quantum...
Small-icon.hover Intermediate Organic Chemistry - Part 1
Organic chemistry course covering intermediate topics in structure and reactivity...
8-32s03 Relativistic Quantum Field Theory III (Spring 2003)
This is the third and last term of the quantum field theory sequence. The course...
5-62s08 Physical Chemistry II
This course covers elementary statistical mechanics, transport properties, kinetic...
5-68js03 Kinetics of Chemical Reactions
This course deals with the experimental and theoretical aspects of chemical...
More from 'Chemistry':
0f1d712c-db22-4ae5-9d85-72109b0a5e3e-87cc52911021.small The Chemistry of Life
Learn how to generate ideas at the interface between chemistry and biology....
94ef943e-a5fe-47a1-ad44-bd59e5cc234a-4c3352d871c4.small From Fossil Resources to Biomass: A Chemistry Perspective
Explore how to create a sustainable future by moving away from dependence on...
A1199821-4cc5-4c84-a738-b6aff1450e0b-8f0eafb5f67e.small Biochemistry: Biomolecules, Methods, and Mechanisms
Enhance your scientific thinking and data analysis skills with this in-depth...
Umnchem Computational Chemistry (CHEM 4021/8021)
Modern theoretical methods used in study of molecular structure, bonding, and...
Ivo_0 Estimation of Measurement Uncertainty in Chemical Analysis
This is an introductory course on estimation of measurement uncertainty, specifically...
More from 'Coursera':
Success-from-the-start-2 First Year Teaching (Secondary Grades) - Success from the Start
Success with your students starts on Day 1. Learn from NTC's 25 years developing...
New-york-city-78181 Understanding 9/11: Why Did al Qai’da Attack America?
This course will explore the forces that led to the 9/11 attacks and the policies...
Small-icon.hover Aboriginal Worldviews and Education
This course will explore indigenous ways of knowing and how this knowledge can...
Ac-logo Analytic Combinatorics
Analytic Combinatorics teaches a calculus that enables precise quantitative...
Talk_bubble_fin2 Accountable Talk®: Conversation that Works
Designed for teachers and learners in every setting - in school and out, in...

© 2013-2019