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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Hess’ Law
- Gibbs energy and spontaneous change
- Reaction rate
- Effect of
- Order of reaction
- Determining reaction order
- The Arrhenius equation
- Collsion theory
- Transition state theory
- Complex reactions
- Rate-determining step
- Steady state approximation
- Planck’s constant
- The photoelectric effect
Broglie’s particle waves
- Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle
- The free particle
- The particle in a box and application to linear polyenes
- Hydrogenic atoms
interpretation of the wavefunction
- Interpretation of radial and angular
wavefunctions for hydrogenic atoms
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.
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 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.
- 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!