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.

- 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

- 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

- 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

**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

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