Introductory Physical Chemistry

Module code: CH1203

Physical chemistry is often referred to as the infrastructure of all of chemistry. It concerns the application of principles from physics - principles that underpin life as we know it on earth - to the study of chemical systems. This module will introduce you to core principles and theories behind physical chemistry, namely thermodynamics and kinetics, informing your study and career as a chemist moving forward.

Topics covered

  • The aims and terminology of thermodynamics including the first and second laws, basic thermochemistry, enthalpy and entropy, Gibbs energy, acid-base equilibria, simple statistical mechanics and phase diagrams.
  • The electrochemical process and how it relates to thermochemistry
  • The properties of ideal and non-ideal gases including the understanding of virial coefficients, Maxwell distributions and collision rates
  • The basic principles of reaction kinetics and how they can be measured; and the use of these principles to calculate the effect of various parameters on the rates of chemical reactions
  • Qualitative and quantitative analyses of and solving problems involving thermodynamic and kinetic data

Learning

  • 32 hours of lectures
  • 4 hours of tutorials
  • 5 hours of practical classes/workshops
  • 109 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Coursework (25%)
  • Exam, 2 hours (75%)