CHEM 6854 - Physical Chemistry, 4 Credits

Prerequisite(s): CHEM 2984 with C or better and PHYS 1064 with C or better and MATH 6114 with C or better

Level: Upper

This course provides students who plan future studies in forensic science technology, chemical sciences or chemical engineering a firm grounding in the quantum mechanical description of molecules, as well as a critical set of insights into thermochemical reasoning. The quantum mechanical focus will be on key model systems, notably the 1- and 2D particle-in-a box, the rigid rotor, the harmonic oscillator and hydrogen atom. Selected approximation methods applicable to multi-electron atomic systems and applications of infrared and visible spectroscopy will be explored, and students will be given experience in using current quantum calculation software to estimate optimal structures, predict IR spectra and estimate activated complex geometries. It is expected that students taking this course will have already taken a course of ordinary differential equations, but some of the course will also include mathematical excursions developing necessary mathematical tools, notably eigenvalue problems, series solutions of differentials and various matrix algebraic methods. The thermodynamic focus will be on efficiently developing the 4 laws of thermodynamics into useful forms whereby chemical equilibria and phase change of chemical systems can be predicted and described. A strong emphasis will be laid on using the practical chemical results of thermodynamic reasoning (K and Q predictions, Clausius-Clapeyron, Gibbs-Helmholtz and Nernst equation, phase rules and Gibbs-Duhem equations) rather than deriving the abstracted expressions of the several thermodynamic laws.