CHEM20080 The Basis of Physical Chemistry

Academic Year 2023/2024

Physical chemistry is the study of the fundamental relationships that underpin the physical and chemical state of matter. Physical chemists aim to develop an understanding at the molecular and atomic level of how materials behave and how chemical reactions occur. In this course a number of key areas of physical chemistry will be expounded and their application to chemical systems explored. These will consider (a) the nature of energy change in a chemical reaction, (b) the extent to which a reaction is favoured and (c) the rate of chemical reactions. Initially the course will consider both the empirical origin, and the molecular theory, of the laws that govern behaviour of ideal gases. Next the exchange of chemical energy from a system to its surroundings in the form of heat and work flow will be explored through the study of the laws of thermodynamics. Through the study of thermochemistry the heat energy change for a chemical reaction will be probed. In addition, the role nature of chemical equilibria and the factors governing the drive to reactants and products will be studied. Finally the rates of reaction will be considered through the study of chemical kinetics.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module students:
Will know the standard units of fundamental physical chemistry properties (energy, temperature, volume, mass, pressure) and the equations that govern them.
Be able to exchange units and manipulate data and equations.
Will know the underlying empirical origin of the ideal gas law and the relationship between temperature and Energy. The various forms of energy, the nature of heat and thermal energy transfer and the first law of thermodynamics that governs energy flow.
Will be able to recognise and exchange the different units of energy and recognise and be able to use the language of thermodynamics, exothermic reactions, endothermic reaction, enthalpy, state function etc and the meaning of the sign conventions used.
Will be able to use specific heat capacity in the calculation of heat flow and describe how to use calorimetry to explain the measure of heat flow under conditions of constant pressure and conditions of constant volume.
Will be able to apply Hess's law to find the enthalpy change for a reaction and know how to draw and interpret energy level diagrams.
Will be able to use the standard molar enthalpy of formation to calculate enthalpy change for a reaction.
Will know the 2nd Law of thermodynamics and be able to explain the concept of free energy and entropy.
Will be able to describe the phase changes of water in terms of enthalpy and entropy.
Will be able to describe the reversible and dynamic nature of chemical reactions.
Will be able to write an expression for the Chemical quotient Q, and when the reaction is in equilibrium, for the equilibrium constant K.
Will be able to recognise that concentrations of solids, pure liquids, and solvents are not included in the equilibrium constant expression.
Will be able to describe the meaning of a large value of K and of a very small value of K in terms of the direction in which the reaction is favoured.
Will know that the equilibrium constant can be described in terms of concentration give in mol/L (Kc) in the case of solutions and partial pressures (Kp) in the case of gases.
Will be able to describe the role of equilibrium in human breathing.
Will be able to use the equilibrium constant to determine the concentration of a species at equilibrium.
Will be able to predict the response of a reaction to a change in temperature and a change in concentration of reactants in solution and a change of pressure or volume in the case of gases.
Will be able to describe the application of the principles of equilibria to industrial process such as the Haber Bosch and Contact process.
Will be able to describe the common ion effect.
Will be able to describe the function of buffered solutions and use the Henderson Hasselbach equation to calculate the pH of a buffered solution.
Will be able to apply the principles to biological buffered samples.
Will be able to predict the pH of an acid base solution.
Will be able to describe the function of an indicator in an acid base titration.
Will be able to define the solubility product constant, Ksp for an insolutble salt and calculate Ksp from experimental data.? be able to estimate the solubility of a salt from the value of Ksp.
Will know the factors that influence the rate of a reaction.
will be able to determine the initial and average rates of a reaction from experimental data.
Will be able to define the various components of a rate Law.
Will able to derive the rate equation from a set of experimental data.
Will be able to describe the relation between reactant concentration and time for a first and second order reaction in the form of the integrated rate laws.
Will be able to determine the order of a chemical reaction from experimental data.
Will know the meaning of the half-life of a chemical reaction and be able to solve the half-life for a first order reaction.
Will know the difference between elementary and complex reactions.
Will be able to identify reaction intermediates in a complex reaction and the meaning of the rate determining step.
Will know the relationship between reaction rate constant and temperature.
Will know the meaning of the terms of the Arrhenius equation and be able to use this equation to solve for the rate constant and the activation energy.
Will know the importance of orientation of molecules in reaction.
Will be able to use energy level diagrams to demonstrate the role of the activation energy in a chemical process.
Will be able to explain the molecular origin of this relationship using collision theory.
Will also be familiar with reaction coordinate diagrams and their use to explain activation energy in context of activation transition theory.
Will be able to describe the function of a catalyst and their effect on the activation energy and the reaction mechanism and be able to describe the action of heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis in the case of enzyme action and others.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Lectures

24

Tutorial

6

Practical

24

Autonomous Student Learning

50

Total

104

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The key approaches to teaching and learning are through the delivery of lectures, completion of tutorials and laboratories.

 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:

Students registering for this module should have completed CHEM 00010 Introductory Chemistry OR achieved a minimum grade of C in Leaving Certificate Honours Chemistry or equivalent


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Incompatibles:
CHEM10130 - Applied Intro. & Phys Chem

Additional Information:
Students registering for this module should have completed CHEM 00010 Introductory Chemistry OR achieved a minimum grade of C in Leaving Certificate Honours Chemistry or equivalent


 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: tutorials Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No

20

No
Examination: Final examination
2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No

60

No
Practical Examination: Completion of five laboratory classes. Assessment considers both the performance in the lab and the quality of the laboratory reports.

Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No

20

No

Carry forward of passed components
Yes
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Professor Dermot Brougham Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Ms Emer Farrell Tutor
Daniel Graczyk Tutor
Mr Liam Jowett Tutor
Ms Ines Martinez Chauvin Tutor
Mr Cesar Scrochi Tutor
Ms Eleanor Windle Tutor