2011-12 Catalog

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Offering Description

Atoms, Molecules, and Reactions


Fall 2011, Winter 2012 and Spring 2012 quarters

Dharshi Bopegedera physical chemistry
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
chemistry, physics, physical science, health science, biological sciences, medicine, environmental sciences, and teaching.
one year of general chemistry and proficiency in differential and integral calculus.

This upper division program offers advanced studies in chemistry to prepare students for graduate studies or a career in chemistry. Based on the theme "What do chemists do?", our classroom studies will be connected with the applications chemists encounter in their everyday work.

In fall quarter we will study topics in quantum mechanics and descriptive inorganic chemistry. We will study simple quantum mechanical systems, apply them to solve simple chemical problems, and investigate how they can be adapted for more complex systems. In inorganic chemistry, we will explore atomic structure, simple bonding models, molecular symmetry, group theory and its applications, molecular orbital theory and acid-base chemistry.

In winter quarter we will continue our studies in quantum mechanics to include more complex systems, and investigate the use of spectroscopy to validate the quantum mechanical theories. Inorganic chemistry topics will include the study of coordination compounds and the solid state. In addition, we will begin our study of thermodynamics by exploring the laws of thermodynamics that lay the foundation in this field of study.

Spring quarter will find us doing in-depth investigations of the spectrometric methods, including a detailed analysis of the high resolution infrared spectrum of a diatomic molecule. We will continue our studies in thermodynamics with topics in chemical equilibria and kinetics.

In the laboratory, students will work with a selection of analytical instrumentation. This will include an exploration of the physical principles as well as analysis of samples. Students are strongly encouraged to work with individual chemistry faculty on research projects during the course of the year. The results of these projects will be presented at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the Puget Sound Section of the American Chemical Society.

Academic Website
Online Learning
Enhanced Online Learning
Greener Store
Required Fees
Fall $20 to attend the 2011 Pauling Symposium Award and Banquet.
Upper Division Science Credit
All work in this program is upper division.  Students who successfully complete the program requirements will be awarded upper division science credits.
May be offered again in
Offered During

Program Revisions

Date Revision
October 14th, 2011 $20 fee added in Fall.