Atoms, Molecules & Reactions

Fall, Winter, Spring of 2005-2006
Juniors and Seniors, 25 students
16 credits per quarter (all upper level)
(4 or 8 credit options are available if space allows)

One year of college-level chemistry, at least one quarter of college-level physics, and the ability to do inferential and differential calculus.

In previous chemistry work, you learned what the atomic orbital shapes were. In this program, we will learn why we know their shape. In previous chemistry work, you learned what a conductor was. In this program, we will examine the solid-state structural characteristics that indicate a material is a potential conductor. We will explore the "But why?" of chemistry by examining topics in thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, kinetics and materials chemistry. Many of the topics require a strong mathematical foundation.
If you are struggling with calculus, this is not the program for you.

In the lecture component, students will learn about the laws of thermodynamics, enthalpy, entropy, chemical potential, phase diagrams, Gibbs free energy, reaction spontaneity, solid-state structure, solid-state bonding theories, point group symmetry, applications of symmetry, transition metal complexes, materials synthesis, Maxwell relations, the Schrodinger equation, atomic and molecular energy levels, electronic structure of atoms and molecules, unimolecular kinetics, biomolecular kinetics and current kinetic theories. During fall quarter students will participate in physical chemistry and materials chemistry laboratory experiments. The laboratory component in the winter will train students to use and explain the theory of several instruments for chemical analysis. In the spring students will focus on enhancing skills in experimental design and research methods with the incorporation of team research projects surrounding a historical experiment in chemistry. In addition, emphasis will be placed on the development of technical writing skills and on interpretation and integration of issues pertaining to chemistry and society.

Rebecca Sunderman (
Dharshi Bopegedera (

Thermodynamics (fall), Quantum Mechanics (winter & spring), Kinetics (winter), Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (fall & spring), Research Methods, Experimental Design (spring), Instrumentation Lab (winter), Advanced Laboratory (fall), Scientific Writing, Public Speaking in the Sciences, & Seminar

Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Chemical Physics, Medicine, Biochemistry, & Teaching

Some Changes have been made since the printing of the 2005-2006 catalog.

Created by Rebecca Sunderman ( .....Last Updated on 3-24-06

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