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Module

CHY1211 : Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ben Horrocks
  • Lecturer: Dr Fabio Cucinotta, Dr Nick Walker
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

Physical chemistry sits at the interface of chemistry and physics. It is concerned with those fundamental physical laws that have the most profound consequences for chemistry, biology, our use of energy and material resources, and atmospheric chemistry. This module explores the reasons for chemical change, the speed of chemical reactions and the interaction of light with matter. It will be contextualised using examples from environmental chemistry, renewable energy technology, chemical analysis and astrochemistry.

Outline Of Syllabus

Thermodynamics deals with energy in all its forms and the feasibility of chemical processes. It has current relevance in renewable energy technology.
State functions and the laws of thermodynamics
Energy, enthalpy, entropy and free energy
Properties of gases
Liquids, solids and phase changes
Mixtures, chemical equilibria and electrochemistry

Kinetics deals with the rate of chemical change and is particularly strongly connected to our understanding of reactions mechanism across the breadth of the subject.
Reaction rates and mechanisms
Using mathematics to develop reaction models
Rate laws and rate constants
The role of temperature and activation barriers
Transition state theory
Multi-step reactions and intermediates

Spectroscopy and quantum theory provide the basis for our understanding of molecular structure, bonding and properties.
General introduction to quantum mechanics and spectroscopy
Electronic spectroscopy
Vibrational and rotational spectroscopy
Spectroscopy and Temperature
Magnetic resonance spectroscopies

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture720:3036:00Lectures - traditional and flipped
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion800:3040:00Prep for written examination.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00End of semester examination
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading184:0084:00Background reading and working out exercises from calculation classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops81:008:00PiP lectures / or Synchronous online. Weekly.
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion181:0018:00via email / Canvas discussion board/ chat
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery111:0011:00Office Hour Drop In Session
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Synchronous online.
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

A variety of methods will be used for delivery of the material and to ensure that students actively engage with the subject matter. Traditional lecture delivery will be interleaved with ‘flipped’ lectures based on provision of recorded online material and accompanying exercises for the students to attempt prior to interactive workshop-style sessions. Regular formative exercises will be employed using the NUMBAS system to ensure that students spend time actively working with the material throughout the module to improve their ability to utilise their mathematical skills in a chemical context.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2A100Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry Written Assessment. Max 3500 words.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Practical/lab report2MPractice calculations. In-class exercises will be given using the NUMBAS system
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative written examination will assess the level of knowledge and understanding of all aspects of the
module. The examination will present students with questions from a selection of topics learnt throughout the module content.

Regular formative exercises will be employed using the NUMBAS system to ensure that students spend time actively working with the material throughout the module to improve their ability to utilise their mathematical skills in a chemical context.

** Students studying from abroad may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the format of the paper may differ from that shown in the MOF. These students should contact the school to discuss this **

Reading Lists

Timetable