This introductory physical chemistry course examines the connections between molecular properties and the behavior of macroscopic chemical systems.
- Week 1 - Module 1
This module includes philosophical observations on why it's valuable to have a broadly disseminated appreciation of thermodynamics, as well as some drive-by examples of thermodynamics in action, with the intent being to illustrate up front the practical utilit...
- Week 2 - Module 2
This module begins our acquaintance with gases, and especially the concept of an "equation of state," which expresses a mathematical relationship between the pressure, volume, temperature, and number of particles for a given gas. We will consider the ideal, va...
- Week 3 - Module 3
This module delves into the concepts of ensembles and the statistical probabilities associated with the occupation of energy levels. The partition function, which is to thermodynamics what the wave function is to quantum mechanics, is introduced and the manner...
- Week 4 - Module 4
This module connects specific molecular properties to associated molecular partition functions. In particular, we will derive partition functions for atomic, diatomic, and polyatomic ideal gases, exploring how their quantized energy levels, which depend on the...
- Week 5 - Module 5
This module is the most extensive in the course, so you may want to set aside a little extra time this week to address all of the material. We will encounter the First Law of Thermodynamics and discuss the nature of internal energy, heat, and work. Especially,...
- Week 6 - Module 6
This module introduces a new state function, entropy, that is in many respects more conceptually challenging than energy. The relationship of entropy to extent of disorder is established, and its governance by the Second Law of Thermodynamics is described. The...
- Week 7 - Module 7
This module is relatively light, so if you've fallen a bit behind, you will possibly have the opportunity to catch up again. We examine the concept of the standard entropy made possible by the Third Law of Thermodynamics. The measurement of Third Law entropies...
- Week 8 - Module 8
This last module rounds out the course with the introduction of new state functions, namely, the Helmholtz and Gibbs free energies. The relevance of these state functions for predicting the direction of chemical processes in isothermal-isochoric and isothermal...
- Week 9 - Final Exam
This is the final graded exercise (20 questions) for the course. There is no time limit to take the exam.
Dr. Christopher J. Cramer
Distinguished McKnight and University Teaching Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Physics