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Unit information: Chemistry for Physical Scientists in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Chemistry for Physical Scientists
Unit code CHEM10800
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Chris Russell
Open unit status Not open

CHEM10600 Introductory Chemistry



School/department School of Chemistry
Faculty Faculty of Science


This unit builds on fundamental themes introduced in Introductory Chemistry (CHEM10600) in the areas of main group chemistry, spectroscopy and thermodynamics.. Key topics include periodicity, solid-state chemistry, quantum mechanics, vibrational and rotational spectroscopy, forces and supramolecular interactions. The content provides a foundation for students going on to take chemistry in the second year and physical science students who are not but who nevertheless require a good knowledge of these aspects of chemistry.

This unit aims to provide students with a foundation in the chemistry of the elements and spectroscopic ideas that, for those who continue with chemistry, will be developed throughout their studies. The relevance of these fundamental reactions are illustrated with real world examples to set them in context in the modern scientific world.

" To provide students with an appreciation of key concepts in physical and inorganic chemistry.

" To develop in students fundamental practical skills

Intended learning outcomes

  • Appreciation of periodicity and its implications to structure and bonding
  • Understanding of lattices and the structure of solids
  • Basic understanding of the Schrodinger equation; wavefunctions and quantization.
  • Spectroscopy as transition between states: Rotational and Vibrational states
  • Understand how non-bonded interactions arise and compare them to conventional bonding.
  • Importance of non-bonded interactions in gases, liquids and large molecules.
  • Appreciation of entropy and its relation to spontaneous change
  • Understand reasons for the formation of chemical equilibria and phase behaviour.
  • An ability to use simple laboratory apparatus, follow instructions and operate in a safe manner.
  • An appreciation of interrelationship between all branches of chemistry and between theory and applications.

Teaching details

Lectures, medium group tutorials, laboratory sessions and independent study. The Dynamic Laboratory Manual provides important e-learning resource in advance of (and during) the laboratory sessions. A small amount pre-tutorial online material will be provided to assist students with tutorial work. Self test MCQs.

2.5 lectures per week for 14 weeks @ 3 hours per lecture 105 hours

9 practicals @ 5.5 hours 50 hours

7 tutorials @ 3 hours 21 hours

3 self-study MCQs @ 2 hours 6 hours

TOTAL 182 hours

Assessment Details

Students will be continuously assessed in laboratory work (summative and formative)(15%). Students will be assessed on this unit by a single 2-hour written exam (summative, 85%).

Reading and References

Essential reading will be from the following books:

Atkins’ Physical Chemistry, 10th Edition, P W Atkins and J de Paula, Oxford University Press 2014 .

Inorganic Chemistry 6th Edition, M Weller, T Overton, J Rourke and F Armstrong, Oxford University Press 2014.

Further reading from Periodicity in the s- and p-block Elements, N C Norman, Oxford Primer, 1997.