Students

CHEM2401 – Physical Chemistry I

2021 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Ian Jamie
Contact via 02 9850 8293
4WW 236
Open Hours
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
CHEM1002
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

Physical chemistry permeates all of modern chemistry and many adjoining disciplines and fields. In this unit the fundamental chemical principles of quantum chemistry, chemical thermodynamics and chemical kinetics will be explored through their application to the environmental issues that are of foremost concern in the world today. The environment depends on complex interactions of chemical and physical processes. Using environmental chemistry examples and contexts, we explore the what, why and how fast of chemistry: structure, energy and rate. These topics are examined in terms of the origin, transport and fate of chemicals in the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Explain the underlying molecular and quantum processes relating to kinetics, quantum mechanics (spectroscopy) and thermodynamics.
  • ULO2: Solve problems in kinetics, quantum mechanics (spectroscopy), thermodynamics and chemical transport, by identifying the essential parts of, and formulating a strategy for solving, them. You will be able to rationally estimate the solution to a problem, apply appropriate techniques to arrive at a solution, test the correctness of the solution, and interpret the results.
  • ULO3: Discuss the use of models in theory and be able to critical analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the models used in the context of this unit.
  • ULO4: Communicate conclusions based on experiments in the form of written reports.
  • ULO5: Demonstrate intermediate chemistry-laboratory skills and an understanding of general laboratory safety procedures.
  • ULO6: Collect, record and analyse experimental data, describing the numerical significance of experimental results and the source and significance of uncertainty in scientific investigations.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Assigments 20% No Week 6 and Week 11
Practicals 20% Yes Fortnightly
In-Semester Tests 10% No Week 7 and Week 12
Final Examination 50% No Final Examination Period

Assigments

Assessment Type 1: Problem set
Indicative Time on Task 2: 16 hours
Due: Week 6 and Week 11
Weighting: 20%

 

Assignment are issued so that students will have the opportunity to use the information provided in the lectures and textbook to explore their extent of understanding of those topics. The two assignments will each consist of approximately ten short-answer quantitative and qualitative questions.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Explain the underlying molecular and quantum processes relating to kinetics, quantum mechanics (spectroscopy) and thermodynamics.
  • Solve problems in kinetics, quantum mechanics (spectroscopy), thermodynamics and chemical transport, by identifying the essential parts of, and formulating a strategy for solving, them. You will be able to rationally estimate the solution to a problem, apply appropriate techniques to arrive at a solution, test the correctness of the solution, and interpret the results.
  • Discuss the use of models in theory and be able to critical analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the models used in the context of this unit.
  • Collect, record and analyse experimental data, describing the numerical significance of experimental results and the source and significance of uncertainty in scientific investigations.

Practicals

Assessment Type 1: Lab report
Indicative Time on Task 2: 35 hours
Due: Fortnightly
Weighting: 20%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

 

Laboratory exercises are designed to provide a concrete example of the abstract topics covered in the course work, and to give you the opportunity to discover the principles and applications for yourself. Laboratory exercises also offer the opportunity to explore the uncertainty inherent in scientific investigations and the limitations of models and theories by allowing comparison with real systems. Practicals are composed of a laboratory session, in which an experiment is conducted and data acquired (or a workshop in which data are given) and a practical report in which the acquired data is presented, along with manipulations of that data to provide information on a chemical process.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Solve problems in kinetics, quantum mechanics (spectroscopy), thermodynamics and chemical transport, by identifying the essential parts of, and formulating a strategy for solving, them. You will be able to rationally estimate the solution to a problem, apply appropriate techniques to arrive at a solution, test the correctness of the solution, and interpret the results.
  • Discuss the use of models in theory and be able to critical analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the models used in the context of this unit.
  • Communicate conclusions based on experiments in the form of written reports.
  • Demonstrate intermediate chemistry-laboratory skills and an understanding of general laboratory safety procedures.
  • Collect, record and analyse experimental data, describing the numerical significance of experimental results and the source and significance of uncertainty in scientific investigations.

In-Semester Tests

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 16 hours
Due: Week 7 and Week 12
Weighting: 10%

 

Two in-semester tests will be held after the first two major sections. The intention of these tests is to allow students to consolidate their learning of those sections of the unit. The tests provide students with a measure of their understanding of those sections and will direct them to areas on which they need to spend more study. They will be administered through iLearn.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Solve problems in kinetics, quantum mechanics (spectroscopy), thermodynamics and chemical transport, by identifying the essential parts of, and formulating a strategy for solving, them. You will be able to rationally estimate the solution to a problem, apply appropriate techniques to arrive at a solution, test the correctness of the solution, and interpret the results.
  • Discuss the use of models in theory and be able to critical analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the models used in the context of this unit.
  • Collect, record and analyse experimental data, describing the numerical significance of experimental results and the source and significance of uncertainty in scientific investigations.

Final Examination

Assessment Type 1: Examination
Indicative Time on Task 2: 20 hours
Due: Final Examination Period
Weighting: 50%

 

The final examination will be 3 hours in length and will cover all sections of the unit (lectures, tutorials, assignments and laboratory exercises). Students will be allowed to take with them a single double-sided A4, handwritten study sheet.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Solve problems in kinetics, quantum mechanics (spectroscopy), thermodynamics and chemical transport, by identifying the essential parts of, and formulating a strategy for solving, them. You will be able to rationally estimate the solution to a problem, apply appropriate techniques to arrive at a solution, test the correctness of the solution, and interpret the results.
  • Discuss the use of models in theory and be able to critical analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the models used in the context of this unit.
  • Communicate conclusions based on experiments in the form of written reports.
  • Demonstrate intermediate chemistry-laboratory skills and an understanding of general laboratory safety procedures.
  • Collect, record and analyse experimental data, describing the numerical significance of experimental results and the source and significance of uncertainty in scientific investigations.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Classes

Timetable: Please check www.timetables.mq.edu.au for the official timetable of the unit.

Lectures: The material presented in the lectures is important and you should not assume that all examinable material is available in the textbook or in the printed notes. On the other hand, do not assume that all examinable material is to be found in the lecture notes.

Tutorial: Tutorial problems, which may form part of the material submitted for assessment, will be distributed by the lecturer.

Laboratory Work: You will undertake practicals both at the bench (wet-labs) and in the "write-up room" dry-lab workshops.

A laboratory roster will be issued to indicate which experiments you will be undertaking in which week.

Before commencing an experiment, you are required to complete a laboratory preparation exercise (“prelab”). You will not be allowed to commence the experimental work until the preparation exercise is completed in a satisfactory manner. A delay in starting the experimental work due to poor preparation will have a detrimental effect on your ability to perform the laboratory work. You should attempt the prelab exercises well in advance of each practical class. You are advised to carefully read the notes for each experiment.

Students unable to attend laboratory classes due to illness or misadventure (as defined in the Handbook of Undergraduate Studies) must provide formal documentary evidence to the University as soon as possible after the absence, via the Special Consideration mechanism. For any unjustified absences, a mark of zero will be given.

Some practical work may be undertaken before the corresponding material has been covered in lectures. The notes have been written with this in mind and some allowance will be made in the marking of reports.

Reports must be submitted no later than 6 pm on the day of the next practical session, except for the last practical report which will be submitted at the end of the lab session. Penalties for late submission will accumulate at 10% per day overdue. Reports are to be word-processed and submitted via iLearn. All supplementary files (spreadsheets, spectra, etc) are to be uploaded along with the report.

Required and Recommended Texts and/or Materials

Recommended Textbook: Atkins & de Paula "Elements of Physical Chemistry" 7th Ed, Oxford University Press is recommended. The larger "Atkins' Physical Chemistry" 11th ed, Oxford University Press is better but more expensive. The 10th edition is also acceptable.

Recommended Supplementary Text: Monk "Maths for Chemistry: a Chemist's Toolkit of Calculations" or some equivalent book might be useful.

Alternative Text Books: Raymond Chang "Physical Chemistry for the Chemical and Biological Sciences", 3rd ed, University Science Books (2000) is reasonable, and somewhat more readable than "Elements of Physical Chemistry", but is a bit light in the spectroscopy section. Some students find "Physical Chemistry" by R.A. Alberty and R.J. Silbey provides readable introductions to some topics but is less helpful when it comes to problem-solving. Two older books that can provide an alternative introduction to aspects of molecular spectroscopy are "Fundamentals of Molecular Spectroscopy" by C.N. Banwell and "Introduction to Molecular Spectroscopy" by G. M. Barrow. You can find several textbooks with "Physical Chemistry" in the title in the University library. All cover similar material but often use different notation. You may find that some of these other books explain certain topics more clearly.

Texts entitled Environmental Chemistry or similar tend to be too broad with respect to the chemistry, and there is limited depth of discussions on Physical Chemistry aspects. However, good background information on the broader aspects of Chemistry in the environmental context can be obtained from these texts. Examples of good Environmental Chemistry texts are S.E. Manahan "Environmental Chemistry" (TD193.M36), G.W. VanLoon and S.J. Duffy "Environmental Chemistry: A Global Perspective" (TD193 .V36) and C. Baird and M. Cann "Environmental Chemistry" (TO192 .B35)

There are also many web resources, but material placed on the web is not necessarily checked for accuracy, so be careful when using it.

Technology Used and Required

Your reports will be submitted electronically (through iLearn), so it is important that you have access to a word processor, and the ability to manipulate PDF files.

Use will be made of Excel and other data processing and display software. Computers carrying this software are available in the teaching laboratories. Items of interest and links to other on-line material will be placed on the unit iLearn website. While spreadsheets are recommended for most calculations during session, it is important that you have a scientific calculator as this will be used in the final examination. Note that text-retrieval calculators are not allowed in the final examination. 

General use computers are provided by the University, but it would be advantageous to have your own computer and internet access.

Microsoft Office is available free-of-charge to Macquarie University students. See https://wiki.mq.edu.au/display/microsoftstu/About

Unit Web Page: The URL of the CHEM2401 web site is: ilearn.mq.edu.au. You will be asked for a username and password. Your username is your student MQID. Your MQID and password have been mailed to you by the University. If you have lost them go to the student portal: my.mq.edu.au

Unit Schedule

 CHEM2401 Physical Chemistry Schedule 2021

The schedule below is indicative and may be altered as required.

 

      Lecture 1 Lecture 2 Tutorial   Practicals
      Tuesday Tuesday Friday   Thursday
MQ Week Week starting   Zoom 11am –  12n Zoom 12n – 1pm 11WW230 11am-12n or 11WW230 12n-1pm   E7B 349 2:00 - 6:00 pm
1 22-Feb-21   Introductions; Empirical Kinetics Empirical Kinetics     -
2 1-Mar-21   Molecular Basis of Kinetics Molecular Basis of Kinetics Kinetics   Data Analysis W/S
3 8-Mar-21   Reaction Mechanisms Reaction Mechanisms Kinetics   Kin 1 (Thu A)
4 15-Mar-21   Collision Theory Collision Theory Kinetics   Kin 1 (Thu B)
5 22-Mar-21   Principles of Spectroscopy Principles of Spectroscopy Spectroscopy   Kin 2 (Thu A)
6 29-Mar-21   Rotational Spectroscopy Rotational Spectroscopy Good Friday   Kin 2 (Thu B)
  5-Apr-21   Recess Recess Recess   Recess
  12-Apr-21   Recess Recess Recess   Recess
7 5-Apr-21   Vibrational Spectroscopy - Diatomics Rotational Fine Structure & Polyatomics Spectroscopy   Infrared (Thu A)
8 19-Apr-21   Rotational Fine Structure & Polyatomics UV-Visible Spectroscopy Spectroscopy   Infrared (Thu B)
9 26-Apr-21   UV-Visible Spectroscopy NMR Spectroscopy Spectroscopy   UV-Vis (Thu A)
10 3-May-21   Thermodynamics Thermodynamics Thermodynamics   UV-Vis (Thu B)
11 10-May-21   Thermodynamics Thermodynamics Thermodynamics   Thermo W/S (Thu A)
12 17-May-21   Transport and Fate Transport and Fate Transport and Fate   Thermo W/S (Thu A&B)
13 24-May-21   Transport and Fate Revision Transport and Fate    

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.