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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Chemistry (CHEM)

CHEM 466 Molecular Thermodynamics (3) Introduction to physical chemistry with a primary emphasis on the statistical and molecular interpretation of thermodynamics.

CHEM 466 Molecular Thermodynamics (3)

CHEM 466 is a physical chemistry course that emphasizes the statistical and molecular interpretation of thermodynamics. This focus enables the student to consider macroscopic properties based on the constituent molecular properties. After a very brief introduction to classical thermodynamics, the statistics of large systems is introduced, used to develop the Boltzmann distribution of energies and then combined with the quantum mechanical structure of energy levels to form a basis to predict and understand atomic and molecular properties such as heat capacity and chemical reaction equilibrium. Solution thermodynamics, interfacial phenomena and colligative properties are discussed in terms of lattice models. The course then turns to a molecular view of transport and chemical reaction rates. Molecular transport is described in terms of random molecular motion and intermolecular forces that tie together to give macroscopic behavior such as ionic conductivity and mass diffusion. Reaction rates are formulated in terms of the distributions of energies and statistical probabilities of the combined reactants in a transition state. Cooperativity in phase transitions is discussed, followed by adsorption and catalysis. Examples with proteins and other biomolecules, as well as polymers and various solutions, appear throughout the course.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2007
Prerequisite: CHEM 450 orCH E 220

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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Course descriptions are stored in LionPATH, the University-wide student information system. Please visit the LionPATH Course Catalog to access current course descriptions. At that point, you will be leaving the University Bulletin website.

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