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CHY2201 : Physical Chemistry

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Eimer Tuite
  • Lecturer: Dr Thomas Penfold, Professor Ulrich Stimming
  • Practical Supervisor: Dr Cristina Navarro Reguero
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To give students an appreciation of intermediate thermodynamics concepts
To introduce intermediate principles of time- dependent chemistry and molecular motion
To explain the significance and application of quantum concepts as a major tool in modern chemistry. To develop experimental techniques through practical work.

Outline Of Syllabus

Applied Quantum Chemistry
Dr T Penfold

1 Quantized energy levels – translation, rotation, vibration etc
2 Electromagnetic radiation - interaction with molecules
3 Harmonic model for molecular vibrational motion
4 Vibrational – rotational spectra of diatomic molecules
5 Anharmonic model for vibrational motion
6 Particle-in-a-box model
7 Multi-dimensional particle-in-a-box models
8 Electronic absorption spectra of conjugated molecules
9 Tunneling
10 Decay of electronically excited states – fluorescence, phosphorescence
11 Revision seminar

Energetics and interfacial phenomena
Professor U Stimming

1 Review of CHY120 energetics
2 Statistical concepts
3 Chemical potential and thermodynamics of solutions
4 Standard states, activities and electrode potentials
5 Interfaces I – adsorption and isotherms
6 Interfaces II – electrical double layer
7 Colloids
8 Polymers
9 Calculations
10 Revision seminar I
11 Revision seminar II

Molecules in motion
Dr EM Tuite

1 Review of Stage 1 kinetics
2 Kinetic theory of gases
3 Molecular collisions in gases
4 Molecular mobility in gases
5 Ion conductivity
6 Mobility of ions
7 Diffusion in solution
8 The Diffusion and Arrhenius Equations
9 Diffusion-controlled reactions
10 Activated Complex Theory
11 Review of Stage 2 kinetics

Laboratory Course
Course organiser: Dr C Navarro-Reguero

Students undertake a selection from the following experiments:
1 Kinetics of hydrolysis
2 Stopped flow kinetics
3 Infrared Spectroscopy
4 Critical Micelle Concentration
5 Fluorescence spectroscopy
6 Absorption Spectroscopy
7 Adsorption of iodine on carbon
8 Walden's Rule

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture331:0033:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion52:0010:00Writing practical reports
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion330:5027:30Revision for end of semester examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Examination at the end of the semester
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical59:0045:005x9h Practical sessions take place over 5 weeks
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops101:0010:00Calculation classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery101:0010:001 x 1h drop-in session with lecturer for 10 weeks
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study161:3061:30Background reading and practice past paper examination questions
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge and understanding are conveyed through lectures and practical work. Tutorials enable students to work on problems associated with the lecture course, with assistance from a member of staff. Students learn safe working practices and good experimental technique through practical classes. In laboratory classes students consolidate the learning initiated in lectures and have to plan, organise and write up practical reports on the experiments. The drop in sessions allow discussion between module staff and students.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1802A60N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M40composed of several individual laboratory reports as specified in the practical course handbook
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination assesses the student’s knowledge of the principles of the subject, ability to solve problems and to make calculations.

The laboratory course assesses the students practical skills and ability to make calculations in physical chemistry.

Reading Lists