Atoms, Molecules, and Reactions

Fall 2017, Winter 2018, and Spring 2018 quarters

Taught by

physical chemistry


One year of college-level general chemistry with laboratory and one year of college-level differential and integral calculus required. Some physics experience is helpful.

This upper-division chemistry program offers advanced studies in chemistry to prepare students for graduate studies or careers in chemistry. Based on the theme "what do chemists do?", our classroom studies will be connected with the applications chemists encounter in their everyday work.

In the fall, we will study topics in quantum mechanics and descriptive inorganic chemistry. We will study simple quantum mechanical systems, apply them to solve simple chemical problems, and investigate how they can be adapted for more complex systems. In inorganic chemistry, we will explore atomic structure, simple bonding models, molecular symmetry, group theory and its applications, molecular orbital theory, and acid-base chemistry.

In the winter quarter, we will continue our studies in quantum mechanics to include more complex systems and investigate the use of spectroscopy to validate the quantum mechanical theories. Inorganic chemistry topics will include the study of coordination compounds and the solid state. In addition, we will begin our study of thermodynamics by exploring the laws that lay the foundation in this field of study.

The spring quarter will find us doing in-depth investigations of the spectrometric methods including a detailed analysis of the high-resolution infrared spectrum of a diatomic molecule. We will continue our studies in thermodynamics with topics in chemical equilibria and kinetics.

In the laboratory, students will work with a selection of analytical instrumentation available at the college. This will include an exploration of the physical principles as well as analysis of samples. Students are strongly encouraged to work with individual chemistry faculty on research projects during the course of the year. The results of these projects will be presented at the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium of the Puget Sound Section of the American Chemical Society and at the annual Evergreen Science Carnival & Research Exposition.

Program Details

Fields of Study

chemistry physics

Preparatory For

chemistry, physics, instrumentation, environmental science, and science education


Fall Open Winter Signature Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Final Schedule and Room Assignment

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Monday, September 25 at 9:30am (Lab I 054)

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

May be offered again in



2017-05-23In fall, students can register for 4 credits (quantum mechanics), 8 credits (inorganic chemistry), 12 credits (inorganic chemistry AND quantum mechanics), or for the full program without signature.