Atoms, Molecules, and Reactions: Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics

Winter 2018
Spring 2018
Class Size: 8
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

physical chemistry

The full-time program Atoms, Molecules, and Reactions covers quantum mechanics, inorganic chemistry (in fall and winter), and thermodynamics (in winter and spring), all at the upper-division science level. Each of these subjects is available to students as an individual component by taking the variable credit option within Atoms, Molecules, and Reactions .

In winter, we will study the fundamentals of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, including combinatorics and probability, the properties of large numbers of interacting particles, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, work, heat, energy, the equipartition theorem, entropy, enthalpy, rates of processes, equations of state, ideal gases, the Einstein solid, two-state paramagnets, calorimetry, refrigerators, engines, and the Carnot cyle.

In spring, half the time will be spent continuing the study of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics and other half adds the study of chemical kinetics. Spring quarter topics include: free energy and chemical thermodynamics with Gibbs and Helmholtz energy, phase transformations of pure and mixed substances, colligative properties, chemical equilibrium, Boltzman statistics, and quantum statistics. Kinetics lectures will cover reaction rates, rate law, orders, Arrhenius effects, molecularity, chain reactions, reaction mechanisms, the Eyring relationship, the Boltzmann distribution, and the Maxwell distribution of speeds. Laboratory exercises may be included if time permits.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

chemistry, physics, and science education


Credits per quarter

Fields of study: 

Students must have successfully completed one year of college calculus (differential and integral) and EITHER one year of college-level general chemistry with laboratory OR one year of college-level physics.

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Upper division science credit:

Students who achieve the expected level of competency will earn upper-division science credits in thermodynamics and kinetics.

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 8

Scheduled for: Day

Advertised schedule:

Mon 1 - 3p; Thurs 9:30 - 11:30a

Located in: Olympia

2017-11-21Description updated.