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Fall 2003       Chemistry 330            Lycoming College

Instructor: Dr. Charles H. Mahler, Phone 321-4351 or 322-8840 (h), mahler@lycoming.edu

Office Hours: Heim 202, MWF 10 - 11 AM, MW 1:30 – 2:30 PM, by appointment, or drop by.


If you have questions or comments about anything in the course, please come see me. I am ready and willing to meet with you and discuss your concerns, answer questions, explain concepts, solve problems, etc. I would rather help you to understand something before a lab or test or other assignment, than to find out you don't understand it while grading your work.


CLASS meets MWF from 9:00 to 9:50 AM in Heim 215.

LAB meets T from 7:45 to 11:35 AM in Heim 203.


Prerequisites: CHEM 111, MATH 129 and one year of physics; or consent of instructor.


Materials for Course:

Physical Chemistry, 7th Ed. Peter Atkins and Julio de Paula; ACS Style Guide, 2nd Ed. Calculator with logarithmic and exponential functions (no passing or sharing allowed in exams); Bound Laboratory Notebook with quadrille pages (for lab use only); Safety Glasses or Goggles; Experimental Procedures will be distributed in class.

Evaluation and Grading:

Grades will be based on the following weighting scheme: 3 Exams (45%), a Final Exam (20%), Labs (25%), and Homework and Quizzes (10%). 3 extra credit points (to a limit of 20, on a 1000 point scale) will be given for each Chemistry Colloquium attended. Alternative extra credit will be available for those whose schedules conflict with colloquium (but you must see me to arrange this by Friday, November 7, 2003).




The following scale will be applied to determine the final letter grade: A > 90% > B > 80% > C > 70% > D > 60% > F . Plus and minus grades are included in these ranges and will be determined at the end of the semester. Adjustments to this scale are possible, but unlikely.


Exams:             Hour Exam 1                Tuesday, September 23, 2003 (in lab)

Hour Exam 2                Tuesday, October 21, 2003 (in lab)

Hour Exam 3                Tuesday, November 25, 2003 (in lab)

Final Exam                   Week of Dec. 8 - 12, 2003, To Be Announced


Physical Chemistry provides the theoretical basis for explaining and interpreting chemical systems by focusing on the energy and time involved as they change. In this course we plan to cover topics in Chapters 1-10 and 24 of the text. We will study and attempt to understand many of the basic principles and phenomena of chemical systems in equilibrium, including Gases and their properties, Chemical Thermodynamics, Phase Relationships and Diagrams, Chemical Equilibrium, and Electrochemistry. Physical Chemistry II 331W will continue where this course ends, and has a comprehensive, multiple-choice ACS exam (over both semesters) as part of the final.


Lecture Attendance and Absences:

Lecture attendance with calculator and textbook is required. All unexcused lecture absences after three will be penalized 2 percent (of total possible points) per day. Only absences notified ahead of time may be excused. Notification is expected as soon as possible for planned (athletic events, class trips) or emergency (illness) absences; call or e-mail me or the Department Secretary (321-4180). The cause of absences must be verified by the Dean or substantiated (note from coach or parent, doctor's excuse, etc.).


Exam and Lab Absences:

No make-up exams will be given. The (cumulative) final exam grade (as a %) will be substituted for one excused absence exam grade (as a %). Barring exceptional circumstances, all subsequent missed exams will receive a grade of zero. Because students often work in groups in lab, absences hurt everyone and should be avoided. Make up labs will vary (and may not be possible), depending on the circumstances of that week's experiment. In some cases, students may be allowed to work outside scheduled lab hours by first obtaining permission from a chemistry professor (who must be in the building while they work and be notified when they leave), and then having a "buddy" present.



Each chapter has a set of recommended problems (see below) which students are strongly encouraged to work. In addition, most days there will be graded homework problems assigned. These are due at the start of the next lecture (or as soon as you enter lecture, if late), and we will go over the solution in that lecture. Many students find it useful to keep a copy of the problem to review. No late homework will be accepted and the lowest homework grade will be dropped. If you must be absent, have someone else take notes and hand in any assignments for you.


Recommended homework:

Almost all of the ‘discussion questions’ are useful (i.e. the first several exercises for each chapter). Chapter 1: Exercises 1.4, 6, 8, 11, 13, 16, 19 (part a), 22, 25. Chapter 24: Exercises 24.4, 5, 7. Chapter 2: Exercises 2.6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 16, 23, 27, 32, 37, 39, 45.  Chapter 3: Exercises 3.9, 12a&b, 13, 18. Problems 3.12, 13, 14, 24. Chapter 4: Exercises 4.4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26. Chapter 5: Exercises 5.4, 5, 7, 12; Problems 5.5, 6, 7, 8. Chapter 6: Exercises 6.4, 5, 8, 11, 12, try 14; Problem 6.3. Chapter 7: Exercises 7.4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 21. Chapter 8: Exercises 8.4, 6, 9, 12, 13, 14, try 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. Chapter 9: Exercises 9.5, 7, 8, 10, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. Chapter 10: Exercises 10.5, 8, 12, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 29, 32. More exercises and problems may be added to this preliminary list. Note that answers for the (a) exercises and some problems are given in the back of the textbook (p. 1112 and following.)


Review Sessions:

An exam review session will be held before each exam. The reviews will be in Heim 203 (the lab) or 215 (seminar room) from 7:30 to 9:30 PM the Sunday evening prior. Review session notes, and keys for problems and exams will be posted and/or reviewed in class. Final exam review time is TBA.



Administrative procedures (withdrawals, etc.) will follow the published guidelines and rules of the college and department. This syllabus and other class items can be found at http://www.lycoming.edu/chem/fall2003/330syl.htm.

General Comments:

Students are responsible for knowing material in the assigned reading, problems, labs, and lectures. Working problems, studying and understanding the material are keys to doing well. It is assumed that the students are familiar with the background material in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics. While I am glad to help you in reviewing these topics, it is your responsibility to make up any weaknesses or deficiencies you might have. Much of the course material involves a high degree of conceptual understanding (not simple memorization), so adequate preparation and study are essential. It is not sufficient to learn the material from the lecture alone - you should read and think about the topics covered before attending lecture. If you still can't get a problem or concept, please see me for help. We will cover much detailed and difficult material this semester, so our pace must be geared toward those who are prepared to learn. In homework and exams be neat, box answers, show your work and units (partial credit will be given).


Academic Honesty:

On all exams and lab reports, copying someone else's work or allowing another to copy your work and submit it as their own is academic dishonesty and can lead to penalties such as failing the assignment or even dismissal from the college. Unless otherwise stated, all work submitted for a grade should be your own work (although you can study with others to understand the concepts). Always include citations for all sources consulted in labs or homework to avoid plagiarism. For further information on the college policy on academic dishonesty, see the Pathfinder or Student Handbook.


Scores will be posted after exams using a secret, four-character code chosen by each student. If you prefer not to have your scores posted, let me know (in writing) by 8/29/2003.


Laboratory: In the first lab (8/26/2003), we will go over the lab schedule, safety issues, writing lab reports, error analysis, and the use of spreadsheet programs in the Heim OCT lab. Experiments will be done by two groups of two students each, with up to two different experiments being done (by different groups) in any one lab period. Thus the first lab will also have an overview for each experiment. Please be sure to bring your notebook and take good notes. Lab report due dates are given on the schedule (below). For the first three reports you will be allowed to turn in a draft report. You can see how you've done, then revise only the calculations, results, and conclusions of the report (if need be). Start work on lab reports well before they are due - these can not be done well at the last minute. Many Physical Chemistry Lab Reports involve as much time (or more) in writing and calculation as the original experimental procedure did. More information and experimental procedures will be given out in lab.


Writing Project: In response to student feedback from previous years, we will try starting the Writing Project at the end of the semester. Only the “Project Topic” and “Project References” will be due this semester, at dates to be mutually determined. More information will be distributed at a later date. The grades will count in the homework and quizzes category. This is designed to allow more time for the Writing Project as it continues in the Spring Semester in Physical Chemistry II 331W.






August 26

Check in, lab, Excel, etc.


September 2


 (due Wednesday, September 10)


September 9

Bomb Calorimetry I


September 16

Bomb Calorimetry II

(due Friday, September 26)


September 23




September 30


Solution Calorimetry I


October 7


Solution Calorimetry II

 (due Wednesday, October 15)


October 14


Cp/Cv Ratios of Gases I


October 21




October 28


Cp/Cv Ratios of Gases II

 (due Wednesday, November 5)


November 4




November 11



 (due Wednesday, November 19)


November 18


Fun Lab – TBA

(your feedback / review due at final)


November 25




December 2


Checkout, review


December 8-12

Final Exam

   (date and time to be announced)



Topics for the Spring semester Writing Project will be submitted by Friday, November 14, 2003 (the topic can be changed later, if necessary). A list of references is due by Monday, December 1, 2003.


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Last updated September 1, 2003.
The URL for this page is http://www.lycoming.edu/chem/fall2003/330syl.htm