While every effort has been made to make sure this electronic syllabus is error-free, it is not official.
The definitive source of course information remains the original (paper) syllabus distributed in class.

A website for the related text "Elements of Physical Chemistry" by Peter W. Atkins can be found at http://www.whfreeman.com/echem

A list of homework problems from class

Lycoming College PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY I 330 Fall 1997

Instructor: Dr. Charles H. Mahler, Phone 321-4351 or 322-8840 (h), mahler@lycoming.edu
Office Hours: Heim 202, M 1:00-1:50 PM, W F 10:00-10:50 AM, by appointment, or drop by

CLASS meets M, W, F from 11:30 AM to 12:20 PM in HBC Room 215.
LAB meets T from 7:45 to 11:35 AM in HBC Room 203.

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

Materials for Course: "Physical Chemistry" 5th Ed. Peter Atkins; 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; Closed Shoes (Lab Coat or Apron recommended); Experimental Procedures will be distributed in class. A lab deposit of $5 will be collected in the first lab - the cost of lab handouts will be taken from this.

Evaluation and Grading: Grades will be based on the following weighting scheme: 3 Exams (35%), a Final Exam (20%), Lab (30%), and Homework and Quizzes (15%). 3 extra credit points (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 (must see me to arrange this before November 7, 1997).


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.


          Hour Exam 1       Tuesday, September 23, 1997 (in lab)
          Hour Exam 2       Tuesday, October 21, 1997 (in lab)
          Hour Exam 3       Tuesday, November 18, 1997 (in lab)
          Final Exam        Week of  Dec. 8 - 12, 1997, To Be Announced

Content: Physical Chemistry provides the theoretical basis for explaining and interpreting chemical systems by focusing on the energy and time involved as they change. In the course we will plan to cover topics in Chapters 1-10 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. Chemistry 331, Physical Chemistry II, will continue where this course ends.

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 quiz or test, than to find out you don't understand it while grading your work.

Attendance and Absences: Attendance is required. Bring your textbook and calculator to lecture. Lecture absences (after three) will be penalized 3 points per day (on a 1000 point scale). Colloquium attendance or other extra credit points will be applied towards absences before counting as extra credit. 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 me (321-4351, w or 322-8840, h) or the Department Secretary (321-4180, answering machine). The cause of absences must be verified by the Dean or substantiated (note from coach or parent, doctor's excuse).

Exam Absences: No make-up exams will be given. The (cumulative) final exam grade (%) will be substituted for one excused absence exam grade (%). Barring exceptional circumstances, all subsequent missed exams will receive a grade of zero.

Lab Absences: Because students 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.

Homework: There will be homework problems assigned most days during the semester. These are due at the start of the next lecture (or as soon as you enter lecture, if late) and will be graded. Because we then go over the problem and its solution, no homework problems will be accepted after the end of the lecture in which they are due. The lowest two homework grades will be dropped. If you can not be in class or lab, have someone else take notes and hand in any assignments for you. Keys for assigned problems and exams will be reviewed in class and/or posted.

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. 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. There will be periodic review sessions. If you have tried and still can't get a problem or concept, see me for help. We will cover ten detailed and difficult chapters 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). On an exam, look at all problems, then do the easiest ones first. Don't spend too much time on any one problem. Preparation and practice (i.e. doing problems and studying) are the best ways to do well on tests. 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.

Teaching Style: When I teach, I try to convey my current understanding of a topic while recalling how I learned it. I illustrate a topic by explaining it from different points of view, frequently using humor and analogy. Analogies allow us to apply our understanding of a topic in a different context to chemistry. Still, I encourage you to use whatever methods work best for you own comprehension. Because I feel it is better for you to work out an answer yourself, if you ask me a question, you'll generally find I respond with a series of my own questions for you. I do this to help guide your thoughts from what you know to the answer sought, which should teach you more than if I gave you the answer directly.

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. It will not be tolerated and can lead to penalties such as failing the assignment or even dismissal from the college. Because all work submitted for a grade should be your own, I can not work graded problems for you if you come to see me. However, we can work similar problems, or I can help you work the problem yourself by asking "leading questions". In Physical Chemistry, it is often assumed that constants or values needed to solve problems will be looked up in various reference works. Always include citations for all sources consulted in labs or homework to avoid plagiarism. Unless otherwise stated, all work submitted for a grade should be your own work (although you can study with others to understand the concepts). For further information on the college policy on academic dishonesty, see the Pathfinder or Student Handbook.

Posting: 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 8/29/1997.

World Wide Web: This syllabus, homework assignments and other class items can be found at http://www.lycoming.edu/dept/chem/fall1997/330syl.htm.

Administrative procedures (withdrawals, etc.) will follow the published guidelines and rules of the college and department.

Safety and Labs: Unsafe behavior in Lab will not be tolerated. Repeated unsafe behavior will result in a zero for that lab. In lab: 1) Eyewear must be worn at all times; 2) No eating, drinking, or smoking; 3) No horseplay; 4) No unauthorized, 'independent' experiments; 5) Wear enclosed shoes only; 6) Legs must be covered; 7) Additional safety rules are in the Lab, which you are expected to read. Come to lab each week well prepared. Report all accidents and injuries immediately. Know the location of all exits and emergency equipment (fire extinguishers and blankets, eye wash, first aid kit, etc.) When in doubt, ask.

Wearing contact lenses in lab is highly discouraged. If you do wear them in lab, please let me know (no penalty - it is good to know in case of an accident). Wear older clothes - they could be stained or ruined. Above all, use common sense and your chemical intuition - THINK.As an experienced student chemist, you will be working in many situations which demand your utmost care and attention to protect the safety and health of yourself, your fellow students, and the environment. Preparation and careful, patient work are needed to obtain the results required in each experiment.

Notebook: Your Lab Notebook should be neat, well organized, up-to-date and complete, with a Table of Contents. The Table of Contents should be updated with each experiment. Leave room to record your data, the uncertainties in measurements, and any observations about the experiment. Make a copy of each notebook page and hand these in with the report. Each page should be clearly labeled with your name, the date and the name of the experiment (abbreviations are OK). Notebooks will be graded once during the semester. When working in groups, record the names of your group members and also note who performed what tasks, i.e. temperature data (from John), absorbance values (from Susie).

Lab Reports: Lab reports consist of: Title, Objective, Approach, an Experimental Section (with data, observations, etc.), Sample Calculations, Graphs (or other material needed), Answers to Questions, Error Analyses, and a Conclusion. The first three items should be in your notebook before you start any experiment. When working in groups, each member will submit their own lab report. A group may submit only one copy of supplementary material (i.e. spectra, copy of an article, etc.). One lab report may be formally written up - additional instructions and safety information will be given in the prelab lectures.

Graphs should be on proper paper, fill the page, show data points in ink, have linear (or proper) scales with units and labels on axes. Graphs done on computers should have a printout of the data attached. Data from unknowns and values determined from the graph should be clearly marked. If a line is fitted, the equation of the line should be given (and determination of points from this equation shown in a sample calculation).Reports are generally due one week after completion of the lab work - a deadline will be given for each experiment. Lab reports are considered late at the end of the lab they are due in (but may be handed in early). Late work will be penalized 5% per school day.

Tentative Laboratory Schedule

9/23                        EXAM ONE
10/21                       EXAM TWO
10/28     SURFACE TENSION               Cp/Cv RATIOS OF GASES    
11/4      SURFACE TENSION               Cp/Cv RATIOS OF GASES    
11/11                      ELECTROCHEMISTRY
11/18                       EXAM THREE
11/25                      ELECTROCHEMISTRY
12/2                 REVIEW, CHECKOUT OF LAB

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    Last updated August 26, 1997.
    The URL for this page is http://lyco2.lycoming.edu/dept/chem/fall1997/330syl.htm