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.


LYCOMING COLLEGE         PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY II 331W         SPRING 1998         Dr. Mahler

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.

Prerequisite: CHEM 330 (and its prerequisites)

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. The $5 lab deposit from CHEM 330 will be used here - 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, including Special Project (30%), and Homework and Quizzes (15%). Because this course is Writing Intensive, special emphasis will be placed on learning through writing in all assignments, but especially the Special Project (see below). 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 April 7, 1998).


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.

Tests:   Hour Exam 1     Tuesday, February 10, 1998 (in lab)
            Hour Exam 2     Tuesday, March 17, 1998 (in lab)
            Hour Exam 3     Tuesday, April 7, 1998 (in lab)
            Final Exam         Week of April 20 - 24, 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 study and attempt to understand many of the basic principles and phenomena of chemical systems including Equilibria (Ch. 9), Electrochemistry (Ch. 10), Molecular Motion & Kinetics (Ch. 24-27), and Quantum Theory (Ch. 11-18).

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 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). 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 1/9/1998.

World Wide Web: This syllabus, homework assignments and other class items can be found at http://www.lycoming.edu/dept/chem/spring1998/331syl.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.

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 writeup and report will be formally written up - see below. 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.

Writing Components: Every aspect of the course will incorporate writing. Exams will include one to two pages of brief essay questions each, as well as sections of more numerical problems where you will be asked to write about and explain your results. Some homework problems will involve writing about topics we have studied, and there will even be short writing exercises in lecture to assess learning about new topics. As usual, there will be several pages of writing in each lab report and a draft may be submitted for each report. The last lab will involve formal writing of an experimental procedure for another student to follow and a report on your own.

Independent Lab Project: To help familiarize you with the Physical Chemistry literature and references, the last experiment done this semester will be "do-it-yourself", i.e. you will decide on an idea to investigate in lab, research it and formally write it up in an experimental procedure, then give it to another student to run and evaluate, while you yourself run and evaluate another student's procedure.

Schedule: (see below for deadlines) Although this experiment is listed on the lab schedule as taking place in three of the last scheduled laboratory periods of the semester, it will be necessary to work on it throughout the term to allow time to do the needed research and write-up. First topics are submitted, which can be changed later if necessary. Next come lists of references, then chemical reagents. The write-up is due in draft form and then in two copies (one to me and one to the student evaluator) one week before the student evaluation of the experiment in lab. Reports on the project you evaluate are due in draft the last week of classes and in final formal form in Finals Week.

References: There should be a minimum of five references for the experimental write-up. Of these five, at least one should be from a book and at least one should be from a journal. While the text book can be cited for theory, it is preferable to include a book more focused on the particular topic you are investigating (i.e. a book on kinetics or thermodynamics). It is also acceptable to cite a reference manual, but operating procedure should be in your own words. References should follow ACS Style guidelines. References can be added after being submitted.

Equipment and Supplies: Because of equipment limitations, each major experimental apparatus can only be used once in these experiments. The equipment will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. Thus, if two students want to do experiments using the bomb calorimeter, only the first one will be able to do so. It will also be necessary to do experiments for which we have the major equipment already available (so no particle accelerator or fusion Tokomak labs, please). Any reagents or other materials needed for the experiment which are not already in stock can be ordered. Since this takes time, please let me know what you will need and approximate amounts no later than three weeks before the laboratory portion of the experiment begins.

Mechanics: The experimental write-up should start with a brief abstract, stating the goal of the experiment and the methods used to achieve that goal. There should then be a theoretical section, giving the ideas behind the experiment. Next should come a description of the theoretical procedure, including operation of the instrument. Next the specific experiment is described, giving sufficient detail. A section on the manipulation of data follows, describing the calculations, graphs, etc. needed. One or two questions to be answered based on knowledge obtained in the experiment should be included. Finally references are given. The experiment should take no more than two lab periods and preferably will take about 6 hours of lab time. Indicate where good stopping points may be in the procedure. Think of what you as an experimenter would need or want from a procedure as you do your write-up. While I am hesitant to make a page limit, write-ups will be at least six (double spaced) pages long, and no longer than 12 pages. Figures should be included. A draft write-up is due two weeks before the projects start, the formal write-up is due the week before starting in lab.

In lab you will do the experiment which another student has written up. This report (at least 5 pages long) is due the Thursday of the last week of classes in draft form and in final form in Finals Week. In addition to the normal lab report, please evaluate the write-up you followed for clarity, content, ease of understanding, completeness, and level of proficiency.

I am expecting to work closely with each of you as you develop your project. I have a variety of reference works and ideas for projects, but the choice is yours. There will be another handout on evaluation as the time draws near. Good luck and let me know how things are going - you can not wait until the last minute on this project, so start early.

        Tentative Lab Schedule - Physical Chemistry II 331W

Week of       Group A                        Group B                             Due Dates (Friday in Lecture unless otherwise noted)

Jan. 6           All: Check In, The Lab Project, Library

Jan. 13         Conductance                 Iodine Clock                      (This is Expt. 1)

Jan. 20         Conductance                 Iodine Clock                       Lab Project Topic Due

Jan. 27         Iodine Clock                 Conductance                       Expt. 1 Draft Due

Feb. 3          Iodine Clock                 Conductance                       Lab Project References Due

Feb. 10        EXAM ONE                                                           Expt. 2 Draft Due

Feb. 17        Microscale Kinetics        Dye Abs. Spectra               Lab Project Reagent Lists Due (T)

Feb. 24        SPRING BREAK - UV Dermatological Studies

Mar. 3         Dye Abs. Spectra           Microscale Kinetics             Lab Project Writeup Draft Due

Mar. 10       All: Lab Projects (Check out your procedure)            Expt. 3 Draft Due

Mar. 17       EXAM TWO                                                            Expt. 4 Draft Due

Mar. 24       All: HyperChem and Lab Projects                              Lab Project Formal Writeup Due

Mar. 31       All: Lab Projects (Do someone else's lab)

Apr. 7          EXAM THREE

Apr. 14        All: Lab Projects (Do someone else's lab)                  Lab Project Draft Reports Due (R)

Week of
Apr. 21        FINAL EXAMINATION                                       Lab Project Reports & Evaluations Due (TBA)

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    Last updated January 7, 1998.
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