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.


Instructor: Dr. Charles H. Mahler, Phone 321-4351 or 322-8840 (h), mahler@lycoming.edu
Office Hours: Heim 202, MWF 10-11 AM, MW 1-2 PM, by appointment, or drop by.

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.

Materials for Course: "Physical Chemistry" 6th 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.

Prerequisite: CHEM 330 (and its prerequisites)

Evaluation and Grading: Grades will be based on the following weighting scheme: 3 Exams (40%), Final Exam (20%), Lab, including Special Project (25%), 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 handout). 3 extra credit points (on a 1000 point scale, to a limit of 20) 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 March 31, 1999). The final exam will be a comprehensive, multiple-choice test, prepared by the American Chemical Society, which covers both semesters of Physical Chemistry (330 and 331W).


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:     Exam 1           Tuesday, February 9, 1999 (in lab)
              Exam 2           Tuesday, March 16, 1999 (in lab)
              Exam 3           Tuesday, April 13, 1999 (in lab)
              Final Exam      Week of April 26 - 30, 1999, 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 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 lab 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. Absences (after three) will be penalized 3 points per day (on a 1000 point scale). Extra credit points will be applied towards absences first. 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) or e-mail me (mahler@lycoming.edu). 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 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.

Homework: Each chapter will have a set of recommended problems given for it (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). Because we go over each problem's solution in lecture, no homework will be accepted later than 9:30 AM (in the lecture it is due in). The lowest homework grade will be dropped. If you must be absent, 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. 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, as many involve as much time (or more) in writing and calculation as the original experimental procedure did.

Safety and Labs: Please refer to the laboratory handout from last semester and lab safety contract from both semesters for course expectations regarding safety, lab, and lab reports.

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 your 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. This is a difficult subject, so you may ask me a question which takes me a while to think about and answer. I may involve other students in answering the question, or rephrase the question to make sure I understand what you are asking. This means you've asked a good question, so keep on thinking and questioning!

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.

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

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 1/15/1999.

World Wide Web: This syllabus, homework assignments and other class items can be found at http://www.lycoming.edu/dept/chem/spring1999/331syl.htm.

Review Sessions: An exam review session will be held in Heim 203 (the lab) from 7:30 to 9:30 PM the Sunday evening before each exam. Review session notes will be posted and put on reserve in the library that evening. There will be a review before the final. Review session times may be altered by a class vote.

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. A lab will involve formal writing of an experimental procedure for another student to follow and a report on your own.

Tentative Laboratory Schedule for Physical Chemistry II 331W
Lycoming College       Fall Semester 1998         Dr. Mahler
Tuesday Group I Group II Group III Group IV
Jan. 12   Writing, Projects Writing, Projects Writing, Projects Writing, Projects
Jan. 19     I2 Clock Micro. Kinetics CAChe Dye Abs. Spectra
Jan. 26     I2 Clock I2 Clock Dye Abs. Spectra CAChe
Feb. 2    CAChe  I2 Clock I2 Clock Micro. Kinetics
Feb. 16   Micro. Kinetics Dye Abs. Spectra  I2 Clock I2 Clock
Feb. 23     Dye Abs. Spectra CAChe Micro. Kinetics I2 Clock
Mar. 9  Test Own Projects Test Own Projects Test Own Projects Test Own Projects
Mar. 23  Do Others Projects Do Others Projects Do Others Projects Do Others Projects
Mar. 30   Do Others Projects Do Others Projects Do Others Projects Do Others Projects
Apr. 6  Presentations Presentations Presentations Presentations
Apr. 20  NMR  NMR  NMR NMR
For the first four experiments, reports are due in lab the week after the lab is completed; if there is an exam the following week, they are instead due in class on Friday of the next week.

Lab Project due dates (see handout for details): Project Topic by Friday, Jan. 29; Project References by Friday, Feb. 12; Project Reagent and Equipment Lists by Friday, Feb. 19; Own Project Draft Due by Monday, Mar. 8; Own Project Formal Writeup due (2 copies) by Friday Mar. 19; Others Project Draft Report Due by Friday, Apr. 9; Others Project Final Report Due by Monday, Apr. 19.

The student groups (as chosen last semester at random) are as follows:
Group I: Kathy Jacoby, Amy Leight, Vanessa Richter, Ed Slavin
Group II: Amy Galka, Misty Laubscher, Melissa Marchetti
Group III: Melissa Dillman, Amy Hall, Michelle Heller
Group IV: Jamie Douglass, Phil Levesque, Lauren Mangeney

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    Last updated January 12, 1999.
    The URL for this page is http://lyco2.lycoming.edu/dept/chem/spring1999/331syl.htm