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.

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Spring 2003       Physical Chemistry II 331W            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, than to find out you don't understand it while grading your work. 

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

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

 Prerequisite: CHEM 330 (and its prerequisites)

 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. 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 (45%), Final Exam (20%), Lab, including Special Project (25%), and Homework and Quizzes (10%). 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 28, 2003). The final exam will be a comprehensive, multiple-choice test, prepared by the American Chemical Society, covering both semesters (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 11, 2003 (in lab)

Exam 2             Tuesday, March 18, 2003 (in lab)

Exam 3             Tuesday, April 15, 2003 (in lab)

Final Exam       Week of April 28 – May 2, 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 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), Quantum Theory (Ch. 11-14), and, time allowing, some aspects of Spectroscopy (16-18).


Lecture Attendance and Absences:

Lecture attendance with textbook and calculator 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 24: Exercises 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 28; Chapter 25: Exercises 6 - 12, 14 - 16, Problems 1, 12, 18; Chapter 26: Exercises 5, 6, 8 -12, Problems 6, 12; Chapter 27: Exercises 4, 5, 7, 15, 17; Chapter 11: Exercises 5 – 11, 15, 16, 18 - 20; Chapter 12: Exercises 4, 8 – 12, 16, 18, 19, Problems 1, 2; Chapter 13: Exercises 5, 7, 11, 14, 15, 17 - 19; Chapter 14: Exercises 5 – 9, 14; Chapter 16: Exercises 8 – 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 25, 26; Chapters 17 and 18: to be announced. 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 (including the final). The reviews will be in Heim 203 (the lab) 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.


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


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.



World Wide Web:

This syllabus and other class items (homework keys) can be found at http://www.lycoming.edu/dept/chem/spring2003/331syl.htm.



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 Friday January 17, 2003. Scores may also be distributed individually (via e-mail) for increased privacy, if requested.


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.


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 may 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 some reports. The project will involve formal writing of an experimental procedure for another student to follow and a report on your own experimental work following another student's procedure. Each student will make a brief in-class oral presentation on their project (more information on this to be given out later).




              Tuesday         Group A                       Group B                       Date Due


Jan. 14


Writing, Projects


Writing, Projects




Jan. 21


I2 Clock*


I2 Clock*


Wed. Jan. 29


Jan. 28




Microscale Kinetics


Wed. Feb. 5


Feb. 4


Microscale Kinetics




Wed. Feb. 19


Feb. 11






Review Sun. Feb. 9


Feb. 18


Dye Spectra*


Dye Spectra*


Wed. Feb. 26


Feb. 25


NMR Thermodyn.*


NMR Thermodyn.*


Fri. Mar.14


Mar. 4








Mar. 11


Test Own Projects


Test Own Projects


Draft: Fri. Mar. 22


Mar. 18






Review Sun. Mar. 16


Mar. 25


Test Own Projects


Test Own Projects


Formal: Fri. Apr. 5


Apr. 1


Do Others Projects


Do Others Projects


Draft: Mon. Feb. 11


Apr. 8


Do Others Projects


Do Others Projects


Formal: Fri. Feb. 22


Apr. 15






Review Sun. Apr.13


Apr. 22


Oral Presentations


Oral Presentations



Week of April 28 – May 2, 2003: Comprehensive ACS Final Examination;

*experiment done as a class

Groups for the group experiments will be assigned in the first lab.


Lab Project due dates (see handout for details):

Project Topic due in writing by Friday, January 24, 2003;

            (can be changed if necessary)

Project References due in writing by Monday, February 14, 2003;

            (minimum of five now, can be added to later)

Project Reagent and Equipment Lists by Friday, February 28, 2003;

            (ask earlier for special equipment; include amounts and concentrations of reagents)

Own Project Draft Due by Monday, March 10, 2003;

            (what you will test and revise in lab for two weeks)

Own Project Formal Write-up (2 copies) due by Friday March 28, 2003;

            (one copy for Dr. Mahler, one for the student running your experiment)

Others Project Draft Report and Student Evaluation Form due by Thursday, April 17, 2003;

            (returned to you marked Monday, April 21, or Tuesday, April 22, 2003)

Others Project Final Report due by Monday, April 28, 2003.

            (includes evaluation of the other student’s work)


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Last updated January 17, 2003.
The URL for this page is http://www.lycoming.edu/chem/spring2003/331syl.htm