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CHEM1901 - Syllabus

Chemistry 1A (Advanced)

The order of topics presented here is essentially the order of presentation in the lecture course, although individual lecturers may make some variations from this. Some topics span more than one week.

Jump to week <1> <2> <3> <4> <5> <6> <7> <8> <9> <10> <11> <12> <13>


Topics covered


- administrative matters
- overview of course

Nuclear & Radiation Chemistry
- nucleons, nuclides and isotopes
- fusion
- natural radioactivity
- 4 decay processes
- nuclear stability
- kinetics of decay
- carbon dating


Nuclear & Radiation Chemistry (continued)
- biological damage
- medical imaging

Periodic Table and the Periodic Trends 

Wave Theory of Electrons and Resulting Atomic Energy Levels 


Shape of Atomic Orbitals and Quantum Numbers 

Filling Energy Levels in Atoms Larger than Hydrogen

Atomic Electronic Spectroscopy
- elemental analysis
- atomic absorbance and emission
- relative independence of core electrons to bonding
- x-ray fluorescence
- generation of x-rays


Material Properties (Polymers, Liquid Crystals, Metals, Ceramics)
- electrical conductivity
- colour
- strength

Bonding in H2 - MO theory
- energy levels
- the sigma orbital/bond
- stability due to electron delocalization

Bonding in O2, N2, C2H2, C2H4and CH2O
- pi orbitals
- non-bonding orbitals (lone pairs)
- O3 and UV absorption


Band Theory - MO in Solids
- conductivity in metals
- semi conductors and insulators

Polar Bonds

Ionic Bonding
- as a limiting case of MO theory
- lattice energies 


Lewis Structures
- as a simple approx. to MO theory
- octet rule

- molecular shape
- application to larger molecules including organic molecules
- shape and bonding of common functional groups


Liquid Crystals
- packing determined by shape (nematic, smectic, cholesteric liquid crystals)

Gas Laws
- effects of temperature and pressure on volume
- ideal gas law


- heat and temperature
- greenhouse effect
- kinetic and potential energy

First & Second Law of Thermodynamics
- heat capacity
- enthalpy
- enthalpy change in a reaction (endo- and exothermic)
- enthalpy as a state function
- Hess's Law
- heat of formation
- introduction to entropy
- CO2 /energy release from fuels
- use of H2 as an alternative fuel


Oxidation Numbers

Nitrogen Chemistry & Compounds
- high explosives
- nitrogen biocycle, nitrification and denitrification
- hydrides, halides, oxides, oxoacids

Nitrogen in the Atmosphere
- NO/NO2 cycle
- formation of pollutants
- global warming

Chemical Equilibrium
- equilibrium as a dynamic process
- the equilibrium constant
- the reaction quotient
- predicting direction of chemical change


Chemical Equilibrium continued
- introduce particular equilibrium constants
- Kp and partial pressures
- Kc and units of concentration
- Ksp 
- Ka and Kb; pKa and pKb
- equilibrium calculations
- Le Chatelier’s principle

Equilibrium and Thermochemistry in Industrial Processes
- general principles
- example: Mining of copper
- example: The Steel Story
Top 10 chemicals produced in the world:
- special example, sulfuric acid , ammonia


voltaic or galvanic cells
-using half-reactions
-table of standard reduction potentials Effect of concentration
effect of concentration
-Nernst equation
-link between E and K
-concentration cells

Electrochemistry (Batteries & Corrosion)
- difference between primary and secondary batteries
- how common batteries work?
- fuel cells and how they work
- corrosion and corrosion protection


Electrolytic Cells
- how does electrolysis work?
- concept of overpotential
- chlor-alkali process (H2, NaOH, Cl2 from seawater)

Types of Intermolecular Forces
- dispersion forces
- Hydrogen bonding


Polymers and the Macromolecular Consequences of Intermolecular Forces

- synthetic polymers
- biopolymers


Blackman, Bottle, Schmid, Mocerino and Wille,
     Chemistry, 3rd Edition, 2015 (John Wiley) ISBN: 978-0-7303-1105-8 (paperback) and 978-0-7303-2492-8 (e-text)

Textbook resources, including the answers to the odd-numbered problems of Chemistry, 3rd Edition and the web address for the publisher's site, are available via "Textbook Resources" on USYD eLearning.

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