CH16230 Introduction to Physical Chemistry
Introductory description
To provide the student with a quantitative appreciation of four branches of physical chemistry:
 Quantum mechanics
 Kinetics
 Thermodynamics
 Spectroscopy
The Maths skills component provides the mathematical learning support for the Year 1 modules and more advanced modules in Years 2/3/4, enabling students to solve problems in the main branches of chemistry. The mathematical skills taught allow students to understand the concepts behind much of chemistry and allow the processing of their own data.
The majority of the module content is drawn from components of Alevel syllabuses. As such, most students will already be familiar with some aspects of the module syllabus, but the pattern of familiarity will be heterogeneous across the class. The primary aim of the module is to equip all students with the necessary mathematical skills to succeed in their chemistry degree at Warwick. The module is structured to allow individual students to concentrate their time on those areas of the module with which they are unfamiliar.
Module aims
To provide the student with a quantitative appreciation of four branches of physical chemistry:
 Quantum mechanics
 Kinetics
 Thermodynamics
 Spectroscopy
Provide skills development for a range of transferrable and chemistryspecific skills to support their studies and careers e.g. being able to use a range of generic software, chemical software, plus access relevant databases.
For the Maths skills component, this provides the mathematical learning support for the Year 1 modules and more advanced modules in Years 2/3/4, enabling students to solve problems in the main branches of chemistry. The mathematical skills taught allow students to understand the concepts behind much of chemistry and allow the processing of their own data.
The majority of the module content is drawn from components of Alevel syllabuses. As such, most students will already be familiar with some aspects of the module syllabus, but the pattern of familiarity will be heterogeneous across the class. The primary aim of the module is to equip all students with the necessary mathematical skills to succeed in their chemistry degree at Warwick. The module is structured to allow individual students to concentrate their time on those bits of the module with which they are unfamiliar.
Outline syllabus
This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.
The module will be taught in distinct sections. Here follows an illustrative syllabus for each section of the module.
Quantum Mechanics
 TOPIC 1: General concepts: What is quantum mechanics, and why do we need it?
 TOPIC 2: Fundamental principles of quantum mechanics: Postulates, Hamiltonians and operators.
 TOPIC 3: Solvable systems
o Solvable system I: Particle in a box
o Solvable system II: Freeparticle motion
o Solvable system III: Harmonic oscillator
o Solvable system IV: Rigid rotor
o Solvable system V: Oneelectron systems  TOPIC 4: Spin and manyelectron systems
Kinetics
 TOPIC 1: Reaction potential energy surfaces and kinetics at the molecular level
 TOPIC 2: Rates of reaction and rate laws
 TOPIC 3: Determining the rate law from experimental data
 TOPIC 4: Multistep reactions including unimolecular, bimolecular, enzyme and chain reactions
 TOPIC 5: Temperature dependence of reaction rates
Thermodynamics
 TOPIC 1 : Foundations: ideal gas, enthalpy and entropy
 TOPIC 2 : Chemical equilibrium, liquids and gases in equilibrium, vapour pressure
 TOPIC 3 : Phase diagrams of pure substances
 TOPIC 4 : The thermodynamic description of mixtures
 TOPIC 5 : The First, Second and Third Laws of thermodynamics
Spectroscopy
 TOPIC 1. Properties of electromagnetic radiation
 TOPIC 2. The Hatom spectrum and the Rydberg equation
 TOPIC 3. Factors influencing transition intensities
 TOPIC 4. Rotational spectroscopy
 TOPIC 5. Vibrational spectroscopy
An example Maths skills syllabus may include elements from the following:
Perform routine algebraic manipulations.
Manipulation of units and dimensions.
Solve simple equations.
Understand the basis of differential calculus, be able to differentiate and, find maxima and minima.
Integrate functions and solve simple differential equations.
Determine the limits of simple functions.
Manipulate logarithmic and exponential functions.
Introduction to error propagation.
Perform routine trigonometric manipulations.
Expand simple series.
Manipulate complex numbers, vectors, and matrices.
Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
 Understand core concepts in physical chemistry, spanning thermodynamics, kinetics, quantum mechanics, and spectroscopy.
 Apply core concepts from physical chemistry in a range of exercises, often mathematically based.
 Use physical chemistry concepts to understand and explain practical science problems and applications.
 Tackle physical chemistry concepts of similar complexity and depth on the periphery of, or even outside, the syllabus.
 Perform routine algebraic manipulations. Solve simple equations, including both quadratic and simultaneous. Manipulate logarithmic functions and powers. Determine the limiting values of functions.
 Differentiate functions and find maxima and minima. Integrate functions and solve simple differential equations.
 Perform routine trigonometric manipulations. Expand simple series. Manipulate complex numbers and matrices. Solve simple eigenvalue problems
 Become familiar with the use of a range of general IT software packages and coding.
 Be able to use a range of chemical software, plus access relevant databases to support their practical chemistry.
Indicative reading list
Core textbook:
Physical Chemistry, P.W. Atkins and J. de Paula (Oxford University Press)
Further (noncompulsory) reading:
THERMODYNAMICS:
Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach, D. A. McQuarrie and J. D. Simon (University Science Books)
KINETICS:
Reaction Kinetics, M. J. Pilling and P. W. Seakins (Oxford University Press)
QUANTUM MECHANICS:
Molecular Quantum Mechanics, P. W. Atkins (Oxford University Press)
Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach, D. A. McQuarrie and J. D. Simon (University Science Books)
SPECTROSCOPY:
Modern Spectroscopy, J. M. Hollas (Wiley)
Symmetry and Spectroscopy, D. C. Harris & M. D. Bertolucci (Oxford University Press)
Maths skills component:
Maths for Chemists, 2nd Ed., M. Cockett and G. Doggett, RSC Publishing.
Foundation Maths, 4th Ed., A. Croft and R. Davison, Pearson Prentice Hall.
Calculus with Analytical Geometry, 2nd Ed., G. F. Simmons, McGraw Hill.
Subject specific skills
Numeracy
Problem solving
Organisation and time management
Transferable skills
Numeracy
Problem solving
Organisation and time management
Study time
Type  Required 

Lectures  40 sessions of 1 hour (13%) 
Tutorials  6 sessions of 1 hour (2%) 
Other activity  20 hours (7%) 
Private study  234 hours (78%) 
Total  300 hours 
Private study description
N/A
Other activity description
Skills component
6 Lectures
2 workshops
Costs
No further costs have been identified for this module.
You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.
Assessment group D2
Weighting  Study time  

Assessed  20%  
Inperson Examination  80%  

Feedback on assessment
Homework sets, with worked answers, will be made available online throughout the module.
Workshops will go through a number of problemsolving exercises; again, worked answers will be provided online.
Informal oral (optionally, written) feedback will be provided on work handedin prior to smallgroup tutorials.
Cohort level examination feedback provided via Moodle following the Exam Board.
Written feedback for assessed work components.
Postrequisite modules
If you pass this module, you can take:
 CH3F115 Advanced Physical Chemistry and Laboratory
 CH27315 Properties of Solutions and Foundations of Electrochemistry and Statistical Mechanics
Courses
This module is Core for:

UCHA4 Undergraduate Chemistry (with Intercalated Year) Variants
 Year 1 of F101 Chemistry (with Intercalated Year)
 Year 1 of F122 Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry (with Intercalated Year)

UCHA3 Undergraduate Chemistry 3 Year Variants
 Year 1 of F100 Chemistry
 Year 1 of F100 Chemistry
 Year 1 of F121 Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry

UCHAF110 Undergraduate Master of Chemistry (with Industrial Placement)
 Year 1 of F100 Chemistry
 Year 1 of F110 MChem Chemistry (with Industrial Placement)
 Year 1 of F112 MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry with Industrial Placement
 Year 1 of UCHAF107 Undergraduate Master of Chemistry (with Intercalated Year)

UCHAF109 Undergraduate Master of Chemistry (with International Placement)
 Year 1 of F109 MChem Chemistry (with International Placement)
 Year 1 of F111 MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry (with International Placement)

UCHA4M Undergraduate Master of Chemistry Variants
 Year 1 of F100 Chemistry
 Year 1 of F105 Chemistry
 Year 1 of F110 MChem Chemistry (with Industrial Placement)
 Year 1 of F109 MChem Chemistry (with International Placement)
 Year 1 of F125 MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry
 Year 1 of UCHAF127 Undergraduate Master of Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry(with Intercalated Year)