The goal of this course is to emphasize the physical principles of chemistry from the molecular level. Since all materials are really a collection of atoms and/or molecules, one can achieve an understanding of their macroscopic properties by studying the laws that govern subatomic particles, atoms, and molecules. To do so, a fundamental understanding of quantum mechanical principles, the laws that relate to atomic and subatomic particles, as well as statistical mechanics, the laws that describe an ensemble of particles, must be developed. All topics of quantum chemistry will be covered, i.e. atomic structure, molecular structure, and spectroscopy. The fundamental principles of statistical mechanics such as the partition function, the Boltzmann distribution, and the canonical ensemble will be discussed. Using these results, thermodynamic properties will be predicted in order to make a correspondence between the microscopic and macroscopic world. Computer modeling will be used to assist in the meaning of these abstract principles and to help the student overcome the mathematical complexities associated with physical chemistry. The laboratory component of this course will focus primarily on computational chemistry techniques and the analysis of spectroscopic data.
Three hours lecture, three hours lab