The course Physical Chemistry is a 200-level course in the Physics track. The main goal of this course is to connect the microscopic world - at the level of atoms and molecules - to the macroscopic world - in terms of liters of gas - and show that macroscopic quantities such as pressure, heat capacity and entropy are determined by microscopic quantum mechanical properties like energy quantization. This course will focus on the three main areas within the field of Physical Chemistry:
1. Quantum Chemistry (concerning the structures of molecules),
2. Thermodynamics (concerning the energetics of chemical reactions), and
3. Chemical Kinetics (concerning the rates of chemical reactions).

1. Quantum Chemistry
The first part of the course focuses on Quantum Mechanics. It reviews Quantum Mechanics as discussed in PHYS 101: the particle-in-a-box problem and the harmonic oscillator will be discussed. We will have again a look at the solution of the Schrodinger Equation for the
Hydrogen atom. The Schrodinger Equation cannot be solved exactly in the case of multi electron atoms. This course will discuss two approximation methods; perturbation theory and the variational method. These techniques allow for a quantum mechanical discussion on electronic wave functions, atomic wave functions and molecular orbital wave functions. Finally, the course discusses chemical bonding and bonding in polyatomic molecules.

2. Thermodynamics
PHYS 202 Physical Chemistry will present a thorough discussion on thermodynamics.
This part of the course starts with a discussion on the properties of gases. It will discuss partition functions and statistical thermodynamics. All macroscopic quantities such as pressure and temperature arise from molecular properties. The course continues with the laws of thermodynamics; heat, pressure-volume work, internal energy; entropy and enthalpy. Finally, we will discuss how absolute entropies can be calculated from tabulated heat capacities. The last subject is the kinetic theory of gases.

3. Chemical Kinetics
In the last weeks of the semester we will briefly look at chemical kinetics. Rate laws describe the time dependency of a chemical reaction. The course discusses how rate laws can be determined experimentally, and how one can distinguish between different reaction mechanisms.
PHYS 202 Coure outline Physical Chemistry - fall 2019.docx.pdfPHYS 202 Coure outline Physical Chemistry - fall 2019.docx.pdf