CHEM 435. Physical Chemistry Laboratory, 2 cr.
Spring Semester, 2017
Physical Chemistry is made of 50 percent
physics, 50 percent chemistry, ... and 50 percent imagination.
My Interpretation of a famous quote
When you can measure what your are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.
This course is intended to acquaint the students with the practice of experimental physical chemistry. Considerable effort has gone into linking the content of the labs with the topics of Chem 434 lectures. Nonetheless, the educational philosophy of the labs is that experimental physical chemistry has a life of its own. The pdf copy of the syllabus is also available.
The goal of the labs, therefore, is to provide a modest introduction to this area of scientific activity. Centuries of empiricism have been invested in man's present conceptual view of the physical world. It would be impossible to attempt to illustrate systematically the experimental basis of that view. Some principles will be illustrated in the labs, but many more will simply be applied to the problem at hand. Experimental work is an eminently practical activity. The program is designed to provide a limited encounter with its methods, its fruits, and undoubtedly with some of its frustrations as well.
Following objectives will be pursued:
Course - Requirements
Successful completion of the course requires:
One data analysis assignment. After the introduction lecture you will be given an assignment to get acquainted with data analysis.
10 laboratory experiments. This includes an oral pre-lab quiz for each experiment, performance of the experiment in the laboratory, and a written report for each lab. The labs are divided into two sets: thermodynamics and kinetics/spectroscopy. You need to finish all 10 labs. If you wish to do more than the required number of labs, special arrangements may be made with the instructor. The extra credit lab may be suggested by the student.
An oral presentation. You will give an oral presentation to the class about one of the labs from the course describing it to the other students in detail as independent research. Critique and suggestions about improvement of the lab would be particularly encouraged.
The student must complete all assignments to receive a passing grade.
Do not skip an experiment thinking you can afford to lose the points. Failure to complete all ten (10) experiments (including prelab quizzes), the oral presentation and the assignment will result in a failing grade for the course.
Students are expect to come prepared to conduct the experiments. The necessary material can be found on the web site and in the text book. Details are provided on the web sites for appropriate labs. Students will demonstrate their readiness in the prelab quizzes some of the questions from which are supposed to be answered in a written form in their lab notebooks before coming to the lab. Each quiz will be graded (it is worth 5 points maximum) and, based on the grade, students may or may not be allowed to conduct the lab (3 points is the lowest passing grade). Consult the lab's web page for prelab questions.
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Last Updated on 01/17/17