CHEM:4432 Physical Chemistry II

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Peter Atkins
Peter Atkins

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INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Claudio J. Margulis
Office: 225 IATL
Phone: 335-0615
Office Hours: MWF 9:25-10:15 AM in 118 IATL. All other meetings are by appointment
E-mail: [email protected]
TA/Grader: Weththasinghage Don Amith and Fei Wu
Phone: 319-335-1872
Office Hours: TBA during discussion session. All other meetings are by appointment only.
E-mail: [email protected] and [email protected]
LECTURES: 8:30A - 9:20A MWF S107 PBB. Attendance is mandatory (I often check
for attendance).
PROBLEMS SECTION: M 5:30P - 6:20P C10 PC and W 11:30A - 12:20P C10 PC
Attendance is highly recommended. These sessions are provided to assist you, so take
advantage of the opportunity to discuss any questions concerning lecture material,
problems from your text or exam question material.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will cover the subject of chemical kinetics, which
provides a quantitative framework for examining the rates of chemical reactions. Students
will learn about the connection between the detailed reaction mechanism and the
experimentally observed rate law. The rest of the course will be devoted to a discussion of
the fundamental principles of quantum mechanics, atomic and molecular structure and
1) To prepare and be successful for the close book tests, you must become proficient in
solving problems and understanding the underlying theory behind them.
2) Some times a particular topic is more clearly explained in one book than in some other.
Read other textbooks if you have trouble understanding a particular concept from
the required class textbook. A list of other books on the topic appears later on this
3) This course is demanding; we will cover a large amount of material this semester. You
must spend enough time to keep up with the lectures. If you fall behind it will be very hard
to catch up because topics are interconnected. You will not be able to study for this class
the night before an exam and expect to do well.
4) As calculus is a prerequisite for this class, knowledge of calculus will be assumed. If
you find that you are having trouble with the math consult a calculus text book.
Basic concepts of linear algebra and differential equations will be taught and used in class
in order to understand the material. Students are expected to learn and use these tools.
PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY, 10th edition, by Peter Atkins and Julio de Paula
Student Solution Manual (highly recommended).
Optional physical chemistry books that you might find useful at times (not required):
Physical Chemistry, Ira N. Levine
Physical Chemistry, Silbey and Alberty (I like this one)
Physical Chemistry, Castellan
Physical Chemistry, Berry, Rice and Ross
Many other excellent physical chemistry books exist. Please check with the library.
More advanced books on quantum chemistry (more mathematics is required to read these,
but the reward is that concepts will become clearer)
Molecular Quantum Mechanics, Atkins and Friedman. (I like this one very much)
Quantum Chemistry, Levine.
Quantum Mechanics, The Feynman Lectures on Physics. (The beginning of this
book introduces some of the most difficult concepts in quantum mechanics in a
beautiful way, but the book is oriented towards quantum physics not quantum
Please use the library to your advantage.
GRADING: The final course grade will be based on the following components:
Problem sets 15 %
3 Exams
20 % each (total 60%)
While the distribution of grades will generally be similar to that of previous semesters,
variations between classes are common. Plus/minus grades will be assigned within each
EXAMINATIONS: There will be 3 exams and a comprehensive final. Exams are closedbook. Exams will be held on Monday, September 19, Monday, October 17 and
Monday, November 28. The location will be SHAM LIB. The final is comprehensive
(i.e. covers all the material studied). See CLAS Final Examination Policies section below
for information regarding scheduling of the final.
For each exam, emphasis will be placed on material covered since the preceding exam,
however it is very important to understand that the material covered later in the course
requires the application of concepts learned earlier. Announcements will be made in class
regarding the material to be covered on each exam. All exams will most likely require you
to be able to solve problems. All exams must be written in ink, but not red or erasable ink.
Exams on which white-out was used or exams written in pencil, red or erasable ink will
not be regraded. Exams will be graded as soon as possible. I will attempt (this is not
guaranteed) to give you a lecture day off for every night exam you must attend. The day
off will not necessarily be the one following the exam.
Make-up exams must be arranged with the instructor and are only available in the event
of a University recognized excuse (e.g. a documented medical emergency). Under no
circumstances will a make-up exam be given to take the place of a regular exam taken
If you feel that an error was made in the grading of an exam, you may request a re-grade
by notifying the instructor within one week of receiving the graded material. The
request should be in writing and indicate the section of the exam that is in question. Please
note that the entire examination will be subject to a regrade. No regrades after one week.
HOMEWORK: There will be weekly (or otherwise announced) graded problem sets.
Unless otherwise announced in class, a problem set will be due in class exactly one week
after it was assigned (i.e. If the homework is assigned on Monday it will be due the
following Monday, if it is assigned on Wednesday it will be due the following Wednesday,
and if it is assigned on Friday it will be due the following Friday). Late assignments and
assignments submitted by email will not be accepted. The homework assignments must
be securely fastened with a staple. The problem sets are subject to the same regrade policy
as for examinations, as described above.
Homework in this course is assigned to better prepare you for the closed-book exams. In
this spirit, brain storming sessions and collaborative work in order to figure out how to
solve problems is highly encouraged and not penalized. However, after these collaborative
sessions are finished, I expect each of the participants to independently write in their own
words (and equations) the solutions for the assigned problems. This is the only way to make
sure you fully understood what was discussed collectively. Identical or nearly identical
assignment solutions are not acceptable.
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Policies and Procedures (insert from )
Administrative Home
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the administrative home of this course and
governs matters such as the add/drop deadlines, the second-grade-only option, and other
related issues. Different colleges may have different policies. Questions may be addressed
to 120 Schaeffer Hall, or see the CLAS Academic Policies Handbook at
Electronic Communication
University policy specifies that students are responsible for all official correspondences
sent to their University of Iowa e-mail address ( Faculty and students should
use this account for correspondences (Operations Manual, III.15.2, k.11).
Accommodations for Disabilities
A student seeking academic accommodations should first register with Student Disability
Services and then meet privately with the course instructor to make particular
arrangements. See for more information.
Academic Honesty
All CLAS students or students taking classes offered by CLAS have, in essence, agreed
to the College's Code of Academic Honesty: "I pledge to do my own academic work and
to excel to the best of my abilities, upholding the IOWA Challenge. I promise not to lie
about my academic work, to cheat, or to steal the words or ideas of others; nor will I help
fellow students to violate the Code of Academic Honesty." Any student committing
academic misconduct is reported to the College and placed on disciplinary probation or
may be suspended or expelled (CLAS Academic Policies Handbook).
CLAS Final Examination Policies
The final examination schedule for each class is announced by the Registrar generally by
the tenth day of classes. Final exams are offered only during the official final examination
period. No exams of any kind are allowed during the last week of classes. All students
should plan on being at the UI through the final examination period. Once the Registrar
has announced the date, time, and location of each final exam, the complete schedule will
be published on the Registrar's web site and will be shared with instructors and students.
It is the student's responsibility to know the date, time, and place of a final exam.
Making a Suggestion or a Complaint
Students with a suggestion or complaint should first visit with the instructor (and the
course supervisor), and then with the departmental DEO. Complaints must be made within
six months of the incident (CLAS Academic Policies Handbook).
Understanding Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment subverts the mission of the University and threatens the well-being of
students, faculty, and staff. All members of the UI community have a responsibility to
uphold this mission and to contribute to a safe environment that enhances learning.
Incidents of sexual harassment should be reported immediately. See the UI Office of the
Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator for assistance, definitions, and the full
University policy.
Reacting Safely to Severe Weather
In severe weather, class members should seek appropriate shelter immediately, leaving
the classroom if necessary. The class will continue if possible when the event is over. For
more information on Hawk Alert and the siren warning system, visit the Department of
Public Safety website.
Student Classroom Behavior
The ability to learn is lessened when students engage in inappropriate classroom behavior,
distracting others; such behaviors are a violation of the Code of Student Life. When
disruptive activity occurs, an instructor has the authority to determine classroom seating
patterns and to request that a student exit the classroom, laboratory, or other instructional
area immediately for the remainder of the period. One-day suspensions are reported to
Departmental, Collegiate, and Student Services personnel (Office of the Vice President for
Student Services and Dean of Students).
The following is the tentative sequence of material to be covered this semester. Any
changes in the course material will be announced in class.
Chemical Kinetics
Reaction Dynamics
Processes on solid surfaces
Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
The Quantum Theory of Motion
Atomic structure and spectra
Molecular structure
Molecular symmetry
Rotational and vibrational spectra
Electronic transitions
Magnetic resonance

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