CHEM407-001                                                    Physical Chemistry I                                                               Fall 2016

Professor Maria C. Gelabert                      Google Classroom code: dfvmmv                 

MWF 11:00-12:15 (3 credit hours)         Office: M 12:30-1:30, T 10-11, F 9:30-10:30                                   Sims 314A, x4939

Lecture Schedule

Course Evaluation - CRN 10251: (deadline December 5)

Required Books:          

Physical Chemistry, Ball, Cengage Learning 2015. (print or eText)

Applied Mathematics for Physical Chemistry, Barrante, 3rd Edition, Prentice Hall 2003.

Course Synopsis and Goals

The first semester of physical chemistry incorporates general chemistry topics in greater depth. The mathematics and physics foundation of chemistry concepts and practice are at the forefront, with the goal of a richer and more advanced understanding of chemistry. In this course, we will study gases, thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, kinetics and solid state structure. This helps prepare for the spring term (CHEM408) focusing on quantum mechanics and spectroscopy with extension of statistical mechanics and solid state chemistry.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will demonstrate their mastery with problem solving skills, which use the following:

*    Identification of specific physical chemistry topics and applicable mathematics;

*    Ability to use and carry mathematics forward for problem solving;

*    Critical assimilation of simple problem solving to handle more complex tasks.


Every class period will consist of student homework questions, lecture and example problem solving. Approximately three sections of material will be covered during every lecture.


Homework (about 3 problems) will be assigned after every lecture and due at the beginning of the next lecture for a grade. Incomplete, late or missed homework will not count against your grade. You may send in your assignment with a trusted friend if you must miss class. There is a direct correlation between independent completion of homework and course grade. Students are expected to ask homework questions during office hours and in class. Four 15-minute quizzes, each consisting of one problem, will be administered at the beginning of class; the lowest quiz grade will be dropped. Quiz days are also reserved for in-class problem sessions led by peers. Four 50-minute exams will be administered along with a cumulative final exam scheduled for 8:00 am, Thursday, December 8. The highest exam score (including the final) will count an additional 10%. All quizzes and exams include material up to one week in advance, are closed-book and include formula sheet, fundamental constants and periodic table. Percentages and minimum letter grades are below.

Homework       10%                         100-90       A, A–

Quizzes (4)       20%                         89-80         B+, B, B–

Exams (4)          40%                         79-70         C+, C, C–

Final Exam       20%                         69-60         D

Highest Exam   10%                         below 60   F

Attendance, Make-up policy and Syllabus changes

No make-up exams will be administered. Early exams will be considered for university-sanctioned absences. For unanticipated absences accompanied by appropriate documentation, I will consider dropping 1 exam score. Regular attendance is expected and crucial for satisfactory performance in this course. Any syllabus changes will be to the lecture schedule only, and communicated on our Google Classroom page via a modified lecture schedule file.

Students with Disabilities/Need of Accommodations for Access

Winthrop University is committed to providing access to education.  If you have a condition that may adversely impact your ability to access academics and/or campus life, and you require specific accommodations to complete this course, contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at 803-323-3290, or, Please inform me as early as possible, once you have your official notice of accommodations from the Office of Disability Services.

Student Conduct Code

As noted in the Student Conduct Code: ''Responsibility for good conduct rests with students as adult individuals.'' The student Academic Misconduct Policy is outlined in the Student Conduct Code in the online Student Handbook: Further, academic integrity is one of the tenets of the Winthrop University Dedication for Excellence.