DiStasio Research Group



CHEM 3900 — Honors Physical Chemistry II


Spring 2017. 4 credits. Letter grades only.

Prerequisites/Corequisites: MATH 2130 or MATH 2310 or MATH 2220; PHYS 2208; CHEM 2080 or permission of instructor; CHEM 3890. CHEM 3900 is a continuation of CHEM 3890 (Honors Physical Chemistry I) and discusses the thermodynamic behavior of macroscopic systems in the context of quantum and statistical mechanics. After an introduction to the behavior of ensembles of quantum mechanical particles (statistical mechanics), kinetic theory, the laws of thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics are covered in detail.

Topics include: Module I: Statistical Thermodynamics (The Boltzmann Factor and Partition Functions, Partition Functions and Ideal Gases, Ideal and Real Gases); Module II: Classical Thermodynamics (The First Law of Thermodynamics, The Second Law of Thermodynamics, The Third Law of Thermodynamics); Module III: Equilibrium Concepts (Helmholtz and Gibbs Free Energies, Phase and Solution Equilibria, Chemical Equilibrium); Module IV: Kinetic, Reaction Rates, and Mechanisms (Kinetic Theory of Gases, Chemical Kinetics: Rate Laws, Chemical Kinetics: Reaction Mechanisms). At the level of Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach by McQuarrie and Simon.



CHEM 7870 – Mathematical Methods of Physical Chemistry


Fall 2015. 4 credits. Letter grades only.

Prerequisites: One year of undergraduate physical chemistry, three semesters of calculus, and one year of college physics. This course is suitable for graduate students in Chemistry and related fields, and for motivated undergraduates, including but not limited to Chem majors. Chem 7870 will provide the mathematical background needed for graduate level study of topics in physical chemistry such as quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics, as well as a set of analytical and computational tools useful for research in both experimental and theoretical physical chemistry.

Topics include: infinite and power series; complex numbers and functions; linear algebra; partial differentiation; multiple integrals; vector analysis; Fourier series and transforms; ordinary and partial differential equations; calculus of variations; tensor analysis; special functions; probability and statistics; scientific programming. At the level of Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences by Boas and Mathematical Methods for Scientists and Engineers by McQuarrie.