CH3P1-Advanced Topics in Physical Chemistry 1

Module Provider: Chemistry
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Roger Bennett


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The overall aim of the module is to introduce the student to advanced topics in physical chemistry relating to colloids, electrode kinetics, quantum mechanics and chemical kinetics.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students should be able to discuss the fabrication of colloidal systems, factors affecting colloid stability,double layer theory and electrode kinetics. They should demonstrate an understanding of quantum mechanics and be able to answer a variety of numerical calculations. Students should be able to discuss the main features of collision theory and transition state theory. They should demonstrate a quantitative understanding of the factors affecting the terms in the Arrhenius equation. 

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Colloids and Electrode kinetics (6 Lectures) Lyophobic colloids, preparation method, colloid stability, DVLO theory and double layer theory. Overpotential, Butler Volmer equation, Tafel equations and limiting current

Quantum mechanics (6 lectures): Review of the breakdown of classical mechanics. Understanding the Schrödinger equation, operators and wavefunctions. The Born interpretation. The uncertainty principle. Finding solutions for simple systems: Particle in a box, Simple harmonic oscillator. Understanding complexity: More than one particle in a box, particle on a ring, the hydrogen atom.

Theories of Chemical Kinetics (6 lectures): Transition-state theory; Collision theory; Statistical Mechanics and Partition functions; Thermodynamic form of transition-state theory; Bimolecular, unimolecular and trimolecular reactions.

Review Lectures (2 lectures) Revision of material covered in all courses in preparation for the final exam.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Eighteen, one-hour lectures, two workshops and two tutorials. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18 2
Seminars 2
Tutorials 2
Guided independent study: 76
Total hours by term 98 0 2
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Set exercise 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:
1.5 hrs

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will attend two tutorials on the material covered in this module. Attendance is compulsory and tutorials will contribute 20% towards the final module mark.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will receive oral feedback on their performance in the two workshops on the material covered in this module. 

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment of the written examination is held during the University administered re-examination period in August. Failed coursework may be re-assessed by an alternative assignment before or during the August re-examination period.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Required text books: • Atkins' Physical Chemistry, P.W Atkins, ISBN-10: 019969740X, £49.99 • Introduction to Colloid and Surface Chemistry (Colloid &Surface Engineering) by Duncan J. Shaw, ISBN-10: 0750611820, £43.99 • Electrode Potentials by Richard G. Compton ISBN-10: 0198556845, £19.99 • Electrode Dynamics by A. C. Fisher ISBN-10: 019855690X, £19.99

    Specialist equipment or materials: Scientific Calculator (non-programmable), £10.00

    Last updated: 8 April 2019


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