Submitted by Adam Johnson / Harvey Mudd College on Tue, 10/10/2023 - 17:39
My Notes

I am moving away from teaching the Goldberg paper (still one of my favorites) and instead wanted to teach just the highlights as part of my seminar class in organometallic chemistry this fall. I created this shorter version of the activity to use in class. I did NOT have them read the paper in advance, hence the summaries in the LO itself. 


Learning Goals

1. demonstrate where thermodynamic parameters come from in a reaction coordinate free energy diagram

2. derive complex rate equations using the steady state approximation

3. describe the principle of microscopic reversibility

4. gain a deeper appreciation for the experimental methods (thermodynamic and kinetic) used in mechanistic chemistry

Implementation Notes

I used this in a junior/senior level seminar course during my class on Oxidative Addition and Reductive Elimination. I introduced the concept of microscopic reversibility before turning them loose on this activity. I gave them about 30 minutes for this and had approximately 4 groups of 3-4 students each. During class I gave them the answers to the calculations for problems 2 and 3 because they were getting bogged down. The interesting part of this activity is the last 2 pages.

At the end, I went through the answers, focusing on how "simple" methods that we teach in gen chem (equilibrium, rate laws) are used in real research. 

Time Required
30 minutes
Evaluation Methods

I went over the answers (call and response) after letting them work for 20 minutes. 

Evaluation Results

did not collect this activity, but students seemed to be carried along by the activity. 

Creative Commons License
Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike CC BY-NC-SA