Specific Course Information
Course Meetings and Time
Introduction to foundational concepts in inorganic chemistry with emphasis on atomic structure, bonding, and reactivity. Topics will include nuclear chemistry, quantum mechanics, periodic trends, covalent bonding, ionic bonding, metallic bonding, coordinate covalent bonding, acid-base chemistry, electrochemistry, and thermodynamics.
I. Atomic structure (quantum mechanics, periodic trends, and nuclear chemistry)
Students will build on the concepts introduced in the general chemistry course to increase their understanding of atomic structure. The quantum mechanical model will be expanded to include nodal surfaces and their effect on electron energies. Students will apply concepts such as effective nuclear charge, shielding, and penetrating ability to describe and predict periodic trends including ionization energies, electron affinities, polarizability, polarizing ability, and atomic and ionic radii. Trends in nuclear stabilities will be introduced to allow students to predict likely nuclear reactions and to describe how nuclear chemistry is used for radioactive dating, medicinal applications, and power generation.
II. Bonding (covalent, coordinate covalent, metallic, and ionic)
Students will apply key concepts of quantum mechanics and atomic structure to describe a wide range of bonding interactions between atoms. Building on concepts learned in general and organic chemistry, students will develop a deeper understanding of ionic and covalent bonding in order to rationalize trends in solubility, electric conductivity, and magnetic properties of elements and compounds. Using molecular orbital theory and bonding models for coordinate covalent bonding interactions, students will describe the structure, electronic properties, and magnetic properties of molecular substances including those with 3rd or higher-period elements. Students will also be introduced to bonding models appropriate for extended structures in order to describe the properties of metals and ionic solids. Using key concepts from thermodynamics, atomic structure and bonding, students will be able to describe trends in stability of ionic and coordinate covalent compounds as well as general trends in the physical properties of the elements of the periodic table.
III. Reactivity (thermodynamics, acid-base chemistry, and electrochemistry)
The concept of entropy and Gibbs free energy will be introduced to expand students’ prior knowledge of thermodynamics, to explore the spontaneity of chemical reactions and processes, and to rationalize the composition of equilibrium mixtures. Using key concepts from thermodynamics, atomic structure and bonding, students will be able to describe trends in the Bronsted acid-base behavior of binary acids, aqua acids, oxoacids, and oxides. Students will also be able to use their understanding of bonding and periodic trends to rationalize trends in Lewis acid/base behavior. Having been introduced to oxidation-reduction reactions in general chemistry, students will expand their knowledge of this important reaction type by applying their knowledge of atomic structure, periodic trends, and thermodynamics to predict the redox behavior and stability of the elements, their monoatomic ions, and their oxo-anions.
Semester quizzes (top 5 counted) 25%
Three semester exams 45%
Comprehensive final exam 15%