301 lecture 1

301 lecture 1 - Chemistry 301 First Lecture Physical...

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Chemistry 301 First Lecture Physical Chemistry You already know lots of physical chemistry -- in fact most of what you studied in general chemistry, except for specific reactions and chemical properties, was physical chemistry. Physical chemistry is usually divided into the following areas: thermodynamics, kinetics, structure, and statistical thermodynamics. Thermodynamics deals with the interdependence of macroscopic properties, such as pressure, volume, temperature, and concentration. It also has much to say about energy conversion and the direction of spontaneous change. It also describes equilibrium, which is really the only type of system it can describe in its basic form. Kinetics involves the experimental and theoretical study of rates of reactions. Structure can be divided into a theoretical part, based on the principles of quantum mechanics, and an experimental part, based on spectroscopy. Quantum mechanics attempts to describe structure and energy at an atomic or molecular level. Statistical mechanics provides the framework for deriving the principles of thermodynamics using the postulates of quantum mechanics and the methods of statistics. Physical chemistry is mathematical in nature, and is therefore often rather abstract. Those of you fresh from a year of organic or biochemistry may find this disconcerting.
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301 lecture 1 - Chemistry 301 First Lecture Physical...

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