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Manicaland College of Applied Sciences

Department of Chemical and Process Systems Engineering
Course Outline
Course Physical Chemistry
Code HCHE112
Lecturer Dr. Isaac Nyambiya
Office W
Credits 1
Contact hrs 36


Physical chemistry is the study of macroscopic, atomic, subatomic, and particulate phenomena in chemical
systems in terms of laws and concepts of physics. It applies the principles, practices and concepts of
physics such as motion, energy, force, time, thermodynamics, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics
and dynamics, equilibrium.

Physical chemistry, in contrast to chemical physics, is predominantly (but not always) a macroscopic or
supra-molecular science, as the majority of the principles on which physical chemistry was founded, are
concepts related to the bulk rather than on molecular/atomic structure alone.

Physical Chemistry is a basic chemistry course the aim of which is to give a foundation of physical
chemistry to chemical Engineering students to enable them to tackle follow-up modules such as
Thermodynamic I and II

Lecture Topics Period

Chapter 1. Introduction To Physical Chemistry

Atoms, Molecules, Bulk Matter, Energy, The Relation between molecular and bulk
properties, Electromagnetic fields, Units. The properties of gases; The perfect gas laws: the
states of gases, Impact on environmental science-the gas laws and the weather; The real gases:
molecular interactions; the Van der Waals equation Week 1

Chapter 2 The First Law

The basic concepts: work, heat and energy; the internal energy; expansion work; heat
transformation; enthalpy; Impact on biochemistry and materials science: differential
scanning calorimetry; adiabatic changes Week 2 & 3

Thermochemistry: Standard enthalpy changes; impact on biology; impact on biology-food

and energy reserves; standard enthalpies of formation; the temperature dependence of
reaction enthalpies
Chapter 3 Quantum Chemistry

The first quantum theory: Max Planck and black body radiation

Photons: the quantization of light. photoelectric effect, The quantization of matter: the Bohr
model of the atom, Wave-particle duality, the double-slit experiment, Application to the
Bohr model ,Uncertainty principle, Wave function collapse, The Pauli exclusion principle,
Quantum field theory, Quantum electrodynamics, Interpretations, Applications
Compton effect, Particle in one dimensional box, The simple harmonic motion oscillator Week 2 & 3
Postulates of quantum mechanics

Chapter 4 Reaction Kinetics

1st and 2nd Order Reactions; Parallel Reactions-Competitive Reactions; Progress to

Equilibrium; Consecutive Reactions Reactions, Integrating Rate Laws Using the Finite
Difference Approximation; Kinetics Mechanism Simulation Introduction; First Order Rate
Laws and Stella; SN1 Mechanism
Pre-Equilibrium Mechanism - Michaelis - Menten Mechanisim; Chain Mechanisms
Unimolecular Reactions- Lindemann-Henshelwood Mechanism; Dynamic NMR
Temperature Jump Kinetics Week 3 & 4

Chapter 5 Electrochemistry

Electrode processes: reversible cells;. Types of half cells; Electrochemical cells;. The Week 5 &
standard emf of cells; Standard electrode potentials, 478. 31. Standard free energies and Week 6
entropies of aqueous ions;. Measurement of solubility products;Electrolyte-concentration
cells, Electrode concentration cells; Balance redox reactions using the half-reaction
method; Describe galvanic cells; Calculate standard cell potentials; Relate cell potential to
the reaction conditions.

3.0 Course Teaching and Assessment

The course will be taught through the following methods:

Teaching Method Time Period

Lectures 24 hrs
Tutorials 6 hrs
Practicals+ Industrial visit 12 hrs
Assessment will be done as follows:

Assessment Methods Intended number Contribution

Assignments 2 5%
Tests / Mock Exam 2 10%
Practicals 3 25%
Final Exam 1 60%

4.0 Course Policy

Students should be aware of the following:

1. Any student without theory coursework or practical coursework or both is not allowed to sit for the
final exam.
2. Any student who attends less than 80% of lectures, tutorials and practical classes is not qualified to
enter into the final examination.
3. Students should be punctual for classes, late comers will not be allowed.
4. All assignments and practical reports must be submitted on the due date.

5.0 Text Books

Required Text:
1. Atkins, P. and Paula, J (2000). Physical Chemistry , 8th Edition,
2. Whittaker A. G and Mount A.R. and Heal M.R (2000). Instant Notes in Physical Chemistry, Bios
Scientific Publishers.
3. Gilbert W Castellan, (1983), Physical Chemistry, (3rd Edition), Addison-Wesley Publishing
4. Moore, W. J., Physical Chemistry

6.0 Supplementary Reading

Prof. Ing. Anatol Malijevsk´y (2005). Physical Chemistry in Brief, Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague
Faculty of Chemical Engineering