Chemical Principles | Department of Chemistry

Chemical Principles

This course will focus on introductory chemical principles, including periodicity, chemical bonding, molecular structure, equilibrium and the relationship between structure and properties. Students will explore stoichiometric relationships in solution and gas systems which are the basis for quantifying the results of chemical reactions. Understanding chemical reactivity leads directly into discussion of equilibrium and thermodynamics, two of the most important ideas in chemistry. Equilibrium, especially acid/base applications, explores the extent of reactions while thermodynamics helps us understand if a reaction will happen. The aim of the laboratory will be to develop your experimental skills, especially your ability to perform meaningful experiments, analyze data, and interpret observations. This is a required course for Chemistry majors, but also satisfies UWE requirements for non-majors.


  1. Atomic structure, Periodic table, VSEPR, Molecular Orbital theory, and biochemistry:
    1. Introduction: why chemistry in engineering? Concept of atom, molecules, Rutherford’s atomic model, Bohr’s model of an atom, wave model, classical and quantum mechanics, wave particle duality of electrons, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, Quantum-Mechanical Model of Atom, Double Slit Experiment for Electrons, The Bohr Theory of the Hydrogen atoms, de Broglie wavelength, Periodic Table.
    2. Schrodinger equation (origin of quantization), Concept of Atomic Orbitals, representation of electrons move in three-dimensional space, wave function (Y), Radial and angular part of wave function, radial and angular nodes, Shape of orbitals, the principal (n), angular (l), and magnetic (m) quantum numbers, Pauli exclusion principle.
    3. Orbital Angular Momentum (l), Spin Angular Momentum (s), spin-orbit coupling, HUND’s Rule, The aufbau principle, Penetration, Shielding Effect, Effective Nuclear Charge, Slater’s rule.
    4. Periodic properties, Ionization Energies of Elements, Electron affinities of elements, Periodic Variation of Physical Properties such as metallic character of the elements, melting point of an atom, ionic and covalent nature of a molecule, reactivity of hydrides, oxides and halides of the elements.
    5. Lewis structures, Valence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR), Valence-Bond theory (VB), Orbital Overlap, Hybridization, Molecular Orbital Theory (MO) of homo-nuclear and hetero-nuclear diatomic molecules, bonding and anti-bonding orbitals.
    6. Biochemistry: Importance of metals in biological systems, Fe in biological systems, Hemoglobin, Iron Storage protein - Ferritin]

2. Introduction to various analytical techniques:

UV-Visible Spectroscopy, IR Spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, X-Ray crystallography

Spectroscopy: Regions of Electromagnetic Radiation, Infra-Red (IR) Spectroscopy or Vibrational Spectroscopy of Harmonic oscillators, degree of freedom, Stretching and Bending, Infrared Spectra of different functional groups such as OH, NH2, CO2H etc., UV-Vis Spectroscopy of organic molecules, Electronic Transitions, Beer-Lambert Law, Chromophores, principles of NMR spectroscopy, 1H and 13C-NMR, chemical shift, integration, multiplicity,

X-ray crystallography: X-ray diffraction, Bragg’s Law, Crystal systems and Bravais Lattices

  1. The Principles of Chemical Equilibrium, kinetics and intermolecular forces:
  • Heat & Work; State Functions
  • Laws of thermodynamics
  • Probability and Entropy
  • Thermodynamic and Kinetic Stability
  • Determination of rate, order and rate laws
  • Free Energy, Chemical Potential, Electronegativity
  • Phase Rule/Equilibrium
  • Activation Energy; Arrhenius equation
  • Catalysis: types; kinetics and mechanisms
  • Electrochemistry
  • Inter-molecular forces

 4. Introduction to organic chemistry, functional group and physical properties of organic compounds, substitution and elimination reaction, name reactions and stereochemistry

Texts & References:

  1. Chemical Principles - Richard E. Dickerson, Harry B. Gray, Jr. Gilbert P. Haight
  2. Valence - Charles A. Coulson [ELBS /Oxford Univ. Press]
  3. Valence Theory - J. N. Murrell, S. F. A. Kettle, J. M. Tedder [ELBS/Wiley]
  4. Physical Chemistry - P. W. Atkins [3rd Ed. ELBS]
  5. Physical Chemistry - Gilbert W. Castellan [Addison Wesley, 1983]
  6. Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach -Donald A. McQuarrie, J.D . Simon
  7. Inorganic Chemistry:  Duward Shriver and Peter Atkins.
  8. Inorganic Chemistry: Principles of Structure and Reactivity by James E. Huheey,
  9. Ellen A. Keiter and Richard L. Keiter.
  10. Inorganic Chemistry: Catherine Housecroft, Alan G. Sharpe.
  11. Atkins' Physical Chemistry, Peter W. Atkins, Julio de Paula.
  12. Strategic Applications of Named Reactions in Organic Synthesis, Author: Kurti Laszlo
  13. Classics in Stereoselective Synthesis, Author: Carreira Erick M & Kvaerno Lisbet
  14. Molecular Orbitals and Organic Chemical Reactions Student Edition, Author: Fleming Ian
  15. Logic of Chemical Synthesis, Author: Corey E. J. & Xue-Min Cheng
  16. Art of Writing Reasonable Organic Reaction Mechanisms /2nd Edn., Author: Grossman Robert B.
  17. Organic Synthesis: The Disconnection Approach/ 2nd Edn., Author: Warrer Stuart & Wyatt Paul

Other reading materials will be assigned as and when required.

Prerequisite: None.

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