CH353 - Physical Chemistry I
Spring 2015, Unique 51170
Tuesday / Thursday, 12:30 - 2 pm, WEL 1.308

Syllabus


Instructor:    Dr. Lauren Webb
                       WEL 3.212B
                       lwebb@cm.utexas.edu
                       512-471-9361

Office Hours:  Monday 3-4 pm and Thursday 2-3 pm, or by appointment

Teaching Assistants:  Jason Dugger                        Andrew Ritchie
                                    WEL 3.212C                         WEL 3.212C
                                    jdugger@utexas.edu             drew.w.ritchie@gmail.com
                                    512-471-7851                       512-471-7851

TA Office Hours: Monday, 4-5 pm (Jason)
                              Thursday, 11am - 12 pm (Andrew)
                              Both office hours are in BUR 228

Recommended Textbooks:  Physical Chemistry: A Molecular Approach
                                               Donald A. McQuarrie and John D. Simon

Webpage: Course material, including the syllabus, daily lecture summaries, homework problems and solution keys, quiz solution keys, and exam solution keys will be available on the course webpage.  We will use Canvas’s grade center to post grades.  I will periodically communicate important class announcements to you through email.  It is very important that you update your UT directory information with the email that you check most often.  I will also post these class announcements on the course webpage.

Course Objective:
This course is an introduction to chemical and statistical thermodynamics.  We will begin by studying the fundamental principles of the field with detailed development of the laws of thermodynamics and their connection to molecular properties of a chemical system.  We will then apply these concepts to explore physical and chemical equilibrium, solutions and mixtures, and reactive systems.  Near the end of the course we will briefly explore chemical kinetics. Significant questions that we will ask throughout the course include:

    * How does a thermodynamic system do work, and how can it achieve the maximum  
       amount of work possible?
    * Where will a thermodynamic system come to rest (i.e. where is equilibrium)?
    * If the resting point is not convenient or is not the desired outcome, what can we do to
       the system to change that point?
    * How fast is that resting point achieved, and how can we change this?

Throughout the course, I will encourage you to engage the ways that science in general and chemistry in particular effect your daily life.

This course carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag. Quantitative Reasoning courses are designed to equip you with skills that are necessary for understanding the types of quantitative arguments you will regularly encounter in your adult and professional life. You should therefore expect a substantial portion of your grade to come from your use of quantitative skills to analyze real-world problems.

Lectures and Attendance: I will not be taking attendance, but I will also not be posting lecture notes.  You may compare and copy lecture notes from classmates to make sure you have an accurate and complete set of notes for yourself, but I strongly discourage you from relying on others for your notes.  To supplement your own note-taking, I will post daily summaries of what I consider to be the most important points from that day’s lecture, but these will not be comprehensive. 

Quizzes: There will be six closed-book, closed-note quizzes given in class on Tuesdays.  Quiz dates are given on the schedule below.  This quiz will be given during the last 10 to 15 minutes of class and must be turned in when the class period ends at 1:45 pm.  Each quiz will be worth 50 points; your lowest quiz grade will be replaced with your cumulative Top Hat grade (explained below).  To help you prepare for these quizzes, each week I will post homework problems and the corresponding solution keys.  It is up to you to practice these problems; we will not be collecting your answers, but if you don’t do the homework you will probably find the quizzes very unpleasant.  Your textbook is another wonderful source of practice problems.

Exams: There will be four 75 min exams that will be given during the normal class time. For these exams, you may use any resource that does not have a heartbeat and cannot be connected to the internet.  Your textbook and class notes will probably be the most helpful resources for you.  Exam dates are noted on the schedule below, so plan now.  There will be no makeup exams and no dropped scores.  If you must miss an exam due to observance of religious holidays, you are required by the University to notify the instructor at least 14 days in advance.  Otherwise, you can only make up an exam by providing documented proof of a major life trauma or emergency and only after consultation with the instructor.  Semester exams will focus on material introduced since the previous exam; however, the material that we are covering this semester is inherently cumulative, so you will be expected to remember material not covered explicitly on each exam.  A 3 hr final exam will be given on 18 May 2015 at 9:00 am in a location TBA.

Top Hat:
I will periodically ask in-class questions which you may receive credit for answering correctly through Top Hat, a replacement of the traditional Clicker or iClicker device.  Top Hat questions will test your knowledge of the material, your comfort with the homework assignments, and your ability to solve problems on the fly.  You will earn 2 points for each Top Hat question correctly answered.  Your cumulative Top Hat score will replace your lowest quiz score at the end of the semester.

You must have a "smart" device to run the Top Hat software, such as a smartphone (on either iOS or Android platforms), tablet, iPod, or laptop.  You must purchase a subscription for the Top Hat software; we recommend you purchase a 5-year subscription for $38, which will cover as many courses as you wish for that period.  You will receive an email invitation to the Top Hat service.  Click on the link there to complete your registration for this course.

Update: 30 April: Since Top Hat has not worked very well this semester, please see the Announcements page to see how you may earn the points to replace your lowest quiz score.

Grades:     Quizzes:      300 pts (6 at 50 pts. each)
                   Exams:        400 pts (4 at 100 pts. each)
                   Final:          300 pts

We will use two possible grading schemes in this course, depending on the final class mean score.

     Possibility 1) IF THE FINAL CLASS MEAN SCORE REMAINS ABOVE 700:
                   Grade:  A = 850 and above
                                B = 700-849
                                C = 550-699
                                ntg < 549

    Possibility 2) IF THE FINAL CLASS MEAN SCORE DROPS BELOW 700:
                   Grades above the mean will receive A's and B's.  Grades at and below the
                   mean will receive C's, D's, and F's.

I will show grade distributions following each exam to give you an idea of your standing relative to the class mean.  This class will not use fractional grading (i.e. +/- grades). 

Students with Disabilities:
 The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY.  Any student with a documented physical or cognitive disability who requires academic accommodations should do this as soon as possible to request an official letter outlining authorized accommodations for this course.  If the accommodation involves testing, you must remind the instructor at least 5 business days before the scheduled exam.  

Honor Code:  "As a student of The University of Texas at Austin, I shall abide by the core values of the University and uphold academic integrity."  The core values of the University are Learning, Discovery, Freedom, Leadership, Individual Opportunity, and Responsibility.

Cheating will not be tolerated in this course.  Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all students, and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced.When taking quizzes and exams, you may not use any electronic material to assist you except for a calculator for completing arithmetic.  If any form of scholastic dishonesty is discovered, the student will receive a grade of 0 for that assignment and be reported immediately to Student Judicial Services in the Office of the Dean of Students, where the student will be subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course and / or dismissal from the University.   

Schedule and Assignments
Announcements
PDF of syllabus
Previous quizzes and exams
Table of thermodynamic data