Spring 2021

Foundations of Thermodynamics and Kinetics

Listed in: Chemistry, as CHEM-165


Helen O Leung (Section 01)
Mark D. Marshall (Section 01)
Kenneth S. Rotondi (Section 01)


The concepts of thermodynamic equilibrium and kinetic reactivity will be studied. The course seeks to understand the dynamics of chemical reactions. Specifically, we will be exploring the issues that control whether a specific reaction can occur (i.e., if it is even possible) and how fast a feasible reaction will occur. Closely connected to the first concern is the position of chemical equilibrium, which defines the direction in which a reaction will proceed and the extent to which it will occur. In spite of its universality in describing systems at equilibrium and whether interconversions are possible, thermodynamics makes no statement about the rate at which equilibrium is approached. We will use the language of thermodynamics to investigate chemical kinetics, the study of factors that determine reactions rates. This course is designed to utilize the background of those students with strong preparation in science and mathematics and to provide both breadth in subject matter and depth in coverage. Each laboratory section is limited to 24 students; sufficient sections will be added to meet total enrollment. Four class hours and three hours of laboratory work per week.

In Spring 2021, it is our hope that the CHEM 165 lectures will be offered in-person with all meetings also accessible to students who participate in the class through remote learning.  If this proves impossible or impractical, then the lectures will be presented online only.  Discussion sections will be presented in person for those on campus with one or more sections offered online for those participating through remote learning.  It is likely that laboratory sections will be offered entirely online.  Office hours will be offered both in person and online.

Requisite: CHEM 155, or consent of instructor; MATH 111, or placement by the Mathematics department into MATH 121 or higher.

Spring semester. Professors Leung and Marshall.


Lab Science Course


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2021, Spring 2022