CHEM408-001                                                                    Physical Chemistry II                                                                    Spring 2018

Professor Maria C. Gelabert                                                                                      Sims 314A, x4939

MWF 11:00-12:15 (3 credit hours)                                                                                                   Office Hours: M 1-2, TW 9:30-10:30


Physical Chemistry, Ball, Cengage Learning 2015. (print or eText)


Barrante, J.R. Applied Mathematics for Physical Chemistry, 3rd ed. Waveland Press: Long Grove, 2016.

Engel, T. Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy. Pearson: New York, 2013.

Smart, L.E. and Moore, E.A. Solid State Chemistry: An Introduction, 3rd. ed. Taylor & Francis: New York, 2005.

Course Synopsis and Goals

The second semester of physical chemistry contains the major topics of quantum mechanics, bonding, and spectroscopy, with continuation of statistical thermodynamics and an introduction to solid state chemistry. We will progress from atomic to molecular structure with different qualitative models and computational chemistry, then branch into rotational, vibrational and electronic spectroscopy. The solid state section will include bonding, defects, electronic behavior, optical properties and nanoscience.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will demonstrate their mastery with the following problem solving skills:

Š         Identification of specific physical chemistry topics and applicable mathematics;

Š         Ability to use and carry mathematics forward for problem solving;

Š         Critical assimilation of simple problem solving to handle more complex tasks.


Every class period will consist of student homework questions, lecture and example problem solving.


Homework (2-3 problems) will be assigned after every lecture and keys will be made available no later than a week before the next exam. Students are encouraged to ask specific homework questions at the beginning of every class. Eight quizzes, each consisting of a single problem, will be administered at the beginning of class; the lowest two quiz grades will be dropped (if you miss any quizzes for any reason, drop up to two). Four quiz days are dedicated to student-volunteered problem sessions. Four exams will be administered along with a cumulative final exam scheduled for 8:00 am, Thursday, April 26. The highest exam score (including the final) will count an additional 15%. All quizzes and exams are closed-book and include formula sheet, fundamental constants and periodic table. Percentages and minimum letter grades are below.

Quizzes (8)          20%                               100-90     A, A–

Exams (4)            45%                               89-80       B+, B, B–

Final Exam          20%                               79-70       C+, C, C–

Highest Exam     15%                               69-60       D+, D, D–

                                                                     ≤59          F

Attendance, Make-up policy and Syllabus changes

No make-up exams will be administered. Early exams will be considered for university-sanctioned absences. For unanticipated absences accompanied by appropriate documentation, I will consider dropping 1 exam score. Regular attendance is expected and crucial for satisfactory performance in this course. Any syllabus changes will be to the lecture schedule only, and communicated on Blackboard via a modified lecture schedule/homework file.


Students with Disabilities/Need of Accommodations for Access

Winthrop University is committed to providing access to education.  If you have a condition which may adversely impact your ability to access academics and/or campus life, and you require specific accommodations to complete this course, contact the Office of Accessibility (OA) at 803-323-3290, or, Please inform me as early as possible, once you have your official notice of accommodations from the Office of Accessibility.

Student Conduct Code

As noted in the Student Conduct Code: “Responsibility for good conduct rests with students as adult individuals.” The student Academic Misconduct Policy is outlined in the Student Conduct Code in the online Student Handbook: Further, academic integrity is one of the tenets of the Winthrop University Dedication for Excellence.


Lecture Schedule

(most lectures to 12:00, *starred dates to 12:15)

Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Thermodynamics – Particle in a Box, Harmonic Oscillator, Rigid Rotor, Hydrogen, Helium

1/8 M


Classical physics, atomic structure, photoelectric effect

1/10 W

9.6-7, 9.10

Photoelectric effect, particle-wave duality, deBroglie equation

1/12 F


Quantum theory, Bohr model, operators, wave functions

1/17 W


Uncertainty principle, Schrödinger equation, probability, normalization, expectation value, procedures for finding wave functions

*1/19 F


Quiz 1; Particle in a box

1/22 M


Tunneling, 3D particle in a box, degeneracy

1/24 W

18.7-18.8, 17.6, 11.1-11.4

Partition functions, translational partition function, harmonic oscillator

*1/26 F


Quiz 2 and Problem Session 1

1/29 M

11.4, 18.4

Harmonic oscillator, vibrational partition function

1/31 W


Reduced mass, 2D rigid rotors, angular momentum operator

2/2 F


EXAM I (Content through 1/26)

2/5 M


3D rigid rotor

2/7 W

18.5-6, 11.11

Rotational partition functions, hydrogen atom wavefunctions

2/9 F


Stern-Gerlach experiment, spin, helium atom, spin orbitals, Pauli principle

2/12 M


Slater determinants, Aufbau principle

Bonding – Qualitative Models, Approximations, Computational Chemistry

2/14 W


Perturbation theory, variational principle

2/16 F


Linear variation theory, Born-Oppenheimer, LCAO-MO theory

*2/19 M

12.12-12.13, 15.5-6

Quiz 3;  Molecular orbital theory, Hückel approximation, p systems

2/21 W


Computational chemistry

2/23 F


EXAM II (Content through 2/16)

2/26 M


Molecular symmetry – operators and point groups

2/28 W


Character tables, group theory, small molecule bonding

*3/2 F


Quiz 4 and Problem Session 2

Spectroscopy and Statistical Thermodynamics – Vibrational, Rotational, Electronic

3/5 M


Transition moment, selection rules, pure rotational spectroscopy, Morse

3/7 W


Rovibrational spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy

*3/9 F


Quiz 5; Symmetry and vibrational/Raman spectroscopy

3/19 M

18.3, 15.1-15.4

Electronic partition functions, atomic spectroscopy, term symbols

3/21 W


Selection rules, diatomic molecular spectroscopy, absorption/emission

3/23 F


EXAM III (Content through 3/9)

3/26 M


Absorption/emission, Einstein coefficients

3/28 W


Line broadening, fluorescence/phosphorescence, stimulated emission, lasers

*3/30 F


Quiz 6 and Problem Session 3

4/2 M


Lattices, symmetry, space groups, reciprocal space, Bragg equation

4/4 W

21.9, Smart

Bragg equation, X-ray diffraction, close-packed structures

*4/6 F

21.9, Smart

Quiz 7; Crystal structure, structure factors

Materials and Solid State Chemistry

4/9 M

21.9, Smart

Band theory, conduction, doping, p-n junction, extrinsic defects

4/11 W


Nonstoichiometry, superconductivity

4/13 F


EXAM IV (Content through 4/6)

4/16 M


Ionic conductivity, solid electrolytes

4/18 W


Solid electrolytes, batteries, fuel cells

*4/20 F


Quiz 8 and Problem Session 4

4/23 M



8:00 4/26 R



Hehre, W. Computational Chemistry, in Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy; Engel. T.; Pearson: New York, 2013; pp 339-394.

Smart, L.E. and Moore, E.A. Solid State Chemistry: An Introduction, 3rd. ed.; Taylor & Francis: New York, 2005; pp 155-242, 293-312, 355-376. (chapters 4,5,8,11)