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CHEM6004 - Fundamental Physical Chemistry

Title:Fundamental Physical Chemistry
Long Title:Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry
Module Code:CHEM6004
Credits: 5
NFQ Level:Fundamental
Field of Study: Chemistry
Valid From: Semester 1 - 2012/13 ( September 2012 )
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Coordinator: Donagh OMahony
Module Description: This module introduces students of physical sciences to the concepts of thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acid-base behaviour, and electrochemistry.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
LO1 Define various fundamental laws of physical chemistry.
LO2 Perform basic calculations regarding heat changes, reaction rates, and equilibrium states.
LO3 Describe the operating principles of simple electrochemical cells.
LO4 Employ a range of instrumental and non-instrumental laboratory techniques for the measurement of physical parameters.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is strongly recommended before enrolment in this module. You may enrol in this module if you have not acquired the recommended learning but you will have considerable difficulty in passing (i.e. achieving the learning outcomes of) the module. While the prior learning is expressed as named CIT module(s) it also allows for learning (in another module or modules) which is equivalent to the learning specified in the named module(s).
No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module. You may not earn additional credit for the same learning and therefore you may not enrol in this module if you have successfully completed any modules in the incompatible list.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed. You may not enrol on this module if you have not acquired the learning specified in this section.

No requirements listed
No Co Requisites listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Energy functions. First law of thermodynamics. Heats of chemical reactions and physical processes. Energy measurement and calorimetry. Numerical calculations.
Factors affecting reaction rates. Rate laws, order of reactions, determination of rate constants. Collision theory. Activation energy, catalysis.
Chemical Equilibria
Dynamic equilibrium. Equilibrium laws for gaseous and liquid systems. Factors affecting equilibrium, Le Chatelier’s principle. Equibrium calculations.
Ionic Equilibria
Electolytes. Solubility product, common ion effect. Acid/base therories, pH scale , buffer solutions, Henderson-Hasselbach equation. pH calculations for aqueous solutions.
Conduction. Oxidation – reduction. Electrochemical cells. Faraday’s laws and electrolysis. Potential, batteries and fuel cells.
Practical Programme
Introductory experiments in thermochemistry, kinetics, equilibrium, instrumental analysis
Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work50.00%
End of Module Formal Examination50.00%
Course Work
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Short Answer Questions Theory assessment 1,2 20.0 Week 7
Practical/Skills Evaluation Performance of practicals and submission of written reports with relevant calculations 2,4 30.0 Every Week
End of Module Formal Examination
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam End-of-Semester Final Examination 1,2,3,4 50.0 End-of-Semester
Reassessment Requirement
Repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.

The institute reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Workload Description Hours Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecture Theory 3.0 Every Week 3.00
Lab One 3-hr practical lab. session each week over an 8-week period 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Independent & Directed Learning (Non-contact) Personal study 2.0 Every Week 2.00
Total Hours 7.00
Total Weekly Learner Workload 7.00
Total Weekly Contact Hours 5.00
This module has no Part Time workload.

Module Resources

Recommended Book Resources
  • Brown, LeMay, Bursten, Murphy, Woodward 2009, Chemistry, 11th Ed., Prentice Hall Harlow [ISBN: 0136006175]
  • John E. McMurry, Robert C. Fay 2008, Chemistry, 5th Ed., Prentice Hall Upper Saddle River, NJ [ISBN: 0131993232]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Ralph H. Petrucci, F. Geoffrey Herring, Jeffry D. Madura, Carey Bissonnette, 2011, General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications with MasteringChemistry, 10th Ed., Prentice Hall [ISBN: 0136121497]
This module does not have any article/paper resources
This module does not have any other resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CR_SOMNI_8 Physical Sciences (Common Entry) 2 Group Elective 2
CR_SOMNI_7 Physical Sciences (Common Entry) 2 Group Elective 2

Cork Institute of Technology
Rossa Avenue, Bishopstown, Cork

Tel: 021-4326100     Fax: 021-4545343
Email: help@cit.edu.ie