29225 - Basics of Chemistry T

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2017/2018

Learning outcomes

This course provides students with an appreciation and understanding of the fundamental background and concepts of Chemistry in quantitative terms. The following areas are covered: structure of matter, chemical bond (ionic, covalent and metallic), reactions and stoichiometry, properties and structure of gas, liquid and solids; acid-base and oxidation-reduction chemistry; chemical energetic, chemical equilibria,  kinetics (rate of reactions)

Course contents

Atomic structure, atoms and molecules. Mole and Avogadro's number. The nuclear atom, isotopes. Stable nuclides and radionuclides. Radioactivity.

Electronic structure of atoms, wavefunctions quantum numbers and atomic orbitals. Electronic configuration of elements in their ground state. Periodic system and periodic properties.

Chemical bond, ionic bond and lattice energy. Born-Haber cycles. The properties of ionic solids. Covalent bond:introduction to Valence Bond theory and molecular orbital theory (LCAO-MO). Sigma and pi-bonds. Polarised bonds. Molecular geometry, hybrid orbitals. Polar and non-polar molecules. Weak bonds: hydrogen bond, Van der Waals interactions.

Gas: state equation for perfect gas model; real gas: Van der Waals equation. Liquids: physical properties, saturated vapor pressure, surface tension. Amorphous and crystalline solids: introduction to Bravais lattices.

Chemical reactions, stoichiometry. Balance of reactions without/with electron transfer. Yield of a reaction.

Chemical nomenclature and the principal class of inorganic compounds.

Solutions and expression of concentration.

Thermochemistry and thermodynamics: work, heat, the first principle. Internal energy and enthalpy. Specific heat and molar heat. Standard enthalpy change of reaction (formation, combustion). Hess' law with practical applications. The second principle: entropy and disorder. Entropy and entalpy relationship: Gibbs energy.  Conditions for spontaneous chemical reactions.

Chemical equilibrium,  the equilibrium constant K Effect of pressure and temperature changes on chemical equilibrium. Le Chatelier principle. Ionic equilibrium in aqueous solution, the pH scale. Acids and bases (Arrhenius and Bronsted-Lowry). Acid-base reactions.

Chemical kinetics, rate of a reaction and its expression. Partial and overall reaction orders. Rate constant. Arrhenius' equation, theory of molecular collisions, the activated complex and the activation energy. Homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis.


Peter Atkins and Loretta Jones. Chemical Principles: The Quest for Insight. 5th ed. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2010.

Martin Silberberg. Chemistry: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change6th ed. McGraw Hill, 2012

(a previous edition of any of these books is still a good textbook)

Teaching methods

The course is organised into frontal lectures followed by exercise sessions to practice with the concepts and theories learned during the lectures.

Assessment methods

Grading policy: two written tests, mid-term and at the end of the course will be combined with oral discussion on the topics covered during the course

Teaching tools

The course is organised into frontal lectures followed by exercise sessions to practice with the concepts and theories learned during the lectures.

A website containing all the  teaching aids can be found at: http://campus.unibo.it/

Office hours

See the website of Maurizio Fiorini