67035 - Physical Chemistry

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Affordable and clean energy

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student has the ability to identify rational models for quantitative description and interpretation of the chemical phenomena using mathematical physical methods. In particular, the student possesses the skills necessary to understand the physical principles that underlie chemistry and describe the structure of matter and its transformations on the basis of fundamental concepts such as atom, electron and energy. In addition, on one hand the course focuses on phenomena and properties of industrial interest, and on the other in developing capabilities to link chemical and physical properties with fundamental principles and acquire the skills to mathematically describe the phenomena themselves. [courtesy of google translate.]

Course contents

The states of matter and properties of gases.
Termodynamics: first principle.
Termodynamics: second principle.
Chemical equilibria.
Phase equilibria for pure substances and two components mixtures.
Quantum chemistry: Wave-particle duality; Schroedinger equation; Operators and Heisenberg's uncertainty principle; Free particle and postulates; Particle in a box; Harmonic oscillator; Circular motion.
Atomic structure.
Electronic structure of molecules; Chemical bond.
Molecular vibrations.
Principles of vibrational spectroscopy.

Prerequisites: elementary functions --- powers, roots, exponential and logarithm. Solution of algebraic equations. Basic knowledge of integral and differential calculus. Complex numbers. Matrix algebra.


P.W. Atkins and J. de Paula, Chimica Fisica (sixth Italian edition), Zanichelli, 2020. [link]

Teaching methods

Lectures and classroom exercises.

Assessment methods

The examination aims at verifying the comprehension of the course subjects and to apply this knowledge to the solution of hypothetical laboratory problems and theoretical calculations.

The examination proceeds as follows:
- Written exam consisting in 4-5 numerical exercises, and in a multiple or open choice section about theoretical subjects. If the score is 18/30 or higher, it is possible to take the oral exam, or to register directly the mark of the written exam.
- the oral exam will be focused on the topics of the written exam corresponding to unsatisfactory answers, and modifies the result of the written exam of -3:+3 points.

It is possible to pass the exam also by completing two partial written exams that will take place during the teaching semester. In this case the final result is the average of the two partial tests.


Teaching tools

Blackboard and videoprojector.
The slides shown during the lectures are available to the students in electronic form.
The reference textbooks are freely available for consultation at the Library.

Students with learning or other types of disabilities are invited to contact the Servizio Studenti con Disabilità e DSA of the University of Bologna, the reference teacher of the Department, or the course teacher to establish appropriate inverventions concerning learning material and classroom adjustments. 

Office hours

See the website of Luca Muccioli