96236 - General Inorganic Chemistry

Course Unit Page


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

Good health and well-being Quality education

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The scope of the course is to provide a fundamental knowledge of chemistry, allowing the student to understand and take up the following specialised topics in chemistry. In particular, the student will be able to critically analyse the following topics: the composition of matter; the relationships between the macroscopic properties of matter and its atomic and molecular composition; the reactivity of substances.

Course contents

Introduction (1 hour): Lectures organization and exams. Introduction to the topics discussed during the course. Presentation of the subject of Chemistry, its tools and its goals.

Structure and proprerties of the atom (7 hours): The properties of matter. Physical and chemical changes. Elements, compounds and mixtures. Dalton’s atomic theory. Atoms and molecules. Electric nature of matter: electrons, protons and neutrons. Atomic number, mass number. Isotopes. Ions. Kinetic and potential energy in the atom. Electromagnetic radiation and spectra. Wave-particle dualism: photoelectric effect and Plank-Einstein equation. Corpuscular and undulatory nature of matter: electron interference and De Broglie equation. Emission and absorption spectra of hydrogen and energy quantization. Bohr model of the hydrogen atom. Emission and absorption spectra of polyelectronic atoms. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. Probabilistic theory of the atom and Schroedinger's equation. Quantum numbers and atomic orbitals. Wave function. Hydrogenidal atoms and orbital energy as a function of the main quantum number. Polyelectronic atoms: screen effect and energy of the orbitals as a function of the secondary quantum number. Energy dependence of atomic orbitals as a function of the quantum number. Electronic configurations and organization of the periodic table of elements. Periodic properties of elements: atomic radius, ionization energy and electronic affinity. Metals and not metals.

The chemical bond and the aggregation states of matter (12 hours): The chemical bond: energy in the diatomic system. Valence bond theory. Sigma and Pi bonds. Hybridization of atomic orbitals. Bonding and non-bonding electrons. Repulsion of electronic pairs and molecular geometry. Lewis formalism for the prediction of molecular structures. Electronegativity. Moment of electric dipole. Molecular geometry and VSEPR model. Formal charges and oxidation number. Resonance forms. Resolution of exercises on Lewis formulas. Molecular orbital theory. Paramagnetism and diamagnetism. HOMO, LUMO. Schemes of molecular orbitals of homo- and hetero-nuclear molecules. Polar covalent bond and molecular orbitals. Ionic bond. Theory of rigid spheres and packing. Atomic radius and ionic ray. Madelung constant. Properties of ionic solids. Intermolecular forces. Polarizability. Hydrogen bonds. Molecular kinetic theory of ideal gases. Equation of state of ideal gases. State transitions. State diagrams. Vapor pressure. Surface tension. Capillarity. Viscosity.

Chemical transformations (8 hours): Stoichiometry. Concept of chemical equation. Mass relationships in chemical reactions. The relative atomic mass. Percent composition of a compound. The mole and the molar mass. Limiting reagent. Yield of a reaction. Resolution of exercises and numerical problems on stoichiometry. Chemical reactions and equilibria. Thermodynamics. Work and heat. Internal energy and enthalpy. Gibbs free energy and spontaneity of a reaction. Reaction quotient. Equilibrium constant. Gas-phase equilibria. Kp and Kc. Le Chatelier's principle. Resolution of exercises and numerical problems.

Chemical kinetics (2.5 hours): Reaction rate. Kinetic law. Reaction order. Rate constant. Reaction mechanism. Collision theory. Activation energy. Arrhenius equation. Multistage reactions. Catalysis. Integration of the kinetic rate laws of order zero, one and two. Resolution of exercises and numerical problems.

Chemical equlibria in aqueous solution (15 hours): Solutions and dispersions. Electrolyte concept. Unit of concentration. Colligative properties of solutions. Osmosis. Solubility of gases in water. Equilibria in aqueous solution. Self-ionization of water. pH. Acids and bases according to Arrhenius, Brønsted-Lowry and Lewis. Aqueous solutions of acids and bases. Dissolution of weak acids and bases. Strength of acids and bases. Acid-base reactions. Buffer solutions. Effect of dilution. Acid-base titrations. Acid-base colorimetric indicators. Heterogeneous equilibria and solubility. Solubility product. Effect of the ion in common. Selective precipitation of metal ions. Resolution of exercises and numerical problems.

Electrochemistry (6.5 hours): Electrochemical reactions. Electromotive force. Reduction potentials. Nernst's equation. Galvanic cella. Standard electrodes. Spontaneity of a redox reaction. Resolution of exercises and numerical problems. Balancing redox reactions.


Bertini, Luchinat, Mani "CHIMICA" Casa Editrice CEA

Bertini, Luchinat, Mani, Ravera "Stechiometria" Casa Editrice CEA

Teaching methods

The lectures will involve the use of presentations through a beamer driven by a PC. Multimedial material will be presented, such as slides, movies, animations and three-dimensional visualization of atoms, molecules and materials. Problem solving sessions will be carried out in order for the student to gain acquaintance with the numeric treatment of chemical problems.

Assessment methods

The assessment of learning takes place through a final exam, which verifies the acquisition of knowledge and skills expected through the performance of a written test lasting 2 hours without the help of notes or books, followed by an colloquium.

The written test consists of 10-16 multiple choice questions (1 point each) and 4-6 problems (the score of each problem depends on its difficulty and that give partial points for partial answers). To be eligible to take the colloquium it is not necessary to obtain a minimum score of 18 points in the written test, but it is strongly recommended. The final grade is calculated as the arithmetic average of the written test and the colloquium.

Teaching tools

The multimedial material utilized during the lectures will be made available for download from the teacher's web site.

Students are asked to report any needs to the teacher via private mail. This will allow the teacher to evaluate which teaching support tools are most adequate to make the course accessible to all students.

Office hours

See the website of Francesco Musiani