90105 M-F 10:00-11:30AM

Physical Chemistry I
Dr. Vanden Bout
Summer 2009

Instructor: David A. Vanden Bout
Office: WEL 3.151
Office Hours: MW 11:30-12:30/font>

TA: Katie Clark
Office Hours: TTh 11:30-12:30 cubuicle A
katieannclark at

Textbook: Physical Chemistry 8th Edition, Peter Atikins

Topics to be Covered:
Week1 Chapter 1-2
Week 2 Chpater 2-3
Week 3 Chapter 4,5
Week 4 Chapter 6
Week 5 Chapter 7

WEB PAGE:      (case sensitive!)

Course Material

CH 353 is a first-semester course in physical chemistry that covers the basics of thermodynamics. The course will mainly cover ideal systems in an effort to clearly describe the concepts. While some aspects of non-ideality will be discussed, they are presented to give exposure to these ideas rather than a comprehensive understanding. The course will progress in three major stages. The first portion will cover the fundamentals of thermodynamics and the concepts and applications of conservation of energy (the first law) and energy in chemical reactions. The second portion will deal with entropy and free energy. The last section will deal with solutions and physical and chemical equilibria. In the text, this will cover everything through the first seven chapters.


Homework problems will be posted on the webpage on Monday. A key will be posted on Wednesday before the quiz. Homework will not count for your grade. However, not doing the homework is a sure fire method for bombing the quizzes.


There will be five one-hour quizzes. The quizzes will be given during the normal class time. The quizzes will be on Fridays every week (except the first week we won't have one). The last one will be on Thursday. The dates are set. Plan accordingly. The quizzes will not be comprehensive in the sense that they will not ask question that only cover material from earlier parts of the course. They will however expect you to remember this material. Everything builds upon previous material.

Final Exam

There will be no final


The basis for the grades will be the quizzes. Your lowest quiz score will be dropped. If you miss an exam because you are sick. That will be the one you drop. If you choose to not take an exam and then end up getting sick for one exam, then you are stuck with a zero. If you are sick for two exams you should think about dropping the class as missing that much material is a five week class too much.

The grade assignments will be based roughly on the class median. Above the median will be A's and B's. Below C's, D's, and F's. The majority will be B's and C's. If you do the work, you should get a B or C. If you work hard and excel you can get an A. If you try your best not to do any work you will be able to get a D or F. (This generally involves some combination of the following: not doing homework, never asking for help, getting scores below a 100/200 on quizzes). The quizzes comprise all of your grade. If you bomb the quizzes will not do well. If you ever get a score below a 100/200 on an quiz you should come and see me so we can figure out where things can improve. Please note, this is not a competition against each other. In the past this has meant a roughly 15 point scale (>85 A, >70 B, >55 C).

Student's With Disabilities

Please notify me of any modification/adaptation you may require to accommodate a disability-related need. You will be requested to provide documentation to the Dean of Students' Office, in order that the most appropriate accommodations can be determined. Specialized services are available on campus through Services for Students with Disabilities.

Religious Days

Religious holy days sometimes conflict with class and examination schedules. It is the policy of The University of Texas at Austin that the student must notify each instructor at least fourteen days prior to the classes scheduled on dates he or she will be absent to observe a religious holy day. For religious holidays that fall within the first two weeks of the semester, the notice should be given on the first day of the semester. The student may not be penalized for these excused absences but the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to complete satisfactorily the missed assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the excused absence.


If you get caught cheating in any way whatsoever you will have to discuss the situation with me. I will arive at a pentaly and deem if the problem warrants a formal report. If you deny the allegation, I will proceed by filing a formal report to the Judicial Services in the Dean of Students Office as is policy. The final penalty would be decided by Judicial Services after a hearing on the matter. For more information read the General Information Catalog about scholastic dishonesty (i.e. cheating). If found "guilty" the University can go so far as to bar you from enrollment for life. Take home lesson, don't cheat.