Syllabus as webpage

General Chemistry I, NSC158                                                                         Fall 2012

 

Instructor       Todd Smith, Sci. 110

Location          Science 117A

Days/Time    MWF 9:30-10:20

 

Text                    Principles of general chemistry, 2e, by M. Silberberg

 

Course description

               Chemistry has a rich history, including ancient theories on the nature of matter and recipes for converting lead into gold. Modern research and applications are equally exciting, and include topics such as creating more efficient solar collectors and the reactions of natural and human-made chemicals in the environment. We will explore these topics as we learn about atomic structure and the periodic table, reaction stoichiometry, chemical bonds, molecular structure, and other concepts central to modern chemistry. Many of these topics are related to current health and environmental issues. For example, discussions of pH and reduction-oxidation reactions include research on the natural chemistry of surface waters and the effects of acid rain on aquatic organisms.

 

Course goals

This course will help students:

  • Understand that the study of chemistry allows us to predict the physical and chemical properties of atoms & molecules
  • Demonstrate the connection between the properties of atoms and the macroscopic world we experience in our daily lives
  • Illustrate that science is a process
  • Hone their problem-solving skills and increase their facility with analytical software

 

Grading policy

               I expect students to attend all lectures and to complete all reading assignments. There will be two 1-hour exams during class (100 pts each), weekly homework assignments, a research paper (100 pts), and a final exam (100 pts).   The grade received in the course will be the ratio of points earned over points possible: 90% & above = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D. Diligent and conscientious participation in class and on assignments will boost borderline grades to the higher grade.

If extenuating circumstances will prevent you from taking an exam notify me as soon as possible so that we can make alternative arrangements for administering the exam.

 

Paper assignment – due Monday, 11/19/12

               The topic for your paper is exogenesis:  the idea that organic material necessary for the formation of life on earth came from ‘exogenous’ sources – that is, someplace other than earth. What kinds of molecules have been found in meteorites on earth? How is this information used to support the concept of exogenesis?

You must take a clear position on this idea in your paper and defend that position based on your review of recent literature on the topic:  either you support this possibility of exogenesis, or you reject this notion. In your paper you must cite at least two secondary sources (i.e., textbooks) from the Rice Aron Library, and at least two articles from peer-reviewed scientific journals that you used to develop your argument for or against the concept of exogenesis.

               The citation format you should use is that of the Council of Science Editors, as described at: http://library.osu.edu/help/research-strategies/cite-references/cse/ .

 

 

               Assignment                                                                due dates

  • Topic, research questions & 3 sources                              9/21, in class
  • Paper outline or concept map, with argument                  10/10, in class
  • Final paper                                                                        11/19, in class

 

Co-requisite

               General Chemistry I Laboratory, NSC444

 

 Course schedule – an approximate guide to the semester

Week of

 

Week

Topic

Chapter

8/27

0

Intro class;

Central themes in chemistry;

science is a process

1

9/3

1

The components of matter; mass laws & Dalton’s atomic theory

1 & 2

 

 

Stoichiometry & mole-to-mass conversions

3

9/10

2

An introduction to chemical reactions

4

 

 

Wednesday - Getting ready to write: librarians are analytical

 

9/17

3

Discovering the gas laws;

Paper topic, research questions & 3 sources due Friday 9/21

5

9/24

4

Kinetic molecular theory (KMT)

5

10/1

5

Exam 1 – Monday 10/1

Thermochemistry  & the nature of heat

6

10/8

6

Calorimetry;

Discuss research papers on Wednesday;

Paper outlines & arguments due Wednesday

6

10/15

7

Hendricks Days – no classes Mon & Tues

 

 

 

Catch-up / Structure of the atom

7

10/22

8

Structure of the atom, continued

7

10/29

9

Electron configurations – building-up atoms

8

11/5

10

Models of chemical bonding

9

11/12

11

Exam 2 – Monday 11/12

The shapes of molecules

10

11/19

12

Research papers due Monday, 11/19

10

 

 

Thanksgiving break - no class on Friday

 

11/26

13

Two theories of covalent bonding

11

12/3

14

Covalent bonding, continued

11

12/6 & 7

Th, Fr

Reading Day

 

12/8,10,11

S, M, T

Final exams

 

 

Last modified: Monday, August 27, 2012, 9:49 PM