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CHEM1903 - Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes for this unit are described below. These outcomes are built from the learning activities in lectures, tutorials, laboratory and independent study. Important attributes are:
  • the ability to apply scientific knowledge and critical thinking to identify, define and analyse problem and create solutions: you will be expected to demonstrate these outcomes on problems drawn from the material presented in the course and to novel situations.
  • the ability to evaluate your own performance and development and to recognize gaps in your knowledge: keep a portfolio of your progress using the 'self assessment tool'
The ways in which these outcomes are assessed are described in detail in the unit outline. When reading this, you should note that the laboratory course is self-contained: material from the lab course is assessed in the lab course and is not re-assessed in the tutorial quizzes or examination.
  • Generic Attributes
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  apply scientific knowledge and critical thinking to identify, define and analyse problems, create solutions, evaluate opinions, innovate and improve current practices
    •  gather, evaluate and deploy information relevant to a scientific problem
    •  disseminate new knowledge and engage in debate about scientific issues
    •  recognize the rapid and sometimes major changes in scientific knowledge and technology, and to value the importance of continual growth in knowledge and skills
    •  use a range of computer software packages in the process of gathering, processing and disseminating scientific knowledge
    •  make value judgements about the reliability and relevance of information in a scientific context
    •  evaluate your own performance and development, to recognize gaps in knowledge and acquire new knowledge independently
    •  set achievable and realistic goals and monitor and evaluate progress towards these goals
    •  appreciate sustainability and the impact of science within the broader economic, environmental and socio-cultural context
    •  present and interpret data or other scientific information using graphs, tables, figures and symbols
    •  work independently and as part of a team and to take individual responsibility with a group for developing and achieving goals
    •  actively seek, identify and create effective contacts with others in a professional and social context, and maintain those contacts for mutual benefit
    •  recognize the importance of safety and risk management and compliance with safety procedures
    •  manipulative equations and measurements with due regard for significant figures and unit conventions
  • Laboratory Skills
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  perform careful and safe experiments
    •  accurately report scientific observations
    •  work as a professional scientist with due regard for personal safety and for the safety of those around you
    •  interpret observations in terms of chemical models with appropriate use of chemical equations and calculations
    •  perform calculations containing concentrations, moles and masses
    •  choose and use appropriate glassware for a given task
    •  choose and use balances accurately and appropriately
    •  present and interpret data or other scientific information using graphs, tables, figures and symbols
    •  work as a member of a team and to take individual responsibility within a group for developing and achieving group goals
    •  actively seek, identify and create effective contacts with others in a professional and social context, and maintain those contacts for mutual benefit
  • Nuclear and Radiation Chemistry
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  recognise nuclear reactions, including the major spontaneous decay mechanisms
    •  calculate the average atomic mass from isotope information
    •  balance nuclear reactions
    •  determine decay mechanisms of nuclides
    •  describe factors involved in nuclear stability
    •  describe the features of fission reactions and their control
    •  recognise stable and unstable nuclides
    •  predict the decay mechanism for an unstable isotope
    •  calculate the activity or half-life of an unstable nuclide from appropriate data.
    •  calculate the age of a sample using the carbon-14 method and know the underlying assumptions and appropriate timescale for its application
    •  explain the main factors that contributes to effective radiation dose, including penetrating power, activity, energy
    •  explain the main mechanism of biological damage by ionizing radiation
    •  explain the use of radioactive isotopes in medical imaging, and distinguish the information obtained from X-rays
    •  explain how isotope generators produce such as 99mTc for medical imaging, and give some examples of its use
    •  explain PET, the generation of radioisotopes by a cyclotron, and know the kinds of isotopes produced
  • The Periodic Table and Periodic Trends
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  give examples of periodic trends and chemical properties used to construct the Periodic Table.
    •  assign atoms to appropriate groups in the Periodic Table on the basis of their properties
    •  explain the historic significance of key events in the development of modern atomic structure theory, such as nuclear charge, atomic mass and the discovery of the neutron
    •  define ionization energy and atomic radius and know their trends in the Periodic Table.
  • Wave Theory of Electrons and Atomic Energy Levels
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  name the key experimental observations that led to the development of quantum mechanics
    •  convert between velocity, kinetic energy or momentum and wavelength of a free electron (or other particle of known mass)
    •  identify the components of the wave equation
    •  convert between the wavelength, frequency and energy of light
    •  calculate the allowed energy of a hydrogen-like atom of atomic number Z and quantum number n, and the wavelength of a transition between energy levels.
    •  appreciate how the wave nature of an electron leads to discrete energy levels
  • Shape of Atomic Orbitals and Quantum Numbers
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  identify the key features of waves in 1-3 dimensions - displacement, amplitude, nodes
    •  explain the meaning of the orbital quantum numbers, n, l, m, and the designation of orbitals such as 1s, 3d, 4p, 4f..
    •  recognize the representations of waves as cross-sectional graphs, contour plots and lobes
    •  recognise the shapes of atomic orbitals in these representations
    •  understand how the wavefunction relates to electron charge density
    •  explain why the spatial extent of the electron increases with energy
  • Filling Energy Levels in Atoms Larger than Hydrogen
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  draw out the electron configuration for atoms in the s-and p-blocks of the Periodic Table, including unpaired electrons
    •  explain why the orbitals with the same principal quantum number but different angular momentum quantum numbers have different energies in multi-electron atoms
    •  explain periodic trends in atomic radii and ionization energies in terms of quantum theory
    •  define electron affinity and explain some features of its periodic trends in terms of electronic configurations derived from quantum theory.
  • Atomic Electronic Spectroscopy
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  explain the difference between core and valence electrons
    •  distinguish between absorbance and emission spectra
    •  explain how atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) works
    •  convert experimental data between transmission, absorbance, and concentration if given appropriate information
    •  calculate the minimum wavelength of Bremsstrahlung radiation
    •  explain how the elements in stars and other celestial objects can be identified and their abundances measured from visible and X-ray spectrometry
  • Material Properties (Polymers, Liquid Crystals, Metals, Ceramics)
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  explain complementary colours
    •  explain the origins of discrete and continuous spectra
    •  relate wavelength of a photon to energy difference
    •  define conductivity, paramagnetism and diamagnetism
    •  recognise conductors and insulators by their conductivity
    •  define an allotrope
    •  define UV-A -B, and -C radiation.
  • Bonding in H2 - MO theory
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  explain the reason for bond formation being due to energy lowering of delocalised electrons in molecular orbitals
    •  describe a molecular orbital
    •  recognise sigma bonding, sigma* antibonding and non-bonding orbitals
    •  assign the (ground) electron configuration of a diatomic molecule.
    •  define HOMO and LUMO, and homonuclear and heteronuclear diatomic molecules
  • Bonding in O2, N2, C2H2 and C2H4
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  distinguish between various types of bonding, anti-bonding and non-bonding orbitals
    •  distinguish between polar and apolar bonds in diatomic molecules and relate it to electron attraction of a nucleus
    •  draw out ground state electronic configurations for molecules and molecular ions given their allowed energy levels
    •  calculate bond order from molecular electronic configurations
    •  relate Electronic Absorbance Spectra to electronic structure
  • Band Theory - MO in Solids
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  explain how band structure in insulators, semiconductors and metals arise from delocalised orbitals
    •  describe the characteristics of natural and doped semiconductors, including band-gap energy
    •  explain how semiconductors are used in solar energy collection and conversion
    •  describe chemical vapour deposition, and how it can be used to build up layers of different composition.
  • Polar Bonds
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  represent a dipole in a bond, and use electronegativity to identify the positive and negative ends
    •  describe and explain the periodic trends in electronegativity
  • Ionic Bonding
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  explain the origin of ionic bonding as a limiting case of MO theory
    •  explain why ionic interactions lead to crystals rather than small molecules
    •  define the Madelung constant, and explain its relevance to the stability of an ionic crystal
    •  explain how ionic radii influence crystal structure, and why they differ from atomic radii
  • Lewis Structures
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  draw out plausible Lewis structures for simple polyatomic molecules
    •  assign bond orders based on sharing of electron pairs and resonance structures
    •  identify carbon-carbon single, double and triple bonds, as well as aldehyde, alcohol and nitrile functional groups and their bonding
  • VSEPR
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  assign molecular shapes based on Lewis structures
    •  recognise four functional groups: aldehyde, alcohol, ketone and nitrile
    •  reconise three kinds of carbon-carbon bonds and know their names (alkane, alkene, alkyne) and shapes.
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  • Liquid Crystals
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  describe lyotropic, nematic and smectic A & C thermotropic liquid crystals
    •  describe cubic, hexagonal and lamellar lyotropic liquid crystals
    •  relate intermolecular forces to boiling points and surface tension
  • Gas Laws
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  use the ideal gas law to relate the number of moles, pressure, volume and temperature of a gas
    •  relate gas density and molar mass
    •  convert between the common units of pressure (atm, Pa and mmHg)
    •  use the appropriate value of the gas constant, R
  • The Greenhouse Effect
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  summarise the evidence for global warming and the greenhouse effect
    •  calculate the temperature of a black body emitter from its wavelength maximum or from an energy balance and suitable data
    •  Identify the infrared wavelength range
    •  convert between units of wavelength, wavenumber, frequency and energy
    •  describe how infrared energy is absorbed by exciting vibrational modes, and the selection rule for an infrared absorbance
  • 1st Law of Thermodynamics
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  define the types of thermodynamic system
    •  recognise electrical, PV, surface, and elastic (spring) work
    •  express and explain the First Law of Thermodynamics, and use it to carry out energy balances
    •  define heat capacity and manipulate First Law heat capacity expressions
    •  define the terms exothermic and endothermic
    •  explain how a calorimeter and a chemical thermostat work
  • Enthalpy
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  define enthalpy, and distinguish between CP and CV
    •  recognise and define the enthalpies of solution, formation, atomization, vapourization, condensation, fusion, sublimation and combustion
    •  use Hess’s Law to calculate the enthalpy of an unknown reaction from appropriate data, including standard enthalpies of formation, or estimate it from bond enthalpies
    •  define heat engine, thermodynaic cycle, and the efficiency of a heat engine
    •  recognise the difference between petrol and diesel engine cycles
    •  recognise and distinguish common fuel types, and discuss their advantages and disadvantages in different situations.
  • 2nd Law of Thermodynamics
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  write down the Second Law of Thermodynamics
    •  define entropy, spontaneous processes and equilibrium
    •  use standard entropies to calculate ΔS for a reaction at standard conditions, and with standard enthalpies of formation, predict whether a reaction will be spontaneous under those conditions
  • Oxidation Numbers
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  work out the oxidation number for an element in a compound
  • Nitrogen Chemistry and Compounds
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  write down an example compound for all the oxidation states of nitrogen, including hydrides, halides, oxyacids and oxides
    •  give several examples of nitrogen-containing explosives and explain how they function
    •  give a molecular interpretation/rationalization for the exothermicity of combustion reactions leading to CO2, H2O and N2
    •  distinguish between (explosive) decomposition and combustion reactions
    •  list the oxides and oxyacids of nitrogen and calculate the oxidation number of nitrogen
       
    •  distinguish primary and secondary pollutants
    •  write down the key reactions for the nitrogen atmospheric cycle, and use them to explain the generation of secondary pollutants nitrogen dioxide and ozone
    •  describe the mechanism of atmospheric generation of nitric acid through the nitrate radical, and explain why this becomes significant at dusk and is affected by humidity and pollution
    •  use the Second Law to determine whether a reaction will be spontaneous at high or low temperatures (or neither or both)
  • Equilibrium
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  explain chemical equilibrium as a reaction mixture whose composition is unchanging in time, and relate this to the kinetic picture of equal rates of formation and decomposition of reactants and products
    •  define the equilibrium constant, and write it down for an arbitrary gas phase reaction
    •  calculate the value of the equilibrium constant for a reverse reaction from its value for a forward reaction, and if the stoichiometry is changed
    •  calculate the equilibrium constant for a reaction obtained by combining two other reactions
    •  calculate equilibrium compositions from starting compositions and the equilibrium constant for a simple gas phase reaction
    •  calculate the equilibrium composition for a chemical reaction from its equilibrium constant and mass balance information
    •  use appropriate aproximations for simplifying such calculations
    •  define the reaction quotient and use it to predict the direction of change in a reaction as it approaches equilibrium, or if it is perturbed from equilibrium.
    •  use the enthalpy of reaction to predict how the equilibrium constant changes with temperature
    •  explain that catalysts change the pathway and rate of reaction but not the position of equilibrium
    •  explain that entropy depends on concentration, but enthalpy can be treated as independent of concentration
    •  explain the reasons for the conditions used in the Haber Process, and apply the same reasoning to the optimization of other chemical processes, such as smelting
  • Equilibrium and Thermochemistry in Industrial Processes
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  identify and explain the major steps in mineral extraction and purification into its metal
    •  Identify the major forms of mineral sources of metals and other elements
    •  read and interpret an Ellingham diagram, and use it to predict the temperature at which metal formation will be spontaneous
    •  relate activity and electronegativity to oxide stability
    •  define the terms gangue, slag, roasting and smelting
    •  identify (but not list) the top ten chemicals by production mass, their origins and uses
    •  explain how sulfuric acid is produced, including the thermodynamic and kinetic considerations of the synthetic steps
    •  describe the key elements of the nitrogen biocycle
    •  describe the preparation of phosphoric acid, and the relevance of ammonia and sulfuric acid in phosphate derivatives
  • Electrochemistry
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  Identify oxidation and reduction half-reactions, and combine them into a balanced redox reaction
    •  explain how a Galvanic cell is constructed to draw a current from a redox reaction
    •  use the activity series to decide which element or compound is the stronger oxidant
    •  calculate the (standard) cell potential and determine the spontaneous direction of a redox reaction under standard conditions
    •  calculate the cell potential for standard and non-standard conditions from the half-cell reactions, and determine the spontaneous direction of a redox reaction
    •  calculate equilibrium constants from standard cell potentials and vice versa
    •  combine reaction quotient and cell potential information to solve for unknown concentrations both at equilibrium and away from equilibrium
    •  identify the key design features of an electrochemical sensor, and calculate an unknown concentration for appropriate electrochemical data
  • Electrochemistry (Batteries and Corrosion)
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  distinguish between primary and secondary batteries, and fuel cells
    •  recognise the cell reactions and design features of these kinds of cells
  • Electrolytic Cells
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  define electrolysis, electrorefining and overpotential
    •  calculate the yield of a chemical product from current and electrolysis time
    •  predict which products are thermodynamically favoured to form in an aqueous electrolysis reaction, and relate this to the chlor-alkali process
    •  explain how aluminium is won from its ore
    •  describe the process of corrosion of iron, factors that affect corrosion, and various methods of corrosion prevention, including cathodic protection and anodic inhibition
  • Types of Intermolecular Forces
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  identify the main types of intermolecular forces, and explain their importance in the formation of condensed phases
    •  predict trends in the strength of intermolecular forces with, for example, charge, dipole moment and molecular weight
    •  identify the relationship between boiling point, vapour pressure, enthalpy of vapourization and the strength of intermolecular forces
    •  use intermolecular forces to explain the concept of “like dissolves like"
    •  explain the hydrogen bond, identify the elements and bonds that  may undergo hydrogen bonding, and draw the structure of a hydrogen bond
    •  relate the strength of intermolecular forces to boiling points, and explain why this is a useful measure
    •  explain amphiphilicity and define amphiphiles and surfactants, and describe their key properties
  • Polymers and the Macromolecular Consequences of Intermolecular Forces
      By the end of this topic, you should be able to
    •  describe the random coil conformation of a polymer, and calculate the random coil diameter and contour length of a vinyl (addition) polymer
    •  explain how entanglement and chain branching affects polymer properties
    •  give examples of natural addition and condensation polymers, and draw an amino acid and a peptide linkage
    •  explain primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure in proteins
    •  recognise the types of intermolecular forces in natural and synthetic polymers
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