Physical Chemistry I Lab

CHEM 321B/421B
Taught in
Fall 2017
Course Level
Graduate, Undergraduate
Lifelong Support

Course Description

The Physical Chemistry I Lab (CHEM 421B) course is designed to offer practical laboratory experience, complementing the theoretical concepts taught in the CHEM 321/421-24A physical chemistry lecture course. This lab course focuses on experiments that illustrate the principles of physical chemistry governing equilibria and reaction rates in chemical systems. Students engage in a series of laboratory experiments that provide hands-on experience with thermodynamic properties of substances, thermochemistry, chemical and phase equilibria, and reaction kinetics.

The lab experiments include determining heat capacity ratios for gases, measuring heats of combustion using calorimetry, calculating partial molar volume, and assessing the vapor pressure of a pure liquid. Students also explore the acid dissociation constant (pKa) of methyl red, chemical equilibrium in solution, and the application of cyclic voltammetry. The course culminates with experiments on the kinetics of reactions, providing students with a comprehensive understanding of these critical concepts in physical chemistry.

The required textbook for the course is “Experiments in Physical Chemistry” (8th edition) by Garland, Nibler, and Shoemaker, a well-regarded resource that offers detailed guidance on conducting physical chemistry experiments. Through this course, students gain valuable laboratory skills and a deeper appreciation of the practical aspects of physical chemistry principles.

Lecture content

Lab 1 Heat capacity ratios for gases
Lab 2 Heats of combustion (calorimetry)
Lab 3 Partial molar volume
Lab 4 Vapor pressure of a pure liquid
Lab 5 Acid dissociation constant (pKa) of methyl red
Lab 6 Chemical equilibrium in solution
Lab 7 Cyclic voltametry
Lab 8 Kinetics of reaction