Introduction to Physical Chemistry

Gain a rigorous introduction to physical chemistry suitable for undergraduates starting university. The course provides a unique, in-depth introduction to the three main pillars of physical chemistry: thermodynamics, kinetics and quantum mechanics.

About The Course

Chemical reactions underpin the production of pretty much everything in our modern world.  But, what is the driving force behind reactions?  Why do some reactions occur over geological time scales whilst others are so fast that we need femtosecond-pulsed lasers to study them?  Ultimately, what is going on at the atomic level?  Discover the answers to such fundamental questions and more on this course in introductory physical chemistry.  

The course covers the key concepts of three of the principal topics in first-year undergraduate physical chemistry: thermodynamics, kinetics and quantum mechanics. These three topics cover whether or not reactions occur, how fast they go and what is actually going on at the sub-atomic scale.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

    Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor.

  • What resources will I need for this class?

    For this course, all you need is an Internet connection and the time to think about the material presented.

  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

    You will learn that disorder is every bit as important as energy in chemical reactions, that you should never judge a reaction by its stoichiometry and that electrons exhibit wave-particle duality, seemingly enabling them to be in two places at once!

Recommended Background

In order to get the most out of the course a good knowledge of general chemistry and familiarity with algebra and basic calculus (simple differentiation and integration) is recommended.