Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Physical Chemistry IIA
Code CHEM261
Coordinator Professor G Sedghi
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2022-23 Level 5 FHEQ First Semester 7.5

Pre-requisites before taking this module (or general academic requirements):

CHEM152 CHEM152 Introductory Physical Chemistry 


• To explain the application of the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics to chemical reactions.

• To reinforce the basic ideas on factors affecting the rates of chemical reactions and quantify the kinetics.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate an understanding of the laws of thermodynamics and how they can be applied to thermochemical calculations

(LO2) Show ability to employ the methods of chemical kinetics to describe and analyse the time-dependence of chemical processes.

(S1) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S2) Critical thinking and problem solving - Problem identification

(S3) Numeracy/computational skills - Reason with numbers/mathematical concepts

(S4) Numeracy/computational skills - Confidence/competence in measuring and using numbers

(S5) Numeracy/computational skills - Problem solving

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module consists of 19 lectures (50 minutes).
The material presented at the lectures and its application for solving problems is supported by four 2-hour workshops.

*Lectures: 19 hr
*Workshops: 8 hr




1. Revision of material in Chem152: Ideal gas equation, standard states, laws of thermodynamics
2. Second law of thermodynamics, entropy changes with expansion, heating, phase transition and in the surroundings, Standard reaction entropy, spontaneity of chemical reactions, statistical thermodynamics: configurations, weights, most probable distribution (the Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution.) Entropy, S=k ln W. Concept of the partition function q. Relation of q to thermodynamic properties.
3. Gibbs free energy, changes at constant temperature or pressure, condition of stability. Equilibrium constant K, relation to Gibbs free energy, variation with temperature and pressure, relation to mole fraction.
4. Measurement of heat and work, Heat influx during expansion, Heat capacity at constant volume or pressure, temperature dependence of internal energy and enthalpy.
5. Real gases, deviations from ideal behaviour, virial and van der Waals equations of sta te.
6. Ideal liquids and solutions. Raoult's law. The chemical potential of components in ideal mixtures: standard and reference states. Colligative properties. Deviations from ideality.
7. Phase transition of pure substances and mixtures; enthalpy and entropy change upon phase transition; phase diagrams.


1.Revision of material in Chem152: Chemical reaction rates, rate equation, reaction orders, integrated rate equations, half life, activation energy barriers and Arrhenius equation.
2.Derivation of zero-, first- and second order integrated rate eqns. Determination of reaction order and rate constant: straight plots. Half-life time of a reaction.
3.Kinetic gas model, collision rates. Simple collision theory (SCT). Potential energy barriers. Reactive Encounters. Comparison of SCT with experimental results. Steric hindrance. Transition state. TransitionState Theory.
4.Consecutive reactions. The rate determining step.
5.Parallel reactions . Reverse reaction and relaxation towards equilibrium.
6.Pre-equilibrium; steady state approximation. Diffusion-controlled reactions.
7. Michaelis-Menten Mechanism. Lindemann-Hinshelwood mechanism. Chain reactions.

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 18


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 54


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
formal examination  90    80       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Tutorials and assignments Standard UoL penalties apply for late submission. There is no re-submission opportunity. These assignments are not marked anonymously.    20