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 Principles of Chemical Science  posted by  duggu   on 2/2/2008  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
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Cummins, Christopher, and Sylvia Ceyer, 5.112 Principles of Chemical Science, Fall 2005. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare),  (Accessed 09 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Linear combinations of atomic orbitals for tetrahedral methane.

Linear combinations of H 1s atomic orbitals that match nodal properties of C 2p atomic orbitals for tetrahedral methane. (Figure by MIT OCW.)

Course Highlights

This course features a full set of video lectures.

Course Description

5.112 is an introductory chemistry course for students with an unusually strong background in chemistry. Knowledge of calculus equivalent to 18.01 is recommended. Emphasis is on basic principles of atomic and molecular electronic structure, thermodynamics, acid-base and redox equilibria, chemical kinetics, and catalysis. The course also covers applications of basic principles to problems in metal coordination chemistry, organic chemistry, and biological chemistry.

Special Features

  • Complete video lectures
  • Complete audio lectures

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .iv, .rm, and .mp3.


Amazon logo Help support MIT OpenCourseWare by shopping at! MIT OpenCourseWare offers direct links to to purchase the books cited in this course. Click on the Amazon logo to the left of any citation and purchase the book from, and MIT OpenCourseWare will receive up to 10% of all purchases you make. Your support will enable MIT to continue offering open access to MIT courses.


Amazon logo Atkins, Peter and Loretta Jones. Chemical Principles: The Quest for Insight. 3rd ed. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2004. ISBN: 9780716757016.

Amazon logo ———. Chemical Principles: The Quest for Insight/Student Study Guide and Solutions Manual. 3rd ed. New York, NY: W.H. Freeman and Company, 2004. ISBN: 9780716707400. (Bundled set. Amazon logo ISBN: 9780716762546.)


activities points
Three 1-hour Exams (100 points each) 300
Final Exam 300
Homework 100
Total 700

Academic Honesty

It is expected that students will maintain the highest standards of academic honesty.

With respect to homework assignments, it is expected that no student will turn in work that is not his or her own by copying the work of another student or by using the work or solutions from this course given in previous years. Discussion of approaches to solving the homework problems after attempting to work the problems independently, however, is permitted and encouraged.

It is expected that during a test or examination, a student will not:

  1. Accept or use information of any kind from other students.
  2. Represent the work of another student as his or her own.
  3. Use aids to memory other than those expressly permitted by the examiner.

Following a test or examination, a student will not try to deceive teachers or graders by misrepresenting or altering his or her previous work. In advance of a test or exam, a student will not knowingly obtain access to the exam questions.

Departures from the above standards are contrary to fundamental principles of MIT and of the larger scientific community. Such departures are considered serious offenses for which disciplinary penalties, including suspension and expulsion, can be imposed.



Lec #1-18 are taught by Professor Sylvia Ceyer. Lec #19-36 are taught by Professor Christopher Cummins.

Lec # topics key dates
1 Atomic Theory of Matter  
2 Discovery of Nucleus  
3 Wave-Particle Duality of Radiation and Matter  
4 Particle-Like Nature of Light  
5 Matter as a Wave Problem set 1 due
6 Schrödinger Equation for H Atom  
7 Hydrogen Atom Wavefunctions Problem set 2 due
8 P Orbitals  
9 Electronic Structure of Multielectron Atoms  
10 Periodic Trends in Elemental Properties Problem set 3 due
11 Why Wavefunctions are Important?  
  First Hour Exam  
12 Ionic Bonds - Classical Model and Mechanism  
13 Kinetic Theory - Behavior of Gases  
14 Distribution Molecular Energies Problem set 4 due
15 Internal Degrees of Freedom  
16 Intermolecular Interactions  
17 Polarizability Problem set 5 due
18 Thermodynamics and Spontaneous Change  
19 Molecular Description of Acids and Bases  
20 Lewis and Brønsted Acid-Base Concepts Problem set 6 due
21 Titration Curves and pH Indicators  
  Second Hour Exam  
22 Electrons in Chemistry: Redox Processes  
23 Cell Potentials and Free Energy  
24 Theory of Molecular Shapes Problem set 7 due
25 Valence Bond Theory  
26 Molecular Orbital Theory  
27 Molecular Orbital Theory for Diatomic Molecules Problem set 8 due
28 Molecular Orbital Theory for Polyatomic Molecules  
29-30 Crystal Field Theory Problem set 9 due on Lec #29
31 Color and Magnetism of Coordination Complexes  
  Third Hour Exam  
32 Coordination Complexes and Ligands  
33 Ligand Substitution Reactions: Kinetics  
34 Bonding in Metals and Semiconductors Problem set 10 due
35 Metals in Biology  
36 Nuclear Chemistry and the Cardiolite® Story     Tell A Friend