First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Science
Course unit
SCN1036077, A.A. 2017/18

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
SC1169, Degree course structure A.Y. 2015/16, A.Y. 2017/18
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 10.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY 4
Department of reference Department of Chemical Sciences
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English

Teacher in charge ALBERTA FERRARINI CHIM/02

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines CHIM/02 Physical Chemistry 4.0
Core courses CHIM/02 Physical Chemistry 6.0

Mode of delivery (when and how)
Period First semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Organisation of didactics
Type of hours Credits Hours of
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 1.0 10 15.0 No turn
Laboratory 1.0 12 13.0 2
Lecture 8.0 64 136.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/10/2017
End of activities 19/01/2018

Prerequisites: B.Sc. level knowledge of Physical Chemistry and Physics.
Target skills and knowledge: To provide the students with fundamental knowledge and methodological skills to understand, on a molecular basis, the properties of condensed phases, spectroscopy phenomena (Part A), chemical kinetics, electrode kinetics and electron transfer (Part B).
Examination methods: Written and oral exams, as well as active participation in the course and associated laboratory experiments.
The written tests will focus on specific topics of the course, to facilitate a fast and progressive learning of the content of the classroom lectures.
The oral exam is meant to evaluate the students' capability of utilizing the acquired skills and methodologies to address chemical problems.
Course unit contents: Part A.
Fundamentals of statistical thermodynamics: probability distribution, statistical ensembles, Boltzmann statistics, Maxwell velocity distribution, equipartition of energy. Applications: thermodynamic properties of the ideal gas, heat capacity of solids.
Electric properties of molecules (dipole and higher order multipoles, polarizability) and their connection with the dielectric properties of matter. Applications: dielectric constant of liquids, electrostatic contribution to the solvation free energy.
Inter.molecular interactions: pair interactions and their expressions in terms of molecular quantities. Applications: lattice energy of ionic crystals, equation of state of van der Waals fluids.
Interaction of molecules with electromagnetic fields: time-dependent perturbation theory, transition probability, Fermi golden rule.
Classroom activities will also concern practical application of the methods introduced during the lectures.

Part B.
The first part concerns chemical kinetics: fundamental principles, temperature effect on chemical reactions, Arrhenius equation. Afterward, we will introduce: the Collision theory; the Transition-State theory; mass-transport mechanisms; homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis. The second part of the course focuses on electrode kinetics, with particular emphasis on mass transport and charge transfer as the rate-determining steps. These analyses are addressed with reference to the most popular electrochemical methods. In the third part, the Marcus theory and further quanto-mechanical developments are described together with the distance effect on electron transfer and some applications to specific systems.
Finally, laboratory experiments have been devised to blend the above concepts on a practical standpoint.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Class notes.
Any physical chemistry and electrochemistry M.Sc. level books (for examples, see below).
Further study material, such as handouts and copy of slides, will be provided.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • P.W. Atkins e J. dePaula, Physical Chemistry. --: Oxford University Press, 2002. In English
  • A. J. Bard, L. R. Faulkner, Electrochemical Methods: Fundamentals and Applications. --: Wiley, 2001. In English Cerca nel catalogo