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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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Drennan, Catherine, and Elizabeth Vogel Taylor, 5.111 Principles of Chemical Science, Fall 2008. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 09 Jul, 2010). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Titration curve for weak acid/strong base.

Titration curve for weak acid/strong base. (Figure by MIT OCW.)

Course Highlights

This course features a full set of video lectures.

Course Description

5.111 is an introductory chemistry course, emphasizing basic principles of atomic and molecular electronic structure, thermodynamics, acid-base and redox equilibria, chemical kinetics, and catalysis. This course also introduces the chemistry of biological, inorganic, and organic molecules.

Special Features

  • Complete video lectures
  • Complete audio lectures

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .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.)


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 Prof. Sylvia Ceyer. Lec #19-36 are taught by Prof. Catherine Drennan.

Lec # Topics KEY DATES
1 Atomic Theory of Matter  
2 Discovery of Nucleus  
3 Wavelike Properties of Radiation  
4 Particle-like Nature of Light  
5 Matter As a Wave Problem set 1 due
6 The Hydrogen 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 Covalent Bonds  
  First Hour Exam  
12 Lewis Diagrams  
13 Breakdown of Octet Rule  
14 Molecular Orbital Theory Problem set 4 due
15 Valence Bond Theory and Hybridization  
16 Hybridization and Chemical Bonding  
17 Bond Energies / Bond Enthalpies Problem set 5 due
18 Free Energy of Formation ΔGof  
19 Chemical Equilibrium  
20 Chemical Equilibrium (cont.) Problem set 6 due
21 Acid-Base Equilibrium  
  Second Hour Exam  
22 Acid-Base Equilibrium (cont.)  
23 Acid-Base Equilibrium: Titrations  
24 Acid Base Titrations and Oxidation/Reduction Problem set 7 due
25 Oxidation/Reduction  
26 Oxidation/Reduction (cont.)  
27 Transition Metals Problem set 8 due
28 Transition Metals: Crystal Field Theory  
29 The Shapes of Molecules: VSEPR Theory Problem set 9 due
30 Transition Metals  
  Third Hour Exam  
31 Kinetics  
32 Kinetics (cont.)  
33 Kinetics (cont.)  
34 Kinetics (cont.) Problem set 10 due
35 Kinetics: Catalysis  
36 Review   Tell A Friend