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Chemistry 121

General Chemistry I

Credits: 4

Length of Course: 14 weeks

Classroom Hours Per Week: 4 hours lecture, 2 hours lab

Prerequisite: Chem 12

Corequisite: Precalculus 12 or Math 100 or Math 110 and English 098

Text: General Chemistry: Principles and Modern Applications. Petrucci et al. Pearson Pub., latest Edition

Course Description:

The first semester of a general chemistry course dealing with the fundamental principles of chemistry. The topics covered include atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical bonding, an introduction to organic chemistry, gases, liquids, solids and solutions.

Course Outline:

Week Topic
Week 1 Review of significant figures, scientific notation, SI units, conversion factors. Brief historical review. An introduction to the periodic table. Atoms, molecules, ions, isotopes, subatomic particles. Nomenclature. Mole stoichiometry, percent composition, limiting and excess reagents, percent yield. Empirical and molecular formulas. Concentration units and solution stoichiometry.
*You are responsible for reviewing the first five chapters of the textbook as this material is covered in the prerequisites to this course. If any of the above material is new to you please see the instructor during office hours as soon as possible.
Week 2 Gases
Properties of gases. The Gas Laws; Boyle, Charles, Avogadro. Real gases versus ideal gases. Ideal gas law. Van der Waal's equation. The Kinetic Molecular Theory. Dalton's law of partial pressures. Graham's Law.
Week 3 - 5 Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table
Electromagnetic radiation and atomic spectra. The Bohr Model of the hydrogen atom. Quantum theory and wave mechanics, particles and waves, de Broglie's formula, Schrodinger equation, quantum numbers, electron spin (Pauli exclusion principle), Hund's rule. The electronic configuration of the elements and the periodic table. Orbital diagrams. Shapes and relative sizes of orbitals, electron distribution, s, p, d, orbital shapes and names. Trends in the periodic table, atomic size, ionization energy, electron affinity, ionic radii.
Week 6 - 8 Chemical Bonding
Properties of ionic and covalent compounds. The ionic bond. The covalent bond. Electronegativity and bonding. The octet rule and Lewis dot structures. Resonance. Molecular shapes and VSEPR theory. Valence bond theory and hybridization. Sigma and pi bonds. Molecular orbital theory. Bond dipoles and molecular polarity.
Week 9 - 11 Liquids, Solids and Solutions
Properties of liquids and solids versus gases. Intermolecular forces (dispersion, dipole-dipole, hydrogen bonding) and physical properties. Phase changes and simple phase diagrams. Solid crystal lattices and the unit cell. Cubic crystal lattices and close packed arrangements. Types of crystals (molecular, ionic, network covalent, metallic).
Types of solutions, concentration units, the Solution Process and factors affecting solubility. Vapour pressure. Raoult's Law. Colligative properties.
Week 12 - 13 Organic Chemistry
An introduction to organic compounds. Structure and isomerism. IUPAC nomenclature.


3 Tests 45%
Final Exam 35%
Laboratory and Homework 20%


Brenda Louie, BSc (SFU), PhD (UBC)
Mehdi Meshgini, BSc, MSc (Oregon State), PhD (Washington)
Taraneh Lajevardi, BSc (Azad), MSc (Azad), MSc (SFU)
Hema Giesbrecht, BSc Hon (U.Mauritius), PhD (SFU)

Transferability: see