About this course

"Introduction to Modern Chemistry", unlike courses with similar, if not identical titles offered at most other institutions, is truly intended to focus your attention on modern chemistry: chemistry as practiced by today's professionals, chemistry as it impacts our existence and environment, chemistry's influence in emerging technologies, and items of chemical relevance that appear in daily and weekly media. To accomplish this objective, less breadth of subject matter is covered, but what is presented is viewed in greater depth and at a deeper level of sophistication. Frequently, applications, many of which are interdisciplinary (such as the chemical molecular basis of the vision process, or of the greenhouse effect) will preface the presentations of subsequent concepts and skills. One consequence of such an approach is that the course relies on much more than the textbook. The education that you, the student, are willing to extract from this offering depends very heavily on your enthusiasm towards learning what modern chemistry is, despite the fact that some material will never appear per se on an exam in the course nor will it necessarily seem relevant to your particular career expectations.

The theme of this one semester -- the course objective -- is to acquire, eventually, an appreciation of the relationship between the structure of a molecule and its physical properties and behavior. On the other hand, topics with which you might be familiar from a previous chemistry course, such as pH calculations, equilibrium, and solubility products, are the subject of Modern Chemistry II (09-106).

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