Chemistry Department

Professor: Miriam Rossi ab; Associate Professors: Marianne H. Begemann, Stuart L. Bellia, Sarjit Kaur, Christopher J. Smart (Chair); Assistant Professor: Eric S. Eberhardt a; ­Lecturer and Coordinator of Laboratory Instruction: Christina N. Hammond;Lecturer and Curator of Instrumentation: Edith C. Stout; Lecturer: David Nellis;Research Professor: Curt W. Beck.

Requirements for Concentration: Chemistry 108/109 or 110/111 or the equivalent as approved by the department; Chemistry 244 and 245 or the equivalent as approved by the department; 8 units to include Chemistry 300, 350, 352, 353, 354, 362, and 2 units of additional graded 300-level courses, one of which must be taken senior year. Chemistry 198, 298, and 399 do not count toward these 8 units. Mathematics 121/122 or 125; Physics 113/114. No courses required for the chemistry major may be elected on an NRO basis.

Recommendations: A reading knowledge of French, German, Russian, or Japanese, and courses in allied sciences. Students who wish to graduate with cer­ti­fi­cation by the American Chemical Society should consult the department. Enter­ing students who plan to concentrate in chemistry are advised to elect both chem­istry and mathematics in the freshman year and physics in the freshman or sophomore year.

Teaching Certification: Students who wish to obtain secondary certification in Chemistry should consult both the Chemistry and Education Departments for appropriate course requirements.

Requirements for B.A.-M.A.: The candidate must satisfy all requirements for the B.A. degree as described above. In addition, 8 units of advanced work are required as follows: 3 to 5 units of 300-level courses; 2 units of 400-level courses; 1 to 3 units will be credited for the thesis, which will be based on a research project normally carried out during the fourth year. Chemistry 326, 342, 357, or 450, must be included among the advanced courses elected to fulfill the requirements of the joint degree. For students selecting thesis research in biochemistry or an inter-disciplinary area, advanced courses in biology, biochemistry, mathematics, and physics may, with the permission of the adviser, be substituted for some of the required courses in chemistry. Further information regarding the thesis may be found in the separate publication, “Graduate Study in Chemistry at Vassar College.’’ Consult the graduate student adviser in the department.

Advisers: Class of 2004, Ms. Begemann; Class of 2005, To be announced; Class of 2006, Ms. Kaur; Correlate Sequence, Ms. Begemann.

Correlate Sequence in Chemistry: A correlate sequence in chemistry provides students interested in careers ranging from public health to patent law an excellent complement to their major field of study. The chemistry correlate sequence is designed to combine a basic foundation in chemistry with the flexibility to choose upper-level chemistry courses relevant to the student’s particular interests. Students considering careers in such areas as art conservation, public policy relating to the sciences, scientific ethics, archeochemistry, the history of science, law or public health may benefit from a course of study in chemistry. This correlate is not intended for students majoring in closely related disciplines, such as biology or biochemistry, and therefore not more than one course can be credited towards both the correlate and the student’s major. The correlate consists of 61⁄ 2 units distributed as follows:

Required Courses: Units
General Chemistry with lab (Chemistry 108/109 or 110/111) 2
Organic Chemistry with lab (Chemistry 244/245) 2
Two classes from the following: (2)
Chemistry 272 Biochemistry
Chemistry 323 Protein Chemistry
Chemistry 326 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Chemistry 342 Advanced Organic Chemistry
Chemistry 350 Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Chemical Kinetics
Chemistry 352 Physical Chemistry: Molecular Structure
Chemistry 357 Chemical Physics
Chemistry 362 Instrumental Analysis (11Ú2)
One half unit of laboratory work at the advanced level: (1Ú2)
(Completion of chemistry 362 from the previous list satisfies this requirement)
Chemistry 298 Independent Research
Chemistry 328 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
Chemistry 353 or 354 Physical Chemistry Laboratory
Chemistry 370 Advanced Laboratory

I. Introductory

 
108a/109b. General Chemistry
(1)
This course covers fundamental aspects of general chemistry, including descriptive chemistry, chemical reactions, stoichiometry, atomic and molecular structure, states of matter, properties of solutions, thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibria, elec-trochemistry, and nuclear chemistry. Most of the work is quantitative in nature. The department.
       Three 50-minute lectures; one 4-hour laboratory.
 
110a/111b. Chemistry: The Central Science
(1)
Topics from Chemistry 108/109 are covered in greater depth for students with a strong chemistry background. The course also includes an introduction to organic chemistry, coordination chemistry, biochemistry, environmental chemistry, and relevant current topics. Most of the work is quantative in nature. The department.
       Prerequisite: Strong background in chemistry at high school level.
       Three 50-minute lectures; one 4-hour laboratory.
 
198a or b. Freshmen Independent Research
(1/2)
Students perform independent chemistry research under the direction of a faculty member of their choosing. Attendance at regularly scheduled department seminars/events is required to satisfactorily complete the course. The department.
       Open only to freshmen.
 

II. Intermediate

 
244a. Organic Chemistry: Structure and Properties
(1)
An introduction to the structure of organic molecules and to their nomenclature. Among the properties of organic compounds, shape, charge distribution, and spectroscopic properties are emphasized. Laboratory work includes isolation, physical transformations and identification of organic compounds including the application of gas chromatography and infrared and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Ms. Kaur, Mr. Smart.
       Prerequisite: Chemistry 109 or 111.
       Three 50-minute lectures; one 4-hour laboratory.
 
245b. Organic Chemistry: Reactions and Mechanisms
(1)
A study of the reactions of organic compounds from a mechanistic point of view. Laboratory work includes synthesis, qualitative analysis, and quantitative investigation of reaction rates and equilibria which emphasize mechanistic considerations. Ms. Kaur, Mr. Smart.
       Prerequisite: Chemistry 244.
       Three 50-minute lectures; one 4-hour laboratory.
 
270. Computational Methods in the Sciences
(1/2)
(Same as Physics 270)
 
272b. Biochemistry
(1)
(Same as Biology 272)
 
297. Reading Course
(1/2)
 
298. Independent Research
(1/2 or 1)
Students perform independent chemistry research under the direction of a faculty member of their choosing. Attendance at regularly scheduled department seminars/events is required to satisfactorily complete the course. The department.
 

III. Advanced

 
300a or b. Senior Thesis
(1)
 
323b. Protein Chemistry
(1)
A detailed study of the structure and function of proteins. Structure determination, mechanisms of catalysis and regulation, and the interactions of enzymes in complex systems will be treated. Mr. Eberhardt.
       Prerequisite: Chemistry 350 (may be corequisite), or 272.
 
324. Molecular Biology
(1)
(Same as Biology 324)
 
326a. Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
(1)
An introduction to structure and reactivity of inorganic, coordination, and organometallic compounds, including the following topics: chemical applications of group theory, atomic and molecular structure, theories of bonding, the solid state, coordination chemistry, inorganic reaction mechanisms, and organometallic chemistry. The department.
       Prerequisite: Chemistry 352, or permission of instructor. Corequisite for Chemistry majors: Chemistry 328.
 
328a. Advanced Inorganic Laboratory
(1/2)
Students choose from a number of experiments which reinforce the concepts learned in Chemistry 326. Depending on which experiments are elected, the following techniques or methods of characterization are performed: multistep syntheses of organometallic or coordination compounds, air-sensitive techniques, NMR, IR, UV-vis, near-IR, fluorescence, cyclic voltammetry, laser spectroscopy, and magnetic susceptability. The department.
       Corequisite for chemistry majors: Chemistry 326.
 
[342b. Advanced Organic Chemistry]
(1)
Selected topics in organic chemistry such as stereochemistry, conformational analysis, carbanions, carbocations, radicals, kinetic and thermodynamic control of reactions, mechanisms, synthesis. Ms. Kaur.
       Prerequisites: Chemistry 245, 350, or permission of instructor.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
350b. Physical Chemistry: Thermodynamics and Chemical Kinetics
(1)
Equations of state for gases; the laws of thermodynamics; solutions and phase equilibria; chemical equilibrium and chemical kinetics. Instructor to be announced.
       Prerequisites: Chemistry 245; Physics 113, 114; Mathematics 121/122 or 125.
 
352a. Physical Chemistry: Molecular Structure
(1)
Introductory wave mechanics and bonding theories; electrical and magnetic properties of molecules; spectroscopy; statistical mechanics. Ms. Begemann.
       Prerequisites: Chemistry 245; Physics 113, 114; Mathematics 121/122 or 125.
 
353b, 354a. Physical Chemistry: Laboratory
(1/2)
Selected experiments to teach techniques and to demonstrate principles introduced in the lectures. Ms. Begemann, instructor to be announced.
       Corequisites: Chemistry 350, 352.
       One 4-hour laboratory.
 
357. Chemical Physics
(1)
The course includes selected topics which are of interest to chemistry majors as well as biochemistry and physics majors. Possible topics include applications of group theory, interaction of radiation with matter, molecular spectroscopy, reaction kinetics, reaction rate theory, and statistical mechanics. The material covered in any particular semester will depend on the mutual interests of the instructor and the students. Ms. Begemann.
       Prerequisites: Chemistry 350 and 352 or by permission of instructor.
 
362b. Instrumental Analysis
(11/2)
An introduction to chemical analysis, this course covers the theoretical and practical aspects of spectroscopic, electrochemical, and chromatographic methods, including topics in instrumentation, statistics, and chemometrics. Mr. Belli.
       Prerequisite: Chemistry 245 or permission of instructor.
       Includes one 4-hour laboratory.
 
370a or b. Advanced Laboratory
(1/2)
Advanced laboratory work may be elected in the field of organic, analytical, physical, inorganic, biochemistry, or environmental chemistry. The department.
       Prerequisite or corequisite: a 300-level course in the pertinent field.
       One 4-hour laboratory.
 
382b. Special Topics in Organic Chemistry: Introduction to Polymer Chemistry
(1)
Properties and uses of selected polymers (thermally stable, conducting, and biodegradable). This course includes organic and kinetic aspects of polymerizations, characterization techniques for structure determination, thermal and mechanical properties, and measurement of molecular weight and distribution. Laboratory techniques and experiments leading to synthesis, characterization and physical properties of selected polymers (synthesized or commercially available polymers) are emphasized. Ms. Kaur.
       Prerequisites: Chemistry 244/245 or permission of instructor.
       Two 50-minute lectures; one 4-hour laboratory.
 
[384b. Structural Chemistry and Biochemistry]
(1)
(Same as Bichemistry 384) In this course, principles and methods regarding the structure of molecules and macromolecules will be studied with an emphasis on selected topics in chemistry and biochemistry. Ms. Rossi.
       Prerequisite: 350 or permission of instructor.
       Two 75-minute lectures.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
[386b. Inorganic and Organometallic Photochemistry]
(1)
The interaction of light with molecules which contain a metal center: an overview of photophysical pathways and the methods chemists use to study these processes, properties of excited states, nonradiative and radiative decay processes, photochemical reactions in coordination and organometallic compounds, supramolecular photochemistry, and applications of photochemical reactions.
       Prerequisites: Chemistry 350 or permission of instructor.
       Not offered in 2003/04.
 
399. Senior Independent Research
(1/2 or 1)
Students perform independent chemistry research under the direction of a faculty member of their choosing. Attendance at regularly scheduled department seminars/events is required to satisfactorily complete the course. The department.
       Open only to seniors.
 

IV. Graduate

Advanced courses in the following areas will be offered at the discretion of the department and according to the needs of graduate students.
 
426. Advanced Inorganic Chemistry: Special Topics
(1)
 
440. Synthetic Organic Chemistry
(1)
 
441. Environmental Chemistry: Special Topics
(1)
 
445. Theoretical Organic Chemistry
(1)
 
450. Physical Chemistry
(1)
 
463. Analytical Chemistry: Special Topics
(1)
 
472. Biochemistry: Special Topics
(1)