George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Chemistry Courses (CHEM)


CHEM 211, 212 is prerequisite to all other undergraduate chemistry courses except those numbered below 200.

101 Introduction to Modern Chemistry (3:3:0). Fundamental principles of chemistry. Physical and chemical discoveries and properties of matter are presented along with their application and their impact on our way of life. Topics include atomic and molecular structure, nuclear chemistry, chemistry in the earth and atmosphere. No previous knowledge of chemistry is assumed or required. The course is not open to students majoring in chemistry. Credit will not be given for both this course and CHEM 103.

102 Introduction to Organic and Biological Chemistry (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 101 or 103 or 211. Structure and properties of the major classes of organic compounds with particular reference to organic molecules and their relationship to polymers, both manmade and biopolymers such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. The course is primarily intended for those who are interested in the application of the principles of organic chemistry and biochemistry to related areas of science such as genetics, microbiology, physiology, and nutrition. Not open to students majoring in chemistry. This course cannot be used in place of CHEM 313 or 314. Credit will not be given for both this course and CHEM 104.

103, 104 Chemical Science in a Modern Society (4:3:3), (4:3:3). Terminal course in chemistry for nonscience and nursing majors. Principles and application of chemistry. Topics are those described for CHEM 101-102, but with a lab to enhance the scientific experience. Credit will not be given for both this course and for CHEM 211, 212. The course is not open to students majoring in chemistry.

EVSC 203 Field Techniques in Environmental Geochemistry (2:0:2). Introduction to field techniques used to observe, measure, sample, and describe surficial geological material related to preliminary environmental site assessments.

EVSC 205 Environmental Science I (4:3:1). Investigations of scientific principles directly related to environmental problems, with emphasis on the causes of environmental mismanagement, development of natural resources, land-use problems, and the interaction of geochemistry and problems of human health.

EVSC 206 Environmental Science II (4:3:1). Investigations of ecosystem chemistry and population dynamics, geochemical resource management, chemistry of water and air pollution, hazardous wastes, and urbanization.

211, 212 General Chemistry (4:3:3), (4:3:3). CHEM 211 is prerequisite to CHEM 212. Basic facts and principles of chemistry, including atomic and molecular structure, gas laws, kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry, and the properties and uses of the more important elements and their compounds. Students majoring in science, engineering, or mathematics should choose this course. Credit will not be given for both this course and CHEM 103, 104.

251 General Chemistry for Engineers (4:3:3). Fundamental principles of chemical structure and reactivity including atomic and molecular structure, chemical bonding, structures of ionic, covalent, and metallic lattices, oxidation-reduction, electrochemistry, chemistry of metals, and introduction to organic chemistry and polymers. Enrollment is restricted to students intending to major in engineering. Students who need two semesters of chemistry should enroll in CHEM 211. Credit will not be given for both this course and CHEM 211.

313, 314 Organic Chemistry (3:3:0), (3:3:0). Corequisite for CHEM 313: CHEM 315; corequisite for CHEM 314: CHEM 318 or 320. The theoretical, synthetic, industrial, and biological aspects of the chemistry of carbon compounds. In the first semester, all students take CHEM 315 concurrently.

315 Organic Chemistry Lab I (2:1:3). Corequisite: CHEM 313. Lab techniques and reactions arranged to accompany CHEM 313. One-hour recitation.

318 Organic Chemistry Lab II (2:1:3). Prerequisite: CHEM 315; corequisite: CHEM 314. Continuation of CHEM 315, arranged to accompany CHEM 314. One-hour recitation.

320 Spectroscopic and Qualitative Organic Analysis (2:1:3). Prerequisite: CHEM 315; corequisite: CHEM 314. Continuation of CHEM 315. Emphasis is on separation and identification of organic compounds using both classical and instrumental methods. The course is arranged to accompany CHEM 314, and is restricted to chemistry majors. One-hour recitation.

321 Elementary Quantitative Analysis (4:2:6). Principles of chemical analysis with emphasis on ionic equilibria. The lab consists of gravimetric, volumetric, and instrumental methods illustrating the principal types of quantitative determinations.

322 General and Biochemical Equilibrium (2:2:0). Prerequisite: CS 103, 112, or 161. Study of general and biochemical equilibria in gas-phase, ionic, and heterogeneous systems. Topics include gas reactions, polyfunctional acids and bases, complex-ion formation, solubility and free energy relationships, and the use of computer algorithms to solve equilibrium problems.

331, 332 Physical Chemistry I, II (3:3:0), (3:3:0). Prerequisite: MATH 113, 114; prerequisite or corequisite: PHYS 341 or 250. CHEM 331 is prerequisite to 332. Year-long survey covering topics including thermodynamics, equilibria, kinetics, solution properties, elementary quantum theory, electrochemistry, atomic and molecular structure, and nuclear chemistry.

335 Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences (3:3:0). Classical topics with emphasis on application to biology and health sciences. Rigorous mathematical approaches to the theory of physicochemical processes are avoided. Topics include gas laws and kinetic theory, structure of solids and liquids, applied thermodynamics, kinetics, and chemical equilibria. The course is not open to students who have passed CHEM 331. Credit is not allowed toward a major in chemistry.

336 Physical Chemistry Lab I (2:1:3). Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 331. Quantitative experimental study of physicochemical principles. CHEM 336 and 337 constitute an introduction to the practice and theory of experimental physical chemistry. One-hour recitation.

337 Physical Chemistry Lab II (2:1:3). Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 332. Continuation of CHEM 336. One-hour recitation.

341 Fundamental Inorganic Chemistry (3:3:0). Descriptive chemistry including chemical properties, reactions, and reaction mechanisms of inorganic elements and compounds. Topics include main group and transition elements, organometallic compounds, and bioinorganic chemistry.

422 Instrumental Analysis (3:3:0). Prerequisites: CHEM 314, 321, and 331. Introduction to the theories of analysis by instrumental methods. Basic electronics are applied to chemical measurements. Topics include an introduction to the theory of spectroscopy¬ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and others¬and electrochemical methods of analysis; the theory of Fourier transform techniques¬FT-IR and FT-NMR¬and the theory of advanced pulse techniques.

423 Instrumental Analysis Laboratory (2:0:6). Prerequisite: CHEM 422. Laboratory-based introduction to the quantitative analysis of organic and inorganic substances by the use of modern analytical instrumentation. The laboratory highlights the practice of atomic and molecular spectroscopy, spectrophotometry, chromatography, voltammetry, and potentiometry in relation to chemical experimentation.

441 Properties and Bonding of Inorganic Compounds (3:3:0). Prerequisites: CHEM 314 and 332. Interpretation of physical and chemical properties of inorganic compounds in terms of currently used bonding concepts. Topics include molecular symmetry and applications of symmetry, structure and bonding in ionic solids, and the stereochemical, electronic and magnetic properties of transition metal complexes and metal atom cluster compounds.

445 Inorganic Preparations and Techniques (3:1:6). Prerequisites: CHEM 321 and 441. Application of techniques of inorganic chemistry to preparation, purification, and spectroscopic characterization of selected substances.

451, 452 Special Projects in Chemistry (2:0:6), (2:0:6). Prerequisites: Chemistry major/minor, 90 hours, and permission of department research committee. Introduction to chemical research or development. The course includes literature search, conferences, and lab. Written and oral technical reports are required.

500 Selected Topics in Modern Chemistry (3:3:0). Topics of interest in analytical, biological, environmental, geo-, inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry. May be repeated for credit with different topics. Credit is not allowed toward a major in chemistry.

501 Laboratory Demonstration Technique in the Teaching of Chemistry (3:3:0). Development of proficiency in conducting lab demonstrations. The course is recommended for teachers of chemistry and general science.

502 General Biochemistry (4:3:1). Prerequisites: CHEM 313 and 314, BIOL 383, or permission of department. Survey course in general biochemistry for advanced undergraduate and graduate students in biology and chemistry dealing with the chemical basis of biological systems emphasizing the structure, regulation, and functions of cellular events.

505 Hazardous Materials Waste Management (1-3:1-3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 313 or permission of instructor. Comprehensive review of those subjects most frequently encountered in hazardous chemicals management: science, law, and management.

513 Synthetic and Mechanistic Organic Chemistry (3:3:0). Prerequisites: CHEM 313 and 314. General review of synthetic pathways and application of this background to new topics emphasizing applications to fused ring aromatics, heterocyclics, natural products, and biologically active compounds. The relationship of applied organic chemistry to consumer products, including drugs and agricultural chemicals, is also included. Organic core course.

521 Theory of Analytical Processes (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 422 or permission of instructor. Theory of signal and noise, mass transport phenomena, thermodynamics, and ionics in analytical chemistry. Applications are made to Fourier transform techniques (FT-IR, FT-NMR), convolution and correlation spectroscopy, chemical sensors, chromatography, flow injection analysis, ion transport in membrane, and interpretation of analytical signals. Analytical core course.

529 Instrumental Techniques of Analysis (2:0:6). Prerequisites: CHEM 321 and 422 or 521 or permission of department. Principles and operation of modern instrumentation with emphasis on applications to the analysis of chemical, biological, and environmental samples. Methods include combined capillary column gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, high-performance liquid chromatography, optical methods, surface analysis methods, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, atomic emission and absorption spectrometry, and electroanalytical methods. The student, with approval of his or her research committee, is free to choose the methods studied.

554 Geochemistry of Environmental Hazards (3:2:3). Prerequisite: CHEM 314 or permission of instructor. Introduction to the origins and reactions of hazardous substances in air, water, and soil environments. The course covers movement of trace organic and inorganic substances in the geochemical cycle, with particular reference to transport processes that influence air and water quality.

579 Special Topics (1-6:1-6:0). Prerequisites: CHEM 313 and 314 or permission of instructor. Current topics in chemistry; the topic depends on the specialty of the instructor. The course may be repeated with different topics with approval of the department.

614 Physical Organic Chemistry (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 314 or permission of instructor. The principles underlying molecular structure, reactivity, and reaction mechanisms. Topics include valence-bond and molecular-orbital theory, the electronic interpretation of organic reactions, stereochemistry, conformational analysis, the kinetics and thermodynamics of organic reactions, and photochemistry. Organic core course.

620 Modern Instrumentation (3:2:2). Prerequisite: CHEM 422 or permission of instructor. Methods of sensing and measurement of radiation, particles, pressure, concentrations of specific elements and compounds. Topics include basic operational amplifier circuits for analog signals; digitizing devices and computerized data collection; noise and noise-reduction methods; and specialized instrumentation systems for various areas of chemistry and physics.

624 Principles of Chemical Separation (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 422 or 521, or permission of instructor. Theories and models of separation with applications to the analyses of a wide range of chemical, biological, and environmental samples. Topics include high-resolution gas chromatography and high-performance liquid chromatography. Emphasis is on the theory of reverse-phase, normal-phase, ion-exchange, size-exclusion, and affinity-based separations. Instrumentation such as detectors, pumps, and columns, and data acquisition and analysis are also presented. Analytical core course.

633 Chemical Thermodynamics and Kinetics (3:3:0). Prerequisites: CHEM 331 and 332. Advanced study of thermodynamics and kinetics. The course covers application of kinetics to the elucidation of reaction mechanisms, and application of statistical thermodynamics to the theory of elementary reaction rates. Physical core course.

646 Bioinorganic Chemistry (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 441 or permission of instructor. Application of inorganic coordination chemisty and physical methods in understanding the structure and function of metal ion sites in biomolecules. Biochemical roles of metal centers in oxygen transport, metalloenzymes, and electron transfer. Topics include iron cytochromes, zinc and copper enzymes, cobalamins, iron sulfer proteins, inorganic model compounds, and metals in medicine. Inorganic core course.

651 Environmental Chemistry (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 332 or permission of instructor. Chemical behavior of pollutants in air, water, and soil. Emphasis is on thermodynamic principles and chemical transformation pathways important in the fate and transport of organic substances in the environment. Major topics include partitioning, photolysis, and fate modeling. Environmental core course.

663, 664 Biochemistry (3:3:0), (3:3:0). Prerequisites: CHEM 313 and 314. CHEM 663 is prerequisite to CHEM 664. Important biological compounds, including proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids, and their interrelations. A previous course in biology is recommended but not required. CHEM 663 is the biochemistry core course.

665, 666 Biochemistry Lab (2:1:3), (2:1:3). Prerequisite or corequisite: CHEM 663. CHEM 665 is prerequisite for CHEM 666. Introduction to experimental methods used to study chemical and physical properties of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. The course complements the corresponding lecture course (CHEM 663 and 664) and is designed for those who have had no previous exposure to the specialized techniques used in biochemical research. One-hour recitation.

670 Teaching Practicum (1-2:0:0). Prerequisites: Enrollment in the graduate program and a demonstrated proficiency in the English language. Lecture and laboratory experience teaching chemistry in the laboratory. The student works closely with a faculty member and is responsible for all aspects of teaching undergraduate laboratory techniques.

713 Modern Polymer Chemistry (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 513 or permission of instructor. Synthetic and analytical chemistry of synthetic macromolecules. Topics include polymer solutions, molecular weight determination, spectroscopy, thermal analysis, X-ray crystallography, crystallinity, types of polymerization, commercial polymers, and electroactive polymers.

723 Trace and Microanalysis (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 422 or permission of instructor. Principles and applications of currently used methods of analysis, including differential pulse polarography, stripping voltammetry, atomic absorption and emission spectrophotometry, fluorescence analysis, neutron activation analysis, and spark source mass spectrometry. Applications are made to the determinations of trace metals in environmental samples.

725 Electroanalytical Chemistry (3:3:0). Prerequisites: CHEM 321 and 331. Review of basic electrochemistry. Applications of modern electrochemical techniques such as chronoamperometry, cyclic voltammetry, pulse polarography, stripping voltammetry, AC voltammetry, coulometry, electrochemical sensors and instrumentation are presented with emphasis on their use in analysis and research.

728 Introduction to Solid Surfaces (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 422 or equivalent. Introduction to the properties of solid surfaces. Topics include gas adsorption isotherms, surface area measurement techniques, real and clean surfaces, physisorption and chemisorption, methods of gas adsorption and desorption, measurement of heats of adsorption, desorption kinetics, electron spectroscopies and their surface sensitivities, instrumentation needed, and principles of vacuum technology.

730 Statistical Mechanics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Statistical methods, systems of particles, thermodynamics, macroscopic parameters, the ideal gas, kinetic theory, quantum statics, and transport processes.

732 Quantum Chemistry (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 332. Illustration of the fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics with applications to chemical systems, including atomic and molecular electronic structure and properties, molecular symmetry, and intermolecular forces. Physical core course.

733 Polymer Physical Chemistry (3:3:0) Prerequisite: CHEM 332 or permission of instructor. The physical chemistry of macromolecules including molecular weight, conformation, configuration, characteristics of the glassy state, methods for studying polymer morphology (XRD, SEM, TEM, optical microscopy), electronic structure and behavior, band theory, conduction mechanisms, intrinsically conductive polymers, polarization, dielectric behavior, triboelectric behavior, piezo/pyroelectric behavior, and nonlinear optical properties.

736 Computational Quantum Mechanics (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PHYS 502, 510, or permission of instructor. Study of the fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics from a computational point of view, review of systems with spherically symmetric potentials, may electron-atom solutions to Schroedinger's equation, electron spin in many electron systems, atomic structure calculations, algebra of many electron calculations, Hartree-Fock, self-consistent field method, molecular structure calculations, scattering theory computations, and solid-state computations.

737 Spectroscopy and Structure (3:3:0). Prerequisite: CHEM 332. Quantum mechanics of the interaction of atoms and molecules with electromagnetic radiation. Modern spectroscopic methods as applied to the elucidation of molecular structure and dynamics are surveyed.

767 Protein Biochemistry (3:3:0). Prerequisites: CHEM 663 and 664, or permission of instructor. The structural, transport, and immunological behavior of proteins with emphasis on their roles as biological catalysts, current theories of enzyme catalysis as well as pertinent experimental techniques, and important structural proteins from muscle and connective tissue as well as free- and membrane-bound transport proteins.

790 Graduate Seminar (1:1:0). Prerequisite: Attendance at a minimum of 70 percent of departmental seminars in semester preceding each enrollment. Selected topics from recent chemical theory and applications, designed to inform students about current developments in the chemical sciences. A seminar presentation on the student's own research or another topic acceptable to the department is required in the student's last semester. Three credits of CHEM 790 are required for the M.S. degree; an additional three credits are required after admission to the Ph.D. program.

798 Research Project (3-6:0:0). Prerequisite: Permission of department. An experimental or theoretical research project chosen and completed under the guidance of a graduate faculty member. A comprehensive report acceptable to the student's advisory committee and a final oral examination on that report are required. Six credits of either CHEM 798 or 799 are required, but credit will not be given for both.

799 Master's Thesis (1-6:0:0). Prerequisite: Permission of department. Laboratory thesis research and writing under the direction of a supervisor. A minimum of three credit hours can be taken for this course the first two enrollment periods.

999 Doctoral Dissertation (3-12:0:0). Prerequisite: Enrollment in a doctoral program and permission of department. An experimental or theoretical research project chosen and completed under the guidance of a graduate faculty member. A thesis acceptable to the student's thesis committee and an oral defense are required. May be repeated as needed; however, no more than a total of 24 hours may be applied toward doctoral degree requirements. CHEM 620, 730, 728, and 736 are cross-listed with the Physics and Astronomy Department and CSI; CHEM 502 and 663-666 are cross-listed with the Biology Department.

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