Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Methods of Chemical Calculations

UM LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course




DESCRIPTION 1. Algebra and coordinate geometry:
Elementary algebra - Evaluation of expressions: brackets, factorising, solving quadratic equations, solving simultaneous equations, partial fractions, inequalities, sigma and pi notation; Functions: trigonometric, exponential, logarithmic, inverse functions; Real and Complex numbers; Essential co-ordinate geometry; series.

2. Calculus (Theory):
Differentiation: Differentiation of basic functions, product rule, quotient rule, minima and maxima, function of a function, chain rule, curve sketching and essential coordinate geometry, complex numbers, Maclaurin and Taylor Series.
Integration: Integration of basic functions. Integration by substitution, integration by parts, finite integration, numerical integration.
Functions of several variables and partial differentiation. Differential equations: First and second order differential equation, boundary conditions.

3. Calculus (Applications):
Application of differentiation to locate and identify turning points.
The role of calculus in thermodynamics.
The use of integration to calculate p-V work (i.e. to find the area under p-V graphs).
Integration as a means to obtain a 'measurable' change in a quantity, Delta_x, from infinitesimally small changes, dx.
Partial differentiation and state functions.
The use of partial derivatives to differentiate expressions of the sort G = H - TS, and then use these to find how, for example, G varies with T at constant p. The role of differential equations in: Chemical kinetics; Quantum mechanics.

4. Vectors, Matrices and determinants:
Notation, vectors and scalars, basic vector and matrix algebra, vectors, elementary matrix operations and properties, determinants, the matrix inverse, transformations, eigenvalues and eigenvectors. Applications.

5. Mathematics through computers:
Plotting of curves, data analysis, etc

Study-unit Aims:

To equip chemistry students with the calculations and mathematical toolkit required to enable them follow mainstream chemistry courses with profit.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. Understand how to extract information from expressions that involve commonly encountered mathematical functions;
b. Differentiate functions of single and several variables;
c. Integrate equations that are normally encountered in chemical problems, in particular the SWE in a 1D box and rate laws.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

a. Successfully tackle most types of calculations and derivations that are normally encountered in undergraduate chemistry courses.

Main Text/s:

Essential Mathematics for Chemists, Pearson Education Ltd., by J. Gormally
Maths for Chemists Vol. 1 & 2 (RSC Tutorial Chemistry Texts) by Martin C.R. Cockett and Graham Doggett
Mathematics: The Core Course for A-Level by L. Bostock and S. Chandler

Supplementary readings:

The Chemistry Maths Book (OUP) by Eric Steiner
Atkins P.W., Physical Chemistry

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Tutorial

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Sept. Asst Session Weighting
Examination (3 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Joseph Noel Grima


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2023/4. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.