Module Overview

Spectroscopy & Thermodynamics

The purpose of this module is to provide the learner with a basic understanding of the fundamentals of certain aspects of physical chemistry, in particular reaction molecular spectroscopy and thermodynamics. The theoretical aspects are underpinned by suitably chosen experiments. These experiments not only amplify and reinforce the lecture content but also provide the learner with hands-on experience in a variety of experimental techniques

Module Code

CHEM 2003

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change
Molecular Spectroscopy:
The electromagnetic spectrum. Quantization of energy levels. General principles of spectroscopy. Rotational spectroscopy. The rigid rotor model. Microwave spectra of diatomic and triatomic molecules. Determination of bond lengths. Vibrational spectroscopy. The harmonic oscillator model. Infrared spectra of diatomic and triatomic molecules. Determination of force constants. Electronic spectroscopy. Origin of electronic spectra for polyatomic molecules. Quantitative analysis using the Beer-Lambert law.


Part 1: Energy transfer in chemical reactions: define system and surroundings, heat capacities, energy changes, enthalpy changes, dependence of enthalpy on temperature. Experimental determination of energy changes using calorimetry.
Part 2: Reaction spontaneity: entropy and the Second Law. Calculating entropies of reaction. The dependence of entropy on temperature. Gibbs equation and minimum temperature of reaction. Relating Gibbs energy and equilibrium.
Part 3: Phases: Phase diagrams of pure substances; the liquid-vapour phase boundary and Clausius Clapeyron equation. Solutions and mixtures. Raoult’s Law and Henry’s Law. Liquid vapour phase diagrams to describe mixtures. Thermodynamics of distillation. Azeotropic mixtures.

This module is delivered though a series of lectures, laboratory practical classes and online learning resources.

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination50
Other Assessment(s)50