Module Overview

Thermodynamics and Maths

The purpose of this module is to provide the learner with a basic understanding of the fundamentals of certain aspects of physical chemistry and mathematics relevant to physical chemistry, The physical chemistry component consists of introductory thermodynamics. The mathematics components consists of the application of maths methods to physical chemistry, with particular emphasis on laboratory data analysis. The theoretical aspects are underpinned by suitably chosen experiments and computer software workshops.

Module Code

CHEM 2020

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

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. 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. Liquid vapour phase diagrams to describe mixtures. Thermodynamics of distillation. Azeotropic mixtures.
Mathematics for Chemistry:
Algebra in chemical calculations, using different units of concentrations. Determining the roots of a quadratic and its application to equilibrium problems.The equation of the line – application to physical chemistry. Data extraction. Linearising non-linear equations (logarithms and exponentials). Intersecting lines and application to chemical analysis. Errors and regression analysis.
Laboratory Work:
Two practical classes and three Microsoft Excel workshops which complement the lecture material. Details are in the School of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Laboratory Manual.

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

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination45
Other Assessment(s)55