Chemistry

Introductory courses in chemistry focus primarily on a molecular view of nature. We explore current understanding of atomic structure, the forces that draw atoms together to form molecules and ultimately the characteristics of these molecules that give them their unique properties and govern their reactivities. All sections of 100-level and 200-level chemistry courses include an intensive laboratory experience. Laboratory experiences are shaped to enable students, working alone and in teams, to develop powers of observation, physical manipulation, and problem-solving skills. Labs are designed to invoke principles addressed in the lecture and initiate conversations around the application of these concepts. Evening support and office hours are provided to assist students in their work for both the lecture and laboratory components of the 100- and 200-level courses.

An unusual feature of the chemistry curriculum is that introductory chemistry is taught in one semester, and is offered only in the fall. Introductory chemistry students have the option to take either Chem 120 or Chem 125. Both provide an appropriate foundation for subsequent work in chemistry or other sciences. Lecture sections of Chem 120 will contain approximately forty students and will provide a broad overview of the central principles and theories of chemistry. The Chem 120 lab involves weekly experiments intended to explore specific chemical concepts and to familiarize students with a range of standard laboratory techniques. Chem 125, which has an enrollment limit of twenty-four and is open to first-year students only, is intended for students with a strong interest in science and/or medicine who wish to engage with the material beyond its fundamentals. Lectures will discuss the central ideas of chemistry and its applications, and the laboratory component is a discovery-based, semester-long investigation that addresses analytical and chemical approaches to environmental chemistry and toxicology. Students electing to take Chem 125 should have a good high school preparation in chemistry, typically demonstrated by a 4 or 5 on the AP exam. Students with questions about which course to elect, Chem 120 or 125, should contact Adam Van Wynsberghe (avanwyns@hamilton.edu) or Ian Rosenstein (irosenst@hamilton.edu).

We recommend that all students interested in the health professions, chemistry, biochemistry/molecular biology or chemical physics begin the study of chemistry in their first semester at the College. Pre-medical students who intend to go directly to medical school must complete two years of chemistry by the end of the junior year; thus, starting chemistry in the first year gives pre-medical students the flexibility to study away from campus in the junior year. The same is true for students who end up concentrating in chemistry, biochemistry/molecular biology or chemical physics. There are also advantages to starting chemistry early for students interested in biology, neuroscience and environmental studies. Students who continue beyond Chem 120 or 125 typically enroll in Organic Chemistry I (Chem 190) in the spring semester.

120F Principles of Chemistry.
Exploration of the central principles and theories of chemistry including stoichiometry, thermodynamics, equilibrium, reaction kinetics, and molecular structure and bonding. For students intending to pursue post-graduate work in the Health Professions, this course satisfies the first semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Brewer, Dawood.
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125F Principles of Chemistry: Fundamentals to Applications.
Intended for students with strong preparation in chemistry and high motivation, the course explores central principles in the context of current issues, including human health and the environment. Main topics include the unifying concepts in chemistry and their use to develop critical-thinking skills. A discovery-based lab component addresses analytical and chemical approaches to environmental chemistry and toxicology. For students intending to pursue post-graduate work in the Health Professions, this course satisfies the first semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. Two years of high school chemistry or equivalent required. Registration is open to first-year students only. Upperclassmen may enroll with instructor's consent. Maximum enrollment, 24. Van Wynsberghe.

190S Organic Chemistry I.
Structure and bonding of organic compounds and their acid-base properties, stereochemistry, introduction to reactions and reaction mechanisms of carbon compounds and the relationship of reactivity and structure. Three hours of class and four hours of laboratory. Prerequisite, 120 or 125. Blum, Majireck and I Rosenstein.
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255F Organic Chemistry II.
Chemistry of conjugated alkenes and aromatic and carbonyl compounds, emphasizing mechanism and synthesis; introduction to carbohydrate and amino acid chemistry. Three hours of class and four hours of laboratory. Prerequisite, 190. Blum, Majireck and I Rosenstein.
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265S Inorganic Chemistry and Materials.
Topics in inorganic chemistry, including periodicity and descriptive chemistry of the elements, electrochemistry, transition metal coordination chemistry, and the structure and properties of solid state materials. Laboratories emphasize synthesis and characterization of inorganic coordination compounds, electrochemistry, and inorganic materials. This course satisfies the second semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement for post-graduate Health Professions programs. Prerequisite, 120 or 125. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory. Brewer.
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270S Biological Chemistry.
A survey of the chemical and physical nature of biological macromolecules, including nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates; biochemistry of enzyme catalysis; bioenergetics and regulatory mechanisms. Principles and techniques of experimental biochemistry, focusing on isolation methods and techniques for analyzing structure and function. This course satisfies the second semester of a one-year General Chemistry requirement for post-graduate Health Professions programs, however, this course might not also satisfy a Health Profession program’s requirement for a course in Biochemistry. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 190. Three hours of class and three hours of laboratory. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 270 and Biology 270.) S Rosenstein.

298F,S Chemistry Research.
Independent work in the research laboratory under supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisite, instructor’s signature. May be repeated for credit, but not counted toward concentration requirements. Students may count up to one credit of chemistry research toward graduation. One-quarter, one-half or one credit per semester. No senior concentrators. The Department.

[320S] Biophysical Chemistry.
A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of physical chemistry applied to biological systems. Topics include the spectroscopy, thermodynamics and kinetics of proteins and other biomolecules, and the use of this knowledge to explain the physical basis of biochemical properties. Prerequisite, 270 and Mathematics 116. Physics 105, 195 or 205 is recommended. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 320.)

321F Physical Chemistry I.
A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of quantum chemistry. Topics include the fundamental postulates of quantum mechanics, the nature of the chemical bond, and applications of molecular quantum mechanics including spectroscopy and computational electronic structure methods. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 125 or 190, Mathematics 116, Physics 105, 195 or 205. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 321.) Dawood; Van Wynsberghe.
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322S Physical Chemistry II.
A study of the fundamental concepts and principles of thermodynamics and kinetics. Topics include statistical and classical thermodynamics, prediction of the direction and extent of chemical reactions, equilibrium, chemical kinetics, catalysis, and reaction rate theory. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) Prerequisite, 125 or 190, Mathematics 116, Physics 105, 195 or 205. The department recommends that students take 321 prior to 322. Three hours of lecture. (Same as Biochemistry/Molecular Biology 322.) Dawood; Van Wynsberghe.
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325F,S Physical Methods for Chemical Analysis.
An integrated lecture-laboratory course in which students learn to design, build, and use instrumentation to study the physicochemical properties of atoms and molecules. Topics include the theory and practice of optical spectroscopy, thermochemical measurements of gases and condensed phases, and the measurement of reaction kinetics. Evaluations stress mastery of laboratory technique and communication of results with an emphasis on oral communication. Speaking-Intensive. One hour of lecture, three hours of laboratory. (Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning.) (Speaking-Intensive.) Prerequisite, Must have taken or be concurrently enrolled in either Chem 321 or 322. Maximum enrollment, 12. Dawood; Van Wynsberghe.

360F Organic Synthesis Toward Improved Human Health.
An investigation into the concepts of organic synthesis as applied to small molecule drug and probe development for the treatment and understanding of human disease. Emphasis will be placed on modern organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, and chemical biology research aimed toward the realization of personalized therapeutics. The process of developing an original research proposal will be a primary mechanism to reinforce the concepts of this course. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, Chem 255 (Chem 270 or Biology 346 strongly recommended.). Three hours of lecture. Maximum enrollment, 20. Majireck.
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371F,S Research Methods in Chemistry.
Development of research skills in chemistry through a semester-long intensive laboratory project. Emphasis on laboratory work focusing on advanced synthetic techniques and spectroscopic characterization. Scientific writing, oral presentation skills and use of the chemical literature are also stressed. Six hours of laboratory and one hour of class. (Writing-intensive.) Prerequisite, 265 or 270. Maximum enrollment, 12. The Department.

[393S] Advanced Organic Chemistry I.
Spectroscopy and synthesis. Exploration of advanced techniques in spectroscopic identification of organic compounds, including mass spectrometry and two-dimensional NMR spectroscopy. Study of strategies for the synthesis of complex molecules with examples taken from the primary chemical literature. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite, 255. Offered in alternate years. Next offered in Spring 2019
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412S Advanced Organic Chemistry II.
Physical Organic Chemistry. Study of structure and bonding in organic compounds, stereochemistry and conformational analysis, the mechanisms of organic reactions and free radical chemistry with an emphasis on the exploration of experimental methods for probing reaction mechanisms. Taught primarily through readings from the primary literature. Prerequisite, 255. Offered in alternate years. I Rosenstein.
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[423S] Advanced Inorganic Chemistry.
Introduction to the chemical applications of group theory, including molecular structure and spectroscopy. Structure, bonding and reaction mechanisms of coordination and organometallic compounds with readings in the primary literature. Prerequisite, 321 or 322. Offered in alternate years. Next offered in Spring 2019.
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551/552F,S Senior Project.
An intensive research project carried out in association with a faculty member, culminating in a thesis. Prerequisite, 371. Attendance at weekly departmental seminars is required. Candidates for honors should elect both 551 and 552. The Department.