MIT 5.111 Principles of Chemical Science, Fall 2008

This course provides an introduction to the chemistry of biological, inorganic, and organic molecules. The emphasis is on basic principles of atomic and molecular electronic structure, thermodynamics, acid-base and redox equilibria, chemical kinetics, and catalysis. Created by MIT OpenCourseWare.

Average Course Length

45 hours

Skill Level


Pick a lesson

1: The importance of chemical principles
2: Discovery of electron and nucleus, need for quantum mechanics
3: Wave-particle duality of light
4: Wave-particle duality of matter, Schrödinger equation
5: Hydrogen atom energy levels
6: Hydrogen atom wavefunctions (orbitals)
7: p-orbitals
8: Multielectron atoms and electron configurations
9: Periodic trends
10: Periodic trends continued; Covalent bonds
11: Lewis structures
12: Exceptions to Lewis structure rules; Ionic bonds
13: Polar covalent bonds; VSEPR theory
14: Molecular orbital theory
15: Valence bond theory and hybridization
16: Determining hybridization in complex molecules; Thermochemistry, bond energies/bond enthalpies
17: Entropy and disorder
18: Free energy and control of spontaneity
19: Chemical equilibrium
20: Le Chatelier's principle and applications to blood-oxygen levels
21: Acid-base equilibrium: Is MIT water safe to drink?
22: Chemical and biological buffers
23: Acid-base titrations
24: Balancing oxidation/reduction equations
25: Electrochemical cells
26: Chemical and biological oxidation/reduction reactions
27: Transition metals and the treatment of lead poisoning
28: Crystal field theory
29: Metals in biology
30: Magnetism and spectrochemical theory
31: Rate laws
32: Nuclear chemistry and elementary reactions
33: Reaction mechanism
34: Temperature and kinetics
35: Enzyme catalysis
36: Biochemistry