According to the Medical Biotechnologies Bachelor's degree guidelines, the General and Inorganic Chemistry course provides the experimental and theoretical fundamentals of chemical sciences and introduces the students to their jargon and methodologies. Moreover, they will be trained about the basic principles of structure of the matter and of the molecular reactivity and thermodynamics, with a strong focus on the chemistry of aqueous systems.
Expected learning outcomes
A final goal of the course will be the acquisition of the necessary methodology and of the most correct language for the comprehension and elaboration of chemical concepts and data. Such a knowledge will pave the way for the study of the majority of the disciplines of the following semester and of the second year, in particular of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Qualitative and quantitative aspects of chemistry (7 hours) Course outline. Elements of history of Chemistry: from alchemy to modern times. Mixtures and compounds. Dalton's atomic theory and the laws of chemical combination. Systematization of atomic properties: the periodic table of elements by Mendeleev. Nucleosynthesis of light atoms and elements of the nucleosynthesis of heavy elements. Atoms, elements and isotopes: atomic number and atomic weight. The modern periodic table of elements. Molecules, compounds and molecular formulas. Molecular weight and mass, molecular and formula weight. The Avogadro number and the concept of mole. Compound names. Metals, nonmetals and metalloids. Oxides. Acids and bases. Salts. Ionic and molecular compounds.
Structure of matter (14 hours) The atomic structure and the subatomic particles. the electromagnetic radiations and the atomic spectrum. The Bohr's atom: the quantum mechanical description of the atoms and the concept of wave function. Atoms configuration: quantum numbers and orbitals. Pauli's principle. Hund's rule. The electronic structure of atoms and its connection with the periodic table of elements. Periodicity of the atomic properties: atomic and ionic radius, ionization energies and electron affinity. Chemical bonds and molecular structure: the electrons distribution in molecules. Ionic, covalent and metallic bonds. Lewis structures and the octet rule. Resonant structures. Electronegativity. The dipole moment in molecules and their polarity. The molecular shape according the VSEPR theory. The valence bond theory. Hybrid orbitals. Multiple bonds. Examples of inorganic and organic molecular structures. Molecular orbitals. Intermolecular weak forces. Hydrogen bonding.
Stoichiometry (9 hours) Units and dimensional analysis. Variance, standard deviation and standard error. Measurements, errors and significative figures. Chemically relevant units. Moles, atomic weight and molecular weight. Elementary analysis and percentage composition. Equivalent weight and valence. Chemical reactions: stoichiometry and balancing, yield and limiting agent. Aqueous phase reactions. Gas phase reactions. Net ionic equations. Concentration and dilution. Oxidation number. Oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions and their balancing. Equivalent weight and normality.
States of matter (6 hours) Gas properties. Ideal gases and their equation of state. Gas mixtures and partial pressure. Kinetic theory of gases. Effusion and diffusion. Real gases and their equation of state (Van der Waals). Liquids properties. Gas diffusion in solutions. Transition state and phases equilibrium. Vapor pressure. Surface tension. Viscosity. Qualitative description of phase diagrams of water and carbon dioxide. The properties of water. Solutions, dissolution and common solvents. Concentration units and solubility principles. Raoult's law. Colligative properties. Osmosis. Colloids and colloidal dispersions. Solids properties. Ionic, covalent, molecular and metallic solids. Crystal lattices. Elements of X ray diffractometry.
The control of chemical reactions (12 hours) The energetic landscape of chemical reactions: thermochemistry. Energy units. First law of thermodynamics. Internal Energy. General concepts of chemical thermodynamics. Enthalpy and reaction heat. Hess'law. Specific heat and thermal capacity. Calorimetry. Second law of thermodynamics. Gibbs free energy and spontaneous processes. Chemical potential. Thermodynamic quantitative description of phase transitions. Chemical equilibria: the mass action law, the equilibrium constant and the reaction quotient. Le Chatelier's principle. Chemical kinetics. Reaction rates and mechanism of reaction. Activation energy and chemical catalysis.
Chemistry of aqueous solutions (6 hours) Acids and bases chemistry. Water ionic product, pH, pOH and pKw. Strong and weak electrolytes. Arrhenius theory of acids and bases. Brönsted-Lowry theory of acids and bases. Conjugate acid-base couples. Aqueous solutions of weak and strong acids. Ionization degree. Polyprotic acids. Common ion effect. Lewis theory of acids and bases. Coordinate covalent (dative) bonds and complex ions. Acid-base reactions. Salt hydrolysis. Buffer solutions. Acid-base titrations and their stoichiometry. Acid-base indicators. pH calculations of solutions of acidic, basic and salts. Neutralization diagrams. Low solubility salts. Product of solubility. Precipitation reactions. Common ion solubility. pH and solubility. Simultaneous equilibria. Redox titration.
Elements of bioinorganic chemistry (2 hours) Natural aminoacids, pKa and isoelectric point. Transition metals and coordination chemistry in proteins: copper and zinc. Oxygen transport. Redox reactions of biological relevance.
Electrochemistry (8 hours) Electrochemical and electrolytic cells. Standard reduction potentials. Electromotive force (emf) of a pile. Free energy and efm. Non-standard voltaic cells and Nernst equation. Emf and equilibrium constant. Concentration piles. Potentiometric determination of Kps and of pH. Indicator and reference electrodes. The pH meter. Electrolysis. Fuse salts, aqueous solutions and water electrolysis. Batteries and accumulators. Metal corrosion.
Examination The examination will be performed in a written form and divided into two parts: the first one will be a multiple choice test, the second one an open answer test. The positive result of the former will be mandatory for the access to the latter. The final mark will be computed as a sum of the two marks.