Energy, Entropy and Quantization (CHE2129.01)

Dor Ben-Amotz

In this class we will explore the concepts of energy, entropy and quantization to discover how their dancing interplay determines the structure and dynamics of the world around us. Our aim will be to understand the organizing principles that drive all chemical and physical processes. Doing so inevitably involves mathematics, but the associated understanding goes beyond mathematics and is intimately linked to the use of language to clarify ideas. Thus, the work in this class will include the refinement of writing skills to clearly communicate scientific ideas in non-mathematical and non-technical language.  Although mathematical expertise is not required in order to take this class, the reading and class discussions will often involve mathematics, and those students that are interested in applying and developing the associated mathematical skills will have ample opportunity to do so. There is no prerequisite for this course besides curiosity and a desire to understand what it is all about.

Learning Outcomes:
Students will learn:
- the differences and similarities between the scientific concepts of energy, entropy and quantization and various non-scientific uses and interpretations of those terms.
- the scientific meaning and significance of “energy”, including the distinction between kinetic, potential, work and heat as different forms of energy (or energy transfer).
- the scientific meaning and significance of “entropy”, including its statistical interpretation and relation to reversible heat exchange.
- the scientific meaning and significance of “quantization”, including its influence on the complementary and often competing energetic and entropic contributions to chemical reactivity, including chemical equilibria and rates.
- how the interconnections between energy, entropy and quantization influence and drive all microscopic and macroscopic processes on Earth and in the Universe.

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 8:30AM - 10:20AM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 16
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 2000 , All courses , Chemistry , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Updates
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