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Unit 5 - The Thermodynamic Model of Chemical Reactions

There will always be more to the "story" of Chemisty and in this unit, thermodynamics is the "more" that we will add to our growing understanding of chemical change. We will learn that the change in temperature that occurs when a reaction takes place is associated with the energy required to break bonds and reform new bonds. We will learn how to measure this energy using a method known as calorimetry. And we will learn how to use energy and entropy to predict whether or not a given change will take place. Our ideas will apply to the very small - to atoms and particles - and apply to the very large - to the universe as a whole.

We will be testing on about the 9th block of the unit. There will be several labs, the usual battery of WebAssigns, and a chemistry-engineering project that will run alongside the execution of this unit. Ideas are both conceptual and mathematical. Bring your calculator every day as you will be using it quite regularly.

Semester Exam Grades

The First Semester Final Exam has been graded and curved. The curve was a generous curve of about 8%. It was the same curve used last year (for the same test).  Grades were a little lower than last year and a little lower than hoped. The end result was the following:

As:  9 (includes the two A+'s)
Bs:  10
Cs:  12
D|Fs:  8

Final Exam Viewing

Some people like to look at their Final Exam. If you would like to do so, then let me know when you are coming in - before and after school is preferred, beginning on Wednesday, January 23 and continuing through the end of following week. After the end of next week, The First Semester Final and all semester 1 exams will be incinerated.

BIG Ideas

TPC TutorialAt the beginning of our unit on Thermodynamics, students will need to quickly internalize several terms that have deep meaning and are often misunderstood. These terms include:

System and Surroundings



Thermal Equilibrium

0th Law of Thermodynamics

A good source of information on this topic can be found in Lesson 1 of the Thermal Physics chapter of The Physics Classroom. Visit Lesson 1.

Unit 5 Labs

We will be doing the following Unit 5 Labs. Lab description pages can be found in the Laboratory section of this website. The links below lead to those descriptions.

Pop Quiz

There will be a Pop Quiz on Wednesday, February 6. You can learn more about any pop quiz at the Quiz Room.

Keep Up

Don't fall behind in chemistry at this point. The snowball effect will occur.

That is, you will feel like you're running down a snowy hill with a rolling snowball rolling behind you. The further you go, the bigger the snowball becomes until finally ... .

Hopefully, you get my drift.

Come in and get some help when you need it. Use the referenced web pages and YouTube videso as well. (I highly recommend Tyler DeWitt's YouTube channel.)

Mr. H's Little Secret

Pssss.  Hey bud! I have a secret to share. Now that you know how to calculate the molar mass, here's a little cheat you should be permitted to use. It's called a Molar Mass Calculator and you will find several by following the links below. You type in the formula and it calculates the molar mass.

WebQC Chemical Portal (one of my favorites)

EndMemo (allows formula or name entry)

Environmental Chemistry (scroll to bottom)

Molecular Weight Calculator by Lenntech

or Google, e.g. molar mass Al2(SO4)3

    Online Homework


This page changes nearly every day; re-load or refresh to receive the most recent schedule.

Today in Class

>> Wednesday, January 23 <<

Focus Question(s):
  • What is heat? What is temperature? How are they different? How are they related?
  • How do two adjacent or nearby objects thermally interact with one another and how are the interactions explained in terms of heat and temperature?

  • Discuss Grades, Viewing Tests, Semester 2
  • Demonstration: Liquid N2 Ice Cream
  • Discuss System/Surroundings designations, Heat, Temperature, Thermal Equilibrium, 0th Law; Mechanism of Heat Transfer
  • Lab T1: Zeroing in on Heat - collect data, graph, conclude
  • Think Sheet: Heat and Temperature (p. 1)



Next Time in Class

>> Friday, January 25 <<

We will review concepts of heat, temperature and thermal energy. We will discuss how the quantity of heat transferred between objects can be measured and calculated. And we will do Lab T2 on the Specific Heat of a Metal.

Periodic Tables

Are you in need of a periodic table?  Try one of the following websites:

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