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What concepts of General Chemistry are important in Physics?

  1. Dec 17, 2004 #1
    I am taking General Chemistry right now, what parts of chemistry are important in the last two years of a physics BS degree?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 17, 2004 #2


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    Hopefully i'm not offending our chemists on the forums,but the unique answer is:NONE.Moreover,fundamental chemistry is pure physics (quantum mechanics to be exact).I've always wondered myself why they teach a semester of General Chemistry at the phyiscs schools.Probably they want to show us that quantum mechanics and mathematics are useful for other domains as well.

  4. Dec 17, 2004 #3
    Stuff like lewis structures, electron configurations, geometry, chemical reactions, etc have no future use for me?
  5. Dec 17, 2004 #4


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    1.Lewis structure:not a chance.
    2.Electron configurations:yep,u'll discuss them in the atom phyiscs course,bu it's good to know them in advance.
    3.Geometry of molecules:no.Maybe a course (if u have) on symmetries will discuss symmetry groups for crystals and probaly molecules.But again,i stress that the teacher will assume no knowledge whatsoever and he should take it from zero.
    4.Chemical reactions:not a chance.

  6. Dec 17, 2004 #5
    Apperanty Chem 201/203 (General Chem) are courses not ment to inform but are ment to challenge students. It is ment to seperate the strong students and the weaker students. This is what my prof says anyway...
  7. Dec 18, 2004 #6
    So Im taking chemistry for a general science information?
  8. Dec 18, 2004 #7
    chemistry in physics

    I've just taken a general chemistry course and the topics important for physics seem to be thermodynamics, the molecular structure and the structure of solids. We had a lot of quantum chemistry and that will certainly be useful in physics courses.

  9. Dec 18, 2004 #8


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    Apparently so.Dont't worry,if u're having a good thermo teacher,a good teacher on solid state and a good one on atom and molecule physics,everything's gonna be just fine... :tongue2: I wouldn't worry,if i were u.I'd just pass the damn exam,without stressing my nervs too much.

  10. Dec 18, 2004 #9
    I enjoyed chemistry one, it was enlightening. I learned alot.

    I already took the final and bombed it. Really bombed it bad. Just by pure bad luck, the test of twelve questions was on my worst areas. I was hoping for physics type questions (thermodynamics, light questions, etc) I couldve gotten a B+ if I didnt screw up, now a C+ and possibly a B- if Im lucky.

    My areas that Im horrible are at naming and determing the types of chemical reactions. It all clouds up in my mind. It didnt help I started to freak out and started to make tons of silly mistakes (balancing, etc)

    Do you know of any sources where I can be helped in those areas?
  11. Dec 18, 2004 #10


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    Courses in Physical Chemistry and related areas would seem appropriate. I would think that General Chemistry would be a course taken during the first two years of a baccalaureate program in Physics or other science.

    Physicists and chemists usually specialize in specific areas, so look for courses in the area of most interest to you.

    As for resources, there is the Chemistry forum here, and many websites dedicated to particular areas within chemistry.

    Also check out - Royal Society of Chemistry's - journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics

    And the American Chemical Society should have something equivalent.

    Registration or membership may be required by both organizations for access to the really useful material, but students usually get a substantial discount.

    Also check out Chemweb.com, which gives a good overview of different areas in chemistry.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2004
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