Spring 2025

Foundations of Thermodynamics and Kinetics

Listed in: Chemistry, as CHEM-165


Stephen F. Cartier (Sections 01, 02 and 03)
Christopher B. Durr (Sections 01, 02 and 03)


The concepts of thermodynamic equilibrium and kinetic reactivity will be studied. The course seeks to understand the dynamics of chemical reactions. Specifically, we will be exploring the issues that control whether a specific reaction can occur (i.e., if it is even possible) and how fast a feasible reaction will occur. Closely connected to the first concern is the position of chemical equilibrium, which defines the direction in which a reaction will proceed and the extent to which it will occur. In spite of its universality in describing systems at equilibrium and whether interconversions are possible, thermodynamics makes no statement about the rate at which equilibrium is approached. We will use the language of thermodynamics to investigate chemical kinetics, the study of factors that determine reactions rates. This course is designed to utilize the background of those students with strong preparation in science and mathematics and to provide both breadth in subject matter and depth in coverage. Each laboratory section is limited to 24 students; sufficient sections will be added to meet total enrollment. Four class hours and three hours of laboratory work per week.

Requisite: CHEM 155, or consent of instructor; MATH 111, or placement by the Mathematics department into MATH 121 or higher.

Spring semester: Lecturer Cartier

How to handle overenrollment: null

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: In-class exams, quantitative work, laboratory work.

Course Materials


Other years: Offered in Spring 2023, Spring 2025