General Chemistry I: Atoms, Molecules, and Bonding

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Chemistry is the study of the properties, structure, behavior, and reactivity of matter. As the central science, chemistry has connections to fields from physics to biology, from environmental science to nano-science. A fundamental understanding of chemistry is the basis on which cutting-edge research in many fields rests. This course is designed to build core skills in chemistry, including drawing chemical structures and predicting molecular properties and reactivities, as well as to gain the necessary fundamental knowledge for advanced courses such as Organic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Materials Science.

This chemistry course is the first in a series of two courses that together cover first-year, University-level chemistry. In this course, you will uncover the principles of chemical bonding, in the way it historically occurred: starting from the first experiments that revealed the fundamental dual wave-particle nature of energy and matter. Using the machinery of quantum chemistry, you will learn to:

  • build models to describe the electronic structure of atoms,
  • examine how atoms can be combined into molecules through different chemical bonding models,
  • predict the structure and geometry of molecules,
  • analyze how molecular geometry determines molecular properties,
  • explore how molecules interact with each other and analyze how these interactions impact properties in a variety of phases

This course is based on material in MIT’s Principles of Chemical Science course, which fulfills the General Institute Requirement in Chemistry for all MIT undergraduates.

The course image is of liquid oxygen suspended between two powerful magnets, demonstrating that oxygen is a magnetic species.