Chemistry 181H, Fall 2016

TEXT: Oxtoby, Gillis, Butler “Principles of Modern Chemistry,” Cengage Learning 8th edition

Web Resources:

  1. WebElements: The Periodic Table on the Worldwide Web (
  2. ( Access to the basic ChemFinder database is free. 
  3. NIST Chemistry Webbook (
Instructor: Marcos Dantus, Office: 58 Chemistry Building, 
Recitation Instructor:  Gabrielle Murashova,
Lecture:             T & Th 8:30 – 9:50, Room 136, Chemistry Building
Office Hours:   W 1:00 – 2:00: Th 9:50 – 10:50 in room 58 (approximately under room 136). Plan to attend office hours at least once before every exam.
Recitation:         Weekly recitations are designed for you to ask about such concepts. 
The Syllabus:   Available: 181H Syllabus Aug 1 2016.pdf
Study Groups I highly recommend that you form a 2-4 people study group. This will help you learn the concepts much better. If you have problems forming a study group let us know.
Exams:               There will be two midterms and one final exam. 
Quizzes:   Quizzes will be given most Thursdays in class. The quiz will include the most important concept being covered that week. 
Homework Homework will be handed out on Tuesdays and will be expected back the following Tuesday. Late homework cannot be accepted; the two homework assignments with the lowest grade will be dropped.

Grade Computation:

Homework 20%
Exam I 20%
Exam II 20%
Quizzes Not graded
Participation 10%
Final 30%

Final Exam:  This examination will be inclusive. Note: There is no makeup FINAL EXAM.  

Course Introduction: Chemistry studies the properties of matter, the interactions between different types of matter as well as with energy and light. Chemistry includes synthesis of new compounds, measurement of properties, and development of experimental and theoretical models that can be used to test, control and predict the behavior of matter.

Although people have transformed matter for thousands of years, it wasn’t until electron diffraction and later x-ray diffraction were available that a modern atomistic/molecular view was finally developed. The resulting ‘static’ picture of chemistry has been transformed by the use of lasers having ultrashort pulse durations, which allow us to take ‘snapshots’ of molecules while they are involved in chemical reactions.

CEM 181H is an advanced course that focuses on gaining an atomistic and quantum mechanical perspective of chemistry. In addition to the principles of quantum mechanics, I will bring up some of the latest findings relevant to the subjects being discussed in class. This course differs from other general chemistry courses in that emphasis will be on understanding and not on repeating concepts. The course is primarily geared towards those interested in figuring out why things are the way they are, namely scientific research. Therefore, I am willing to help any student interested in undergraduate research to connect with a research group at MSU.