Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
CT0040 (AF:359854 AR:188130)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Class 2
Degree level
Bachelor's Degree Programme
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The Physical Chemistry 1 and Laboratory course is one of the basic training activities of the Chemistry and Sustainable Technology degree course. In Module 2 the practical aspects of the Physical Chemistry notions presented in Module1 are considered; thus, this activity deals with laboratory experiences aimed to determine physico-chemical properties of simple systems, including explanations of the underlying theoretical principles, the required equipment and the evaluation of errors.
1. Knowledge and understanding
i. Make use of some of the basic notions presented in Module 1 to understand the design of experiments aimed to the determination of physico-chemical properties through experimental measurements and to understand the operating principles of some scientific apparatus; make use of the theory of errors to evaluate critically the obtained results.
ii. Go through the theoretical notions presented in Module 1 with an applicative perspective.

2. Applying knowledge and understanding
Make use of the notions learnt to determine experimentally some physico-chemical properties of particular systems such as metallic alloys, binary liquid mixtures, solutions, gases.
ii. Be able to write scientific reports on the laboratory activities.

3. Making judgements
Evaluate the main causes of error on the obtained experimental results (awareness of the role played by the sensitivity of the employed instrumentation, of the followed procedure, of possible operative inaccuracies, etc.); be able to compare the obtained results with appropriate literature data and understand the causes of possible significant differences.

4. Communication
i. Interact with the classmates during the laboratory activities (in groups) to coordinate the different actions needed, to elaborate the data obtained and later to write the requested reports.
ii. Present sinthetically, logically and using an appropriate vocabulary what performed (in the laboratory reports) and learnt (during the oral exam).

5. Lifelong learning skills
i. Take notes during the lessons, recognizing the logical paths proposed by the teacher and identifying the most relevant information.
ii. Record correctly and fully the laboratory activities, also filling out the end-of-shift reports handed out by the teacher as a self-assessment tool.
To have attained the educational objectives of Mathematics and Exercises 1 and General Physics 1, possibly but not necessarily having passed the corresponding exams. In particular, it is required on the one hand to have a fairly good competence of calculus and on the other to know the basic notions of general physics and of the theory of errors.
With regard to programme goals and the expected learning outcomes, the contents of the course can be summarized as follows:

Preparation of the laboratory activities:
- solid-liquid equilibrium of binary mixtures (completely miscibile, immiscibile, partially miscible with eutectic components)
- properties of liquid binary mixtures (namely refractive index, density and viscosity and corresponding excess quantites)
- solution enthalpy at infinite dilution of a salt in water
- molar specific heats of a gas (through IR spectroscopy and statistical thermodinamics)
- condensation enthalpy of water
- gamma constant of gases according to the Rüchardt and the Clément e Desormes methods.
- review of recommended criteria for the writing of the laboratory reports, including the calculation of the errors on the quantities determined experimentally and a critical assessment of the results obtained.

Hands-on laboratory activities:
- calorimetric measurements: study of the solid-liquid equilibrium of the tin-lead alloy at different compositions through the recording of cooling thermograms and of differential scanning calorimetric curves; measurement of the solution enthalpy at infinite dilution of a salt (potassium nitrate) in water.
- physico-chemical measurements: study of properties of the liquid binary mixture acetone-water through the determination at different compositions of the refractive index (using an Abbe refractometer), of density (using a hydrometer) and viscosity (using an Ostwald viscosimeter) and calculation of the corresponding excess quantities.
- IR spectroscopy: determination of the molar specific heats of a gas through the study of its mid-infrared absorbtion spectrum, combined with appropriate statistic thermodynamic formulas learnt in Module 1.
- simulated activities to determine the condensation enthalpy of water and the gamma constant of gases according to the Rüchardt and the Clément e Desormes methods.
In addition to the material provided by the teacher (and available in Moodle), students can adopt any universitary text on Physical Chemistry, covering the principles exploited by the proposed activities.
However, one of the following is suggested:
D. GAZZILLO: Termodinamica e… , Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso, 2010
P. ATKINS, J. DE PAULA: Chimica Fisica, 5° ed. ita. Zanichelli, Bologna, 2012
P. ATKINS, J. DE PAULA: Elementi di Chimica Fisica, 4° ed. ita. Zanichelli, Bologna, 2018
The assessment is articulated in two steps: laboratory test and oral exam.
Students are required to participate to at least eight out of the nine laboratory activities, taking into account the availability of a final additional shift to allow carrying out any missed activities.
The laboratory test consists in writing (one for each group of students) reports on the activities carried out; these reports should be written in an appropriate language, should be concise but giving adequate information on the exploited principles and on what performed in the laboratory, the calculation of the required quantities and the corresponding errors, as well as a critical discussion on the results obtained based on an analysis of the applied methodology and on the comparison to appropriate literature data.
The oral text, taking about half an hour, consists in one or more questions about the laboratory activities, aiming also to ascertain the real participation of the student to the data processing and writing of the group reports. During this discussion, clear reasoning, appropriate language and assimilation of the contents learnt during the course are required.
The final grade will take into account the results achieved in the oral test, incorporating (in positive or negative) the evaluation of the laboratory reports and will weigh 1/3 on the final mark (Module 1 + Module 2).
The course consists of:
i. Lectures preceding the laboratory activites and devoted to their prepaation, going through the main thermodynamics and physical chemistry principles exploited and presenting the suggested experimental procedures, the operating principles of the adopted equipment and safety and waste disposal rules.
ii. Laboratory activities, where students put into practice what was presented in the preparatory lectures, with the help of the teacher flanked by other technical support people and of suitable information material. At the end of each laboratory shift the students are invited to fill in a report form (optional) that they can use as a tool to verify if they have carried out the activity properly and collected the data adequately; this report form, even if discussed in the laboratory with the teacher, is not taken into account in the final grade since it is meant as a mere tool given to the students for the self-assessment of their activity during the shift.
In the University Moodle platform, teaching material (the slides shown in the classroom, including also the safety fiches of the used reagents; support material for each of the laboratory activities; instructions for some automatic data processing) can be found.

1 CFU - notes and material for self-evaluation online

Accommodation and support services for students with disabilities and students with specific learning impairments:
Ca’ Foscari abides by Italian Law (Law 17/1999; Law 170/2010) regarding supportservices and accommodation available to students with disabilities. This includes students with mobility, visual, hearing and other disabilities (Law 17/1999), and specific learning impairments (Law 170/2010). In the case of disability or impairment that requires accommodations (i.e., alternate testing, readers, note takers or interpreters) please contact the Disability and Accessibility Offices in Student Services:
Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 01/02/2022