PHS 540 Integrated Physics and Chemistry


Arizona State University

Prof. Robert J. Culbertson
Summer M-Tu-W-Th, July 5 - August 2, 2011


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Wiki Topic Leaders


We agree that all projects should…
  • Be teachable to the high school level (physical science through AP physics)
  • Low budget
  • Files in electronic/editable form
  • The usual modeling lesson plan inclusion
    • Teacher and performance notes
    • Lesson objectives
    • Time estimation
    • Example dialog questions
    • Materials list
      • Try to use “self-contained” materials
  • Prequesit knowledge
  • Lab procedure
  • Safety requirements
  • Assessment
  • Answer keys and/or example lab results
  • Accessible additional resources (for extensions, add-ons)
You tube is a problem

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State of Classical Science in 1900

As physics approached the early twentieth century it was thought that almost everything in the known universe could be explained by Newton’s mechanics and Maxwell’s electricity and magnetism theories. There remained only a few phenomena that could not be explained. As scientists worked to understand these last puzzles including line spectra, the photoelectric effect and the structure of the atom, scientists began to realize that as powerful as the old theories were, they simply were insufficient. The birth of the quantum revolution answered these unresolved questions. However, quantum mechanics brought with it a completely different way of looking at the universe and it’s own myriad of questions. more....
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Hydrogen Line Spectra

Beginnings of Quantum Mechanics

Energy Levels

Multi Electron Atoms

As a first approximation, we ignored electron - electron interactions. This didn't work so well, but gave some insights.
We looked at the energy levels for Helium, a two electron to see how the electron - electron interaction affected things. This resulted in splitting of principle energy levels into sublevels. It also illustrated the idea of effective charge Z*.
The Pauli exclusion principle was introduced. It is empirical. Electron spin (a magnetic property) was used as supporting evidence.
An analysis of ionization energies for all electrons in the first 20 elements showed periodic trends. These showed the electron levels and the pairing of electrons. We used Excel graphs to visualize the trends.
Atomic radii were also used to underline the period trends and effective charge.

Simple Bonding

Chemical bonds must form because the energy of the system decreases. The energy appears as heat in the surroundings. The formation of bonds occur only if the potential energy of the electrons and nuclei decreases as the atoms come together. Bonding is possible when an electrons are simultaneously near two or more nuclei. The proximity of the electrons are essential to bond forming creating a binding and anti-binding region.

Bonding in more detail

Special Topics

Electron Microsope


The electron microspoe is an instrument to perform microanalysis of a sample. The microscope utilizes a finely focused beam of electrons accelerated by a high voltage potential difference onto a sample in a high vaccuum chamber to produce an image. Operating voltages of 200-400kV are typically used .more



X-Ray Diffraction

X-ray diffraction (XRD) is a tool for investigating the atomic structure of matter and originated from the discovery in 1912 that crystals diffract x-rays. Other uses for XRD include chemical and stress analysis, phase
equilibria, particle size measurement, and crystal orientation.more...

Resources