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Chemistry

Modern chemistry is an interdisciplinary subject with roots in physics and mathematics and with applications in biology, geology, neuroscience, and a wide range of technology. The courses for chemistry and biochemistry majors are designed to emphasize the fundamental principles of the science and their application to observed phenomena. These courses develop chemical reasoning and experimental skills, reflect chemistry's interdisciplinary nature, and prepare students for success in graduate or professional programs.

Chemistry is an experimental science. Graduate study in chemistry is centered on the research thesis, and most chemists engage in research themselves or make use of the results of research. Physicians and others who use chemical material should have some experience in research in order to evaluate the results of research. Accordingly, opportunities are provided, and students are strongly encouraged to gain research experience through an in-term research project, summer research, a Winter Term project, or a combination of these.

A major in chemistry or biochemistry can lead to a variety of careers besides chemical or biochemical research. Among these are medicine, teaching, patent law, business, and interdisciplinary sciences such as molecular biology, environmental science, pharmacology, toxicology, materials science, geochemistry, and chemical physics.

ACS Approved. The Department of Chemistry is approved by the American Chemical Society and certifies graduates who satisfy the ACS guidelines in chemistry or in biochemistry. For certification, chemistry majors must take, in addition to the minimum major requirements: Chemistry 254, and a year of research with a comprehensive written report. For certification, biochemistry majors must take, in addition to the minimum major requirements: a year of research with a comprehensive written report.

Advanced Placement. Students with good preparation in chemistry should apply for admission to Chemistry 103, a one-semester course that takes the place of Chemistry 101, 102. Entering students who have scored 3 on the Chemistry Advanced Placement examination of the Educational Testing Service can receive 4 hours of transfer credit (equivalent to 101) and can begin college chemistry with 102 or 103. Students entering with Chemistry AP scores of 4 or 5 can receive 8 hours of transfer credit (equivalent to 101, 102), but must take Chemistry 109 if they plan to enroll later in core chemistry courses. First-year students with 8 hours of credit normally take 109 in the fall semester and Chemistry 205 either concurrently or in the spring semester.

Entry-Level Course Sequence Suggestions. Chemistry 50, 65, 145, 151, and 163 are courses of general interest which do not presume any prior knowledge of chemistry and are aimed at nonscience majors. Chemistry 50, 145, or 151 may serve as a bridge to 101 for students who have not had high-school chemistry. Most students who major in a science and most premedical students begin their study of college chemistry in the first year with 101, 102 (or 103), which is open also to other students who want a thorough introduction to the subject.

All potential majors are strongly advised to complete 101, 102 (or 103) and at least Mathematics 133 in the first year. Those beginning with 205 should also take 109 in the first year. Potential chemistry majors should take Physics 110, 111 (or 103, 104) in the sophomore year and should complete Mathematics 231 by the end of the sophomore year. Potential biochemistry majors should take Biology 118/119 or 120 no later than the sophomore year and should complete the mathematics and physics requirements as early as possible.

All majors should take careful note of prerequisites for later courses. For example, physical chemistry depends upon prior work over a two-year period in mathematics and physics as well as a background in general chemistry. Majors who plan to take advanced courses in chemistry or in other sciences, including research courses, find their senior-year schedules most manageable if they take physical chemistry in the junior year.

Major. The Chemistry Department offers two majors, chemistry and biochemistry.

Chemistry. The minimum major in chemistry requires Chemistry 101, 102 (103 may replace 101, 102), 205, 211, 213, and 339. Nine hours of advanced courses from the following list also are required, including at least two hours from each of the two categories and one advanced laboratory course (327 or 347); Category I: 254, 325, 326, 327, 396, 405; Category II: 341, 343, 347, 349, 409. The major also requires Mathematics 231 and Physics 110, 111 (or 103, 104).

Biochemistry. The minimum major in biochemistry requires Chemistry 101, 102 (103 may replace 101, 102), 205, 211, 213, 254, 339 (or 349), and 374; Biology 213/214; Mathematics 231; Physics 110, 111 (or 103, 104).

The minimum major in chemistry or biochemistry will prepare students for graduate study. However, the best preparation for competitive graduate programs involves additional advanced courses and laboratory work, related courses in other departments, and research experience. The latter may be accomplished through a summer research experience, a semester or two of research (Chemistry 525, 526), or an on-campus or off-campus Winter Term project. Some graduate departments of chemistry require for the Ph.D. degree a reading knowledge of a foreign language. Most departments allow a choice of German, French, or Russian, but a few departments require German. German and French are the most important foreign languages in biochemistry.

Chemistry and biochemistry majors are encouraged to take additional mathematics courses such as linear algebra, differential equations, and statistics. Majors planning to pursue graduate studies in biochemistry or molecular biology should consider upper-level biology courses such as molecular genetics, immunology, and microbiology. The specific courses chosen will depend in part on the intended area of specialization.

Each semester the Chemistry Department sponsors a program of Wednesday afternoon research talks by visiting chemists and biochemists. Majors are expected to attend.

Minor. Majors in other departments or programs (but not chemistry or biochemistry majors) may earn a minor in chemistry by completing general chemistry (101 and 102, or 103) and three courses from the following list: 205, 211, 213, 254 (or 325), 339, 349, 374. Two of the elective courses must be taken at Oberlin. A formal chemistry minor may be helpful to non-chemistry majors seeking entry-level jobs in chemical industry, secondary-school teaching, or science journalism, as well as those students who plan further education in technological aspects of law, art, or other disciplines.

Honors. Students with outstanding records are invited to participate in the Honors Program. Seniors in the program elect a minimum of five hours of Chemistry 525, 526, or the equivalent (with at least two hours in the first semester) and work year-long (including Winter Term) on a research project. Honors students write a thesis based on their research and take oral and written examinations. Honors students are required to take Chemical Information, Chemistry 396, prior to enrolling in Chemistry 526.

Related Programs.

Pre-Medical. Pre-medical students planning to major in chemistry or biochemistry should arrange a conference with a pre-medical advisor in chemistry (Mr. Fuchsman or Mr. Matlin) no later than their fourth semester. See the pre-medical statement earlier in this catalog.

3-2 Engineering. Students who are interested in a career in chemical engineering should consider the Combined Liberal Arts and Engineering Program. This five-year program is described in this catalog under the heading Engineering. Mr. Ackermann can provide advice on courses that lead to both the Combined Program and a chemistry major.

Transfer of Credit. Prior approval is required for major course work taken away from Oberlin. Without explicit approval from the Chemistry Department, no major may earn more than half of the hours required for the major while away from Oberlin. Normally, transfer credit for chemistry courses numbered 300 and above will not count toward the requirements of chemistry or biochemistry majors.

Winter Term. Each of the chemistry faculty are willing to sponsor Winter Term projects as indicated. Mr. Ackermann: Inorganic synthesis. Readings in consumer chemistry or health claims (e.g. vitamins C or E). Readings in areas of inorganic chemistry. Research associated with ongoing laboratory projects. Mr. Fuchsman: Laboratory projects in biochemistry. Off-campus projects involving experience in health-care delivery, medical research or biochemical research. Intermediate/advanced weaving at the Loom Shed in Oberlin under the direction of Charles Lermond. Mr. Matlin: Participation in on-going research projects in the fields of organic photochemistry and bioorganic chemistry. Readings in the history and philosophy of science. Mr. Nee: Laboratory projects in introductory and advanced organic chemistry. Consumer, food, and polymer chemistry. Ms. Stoll: Ongoing research synthesizing magnetic monolayers and hydrothermal synthesis. Mr. Thompson: Laboratory and reading projects dealing with chemical analysis and forensic science. Beginning chess. Veterinary internships.

Breakage Charge. Students are held responsible for apparatus issued to them in laboratories. Each student has a breakage allowance that covers normal breakage of common glassware and the like. Breakage costs exceeding that allowance are charged at the end of the semester.

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Courses of General Interest

050. Basic Chemistry 3 hours
3NS, QPh
The course is intended for students without a high-school chemistry background who want an introduction to chemistry. The course is appropriate for students who plan to take CHEM 101 and for students who intend no further study of chemistry. It consists of lectures and demonstrations surveying the fundamental ideas of chemistry. Not open to students who have credit for CHEM 101 or equivalent. Enrollment Limit: 40.
Sem 2 CHEM-050-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Mr. Nee

145. Chemistry and Crime 3 hours
3NS
Next offered 2002-2003.

151. Chemistry and the Environment 3 hours
3NS
A discussion of the natural and human origins of significant chemical species in the environment and the ultimate fate of these materials. Air and water quality will receive special attention. Chemical concepts will be developed as needed. Enrollment Limit: 40.
Sem 1 CHEM-151-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Ms. Stoll

163. Origins and Treatment of Cancer 2-3 hours
2-3NS, WR
Biological chemistry underlying cancer research and treatment, and discussion of cancer-related scientific, social, political, and ethical issues. Chemical principles will be developed as needed. This course is designed for students who have not studied college-level chemistry. Students who have completed BIOL 213 must enroll for 2 credit hours and others for 3 credit hours. Enrollment Limit: 30. Offered in alternate years.
Sem 1 CHEM-163-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Fuchsman.

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Introductory Courses

101. Structure and Reactivity 4 hours
4NS, QPh
Reactions, chemical periodicity, bonding, molecular structure. Section 04 is taught in workshop mode, emphasizing problem solving and peer discussion with less time devoted to lecture than the other sections. Prerequisites: High-school chemistry or CHEM 50 (or consent of instructors); high-school mathematics up to, but not including, precalculus. Students may register for any laboratory.
Sem 1 CHEM-101-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Mr. Elrod Limit: 40
CHEM-101-02 MWF 10:00-10:50 Mr. Matlin Limit: 40
CHEM-101-03 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Matlin Limit: 40
CHEM-101-04 TTh 9:00-10:15 Mr. Thompson Limit: 40
Laboratories
CHEM-101-05 Tu 1:30-4:30 Mr. Hill Limit: 42
CHEM-101-06 W 1:30-4:30 Mr. Elrod Limit: 42
CHEM-101-07 Th 1:30-4:30 Mr. Hill Limit: 42
CHEM-101-08 F 1:30-4:30 Staff Limit: 42

102. Chemical Principles 4 hours
4NS, QPf
Equilibrium, thermodynamics, reaction rates and mechanisms, atomic and molecular orbitals. Prerequisites: CHEM 101. Students may register for any laboratory.
Sem 2 CHEM-102-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Ms. Stoll, Staff Limit: 70
CHEM-102-02 MWF 11:00-11:50 Ms. Stoll, Staff Limit: 70
Laboratories
CHEM-102-03 Tu 1:30-4:30 Mr. Hill Limit: 40
CHEM-102-04 W 1:30-4:30 Ms. Stoll Limit: 48
CHEM-102-05 Th 1:30-4:30 Staff Limit: 40

103. Topics in General Chemistry 4 hours
4NS, QPf
For students with good pre-college preparation. Reactions, equilibrium, thermodynamics, reaction rates and mechanisms, and bonding. Takes the place of CHEM 101, CHEM 102. Admission by examination during the orientation period. Students who have had chemistry in high school and who plan to take both chemistry and calculus should take the examination. Students who earned a score of 3 or higher on the Chemistry Advanced Placement test automatically qualify for the course. Interested students should write to the departmental secretary early in the summer. Prerequisites: Concurrent enrollment in or credit for MATH 133 or its equivalent. Consent of instructor required.
Sem 1 CHEM-103-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Ackermann
M 1:30-4:30

109. Introductory Thermodynamics 1 hour
1NS, QPh
The portion of CHEM 103 (Fall) or CHEM 102 (Spring) covering the principles of thermodynamics and intended only for students who do not take CHEM 102 or CHEM 103, but plan to take core courses other than CHEM 205. Students must attend the lectures and pass an examination given at the end of the unit, which is a four week, mid-semester session. Notes: CR/NE grading. Consent of instructor required.
Sem 1 CHEM-109-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Ackermann
Sem 2 CHEM-109-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Staff
CHEM-109-02 MWF 11:00-11:50 Staff




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Core Courses

205. Principles of Organic Chemistry 4 hours
4NS
A one-semester introduction to the basic principles, theories, and applications of the chemistry of carbon compounds. Representative reactions, preparation, and properties of carbon compounds will be covered. The laboratory will provide experience with purification, physical and spectroscopic characterization, and synthesis of organic substances. Prerequisites: CHEM 102 or 103.
Sem 1 CHEM-205-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Nee Limit: 60
Laboratories
CHEM-205-02 M 1:30-4:30 Mr. Nee Limit: 30
CHEM-205-03 Th 1:30-4:30 Mr. Ackermann Limit: 30
Sem 2 CHEM-205-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Matlin Limit: 40
Laboratories
CHEM-205-02 W 1:30-4:30 Mr. Matlin Limit: 25
CHEM-205-03 Th 1:30-4:30 Mr. Nee Limit: 25

211. Analytical Chemistry 4 hours
4NS, QPf
Principles of chemical measurements with a focus on instrumental analysis, including spectrophotometry, electrochemistry, and separations. Laboratory develops quantitative skills and provides experience with chemical instrumentation. Spreadsheets are used to treat experimental data. Prerequisites: MATH 133; CHEM 102 or CHEM 103. Students who have not taken CHEM 102 or CHEM 103 at Oberlin must have credit for CHEM 109.
Sem 1 CHEM-211-01 MWF 10:00-10:50 Mr. Thompson Limit: 28
Laboratories
CHEM-211-02 Tu 1:30-4:30 Mr. Thompson Limit: 14
CHEM-211-03 W 1:30-4:30 Mr. Thompson Limit: 14

213. Inorganic Chemistry 4 hours
4NS
Development of the principles and theories of inorganic chemistry. Topics include atomic structure, structure and bonding in covalent and ionic compounds, periodic properties, acid-base concepts, coordination compounds, and selected descriptive chemistry of the main group elements. Laboratory involves synthesis and characterization of inorganic substances and activities illustrating principles covered in the lecture. Prerequisites: CHEM 102 or 103. Students who have not taken CHEM 102 or CHEM 103 at Oberlin must have credit for CHEM 109.
Sem 2 CHEM-213-01 MWF 10:00-10:50 Mr. Ackermann Limit: 32
Laboratories
CHEM-213-02 M 1:30-4:30 Mr. Ackermann Limit: 16
CHEM-213-03 Tu 1:30-4:30 Mr. Ackermann Limit: 16

339. Quantum Chemistry and Kinetics 4 hours
4NS, QPf
Kinetics of chemical reactions, quantum theory of atomic and molecular structure, and molecular spectroscopy. Prerequisites: CHEM 102 or CHEM 103; PHYS 111 or PHYS 104 (may be taken concurrently); MATH 231. Students who have not taken CHEM 102 or CHEM 103 at Oberlin must have credit for CHEM 109.
Sem 2 CHEM-339-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. Elrod
Laboratories
CHEM-339-02 M 1:30-4:30 Mr. Elrod

 




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Advanced Courses I


254. Bioorganic Chemistry 4 hours
4NS
Organic chemistry of the major classes of biological substances. Emphases on structures and reaction mechanisms as they apply to biological transformations. Includes the chemistry of
macromolecules, and coordination chemistry. Prerequisites: CHEM 205.
Sem 2 CHEM-254-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Fuchsman Limit: 60
Laboratories
CHEM-254-02 Th 1:30-4:30 Mr. Fuchsman Limit: 30
CHEM-254-03 F 1:30-4:30 Mr. Fuchsman Limit: 30

325. Organic Mechanism and Synthesis 3 hours
3NS
This second course in organic chemistry will systematically explore reactions of carbon-containing compounds and the mechanistic pathways involved in these processes. Reactions and topics that will be discussed include functional group transformations, oxidations, reductions, cycloadditions, stereospecific reactions and carbon-carbon bond formation. Strategies will be presented for the design of multi-step organic syntheses. Prerequisites: CHEM 205. Students who have not taken CHEM 102 or CHEM 103 at Oberlin must have credit for CHEM 109.
Sem 2 CHEM-325-01 TuTh 8:35-9:50 Mr. Nee

326. Organic Mechanism and Synthesis Laboratory 1 hour
1NS
The laboratory is intended to complement the Organic Mechanism and Synthesis lecture course. Laboratory involves experiments illustrating principles presented in the lecture course. Pre- or Co-requisite: CHEM 325 or permission of instructor. Notes: CR/NE grading. Enrollment Limit: 12.
Sem 2 CHEM-326-01 F 1:30-4:30 Mr. Nee

327. Synthesis Laboratory 2 hours
2NS
Laboratory work involves the synthesis of organic and inorganic compounds by a variety of techniques (e.g. photochemical, electrochemical, inert atmosphere) and the use of spectroscopic methods (e.g. Fourier-transform NMR, infrared, ultraviolet) for their characterization. The lectures develop the theory and unified application of spectroscopic analysis to solve structural problems. Prerequisites: CHEM 205 and CHEM 213. Enrollment Limit: 8.
Sem 1 CHEM-327-01 M 8:00-8:50 pm Ms. Stoll
W 1:30-4:30

396. Chemical Information 1 hour
1NS
Finding chemical information with printed and electronic indexes and reference materials. On-line searching of Chemical Abstracts. Assessing the information obtained. Presenting chemical information using equation-editing and chemical-structure software. Junior majors are encouraged to enroll. Prerequisites: CHEM 205; one other core chemistry course. Notes: CR/NE grading. Enrollment Limit: 20.
Sem 1 CHEM-396-01 Th 8:00-9:15 p.m. Mr. Ackermann, Ms. Ricker

405. Topics in Organic Chemistry 2 hours
2NS
This course will examine several areas of current research activity in organic chemistry. The course readings will be taken from the recent literature. Topics will include asymmetric synthesis, combinatorial chemistry, molecular recognition, biomimetic chemistry and reactive intermediates. Classes will be equally divided between lecture and discussion/student presentations. Prerequisites: CHEM 325. Corequisite: CHEM 339.
Sem 2 CHEM-405-01 To be arranged Mr. Matlin

 




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Advanced Courses II

341. Trace Analysis 2 hours
2NS
Principles and practices of trace chemical analysis (nanoscale volumes and concentrations) with a focus on biological and environmental samples. Topics include flow cytometry, DNA analysis by capillary electrophoresis, total analysis systems on a chip, immunoassay field kits, and mass spectrometry. Lecture-discussion format. Prerequisites: CHEM 211.
Sem 2 CHEM-341-01 TuTh 10:00-10:50 Mr. Thompson

343. Advanced Inorganic Chemistry 2 hours
2NS
Topics that will be covered include an introduction to group theory with applications to structure and bonding in inorganic compounds and solids and to the electronic spectra of coordination compounds; kinetics and mechanism of the reactions of coordination complexes; organometallic chemistry. Prerequisites: CHEM 213 and 339.
Sem 2 CHEM-343-01 To be arranged Ms. Stoll

347. Advanced Analytical and Physical Chemistry Laboratory 2 hours
2NS, QPf
Experiments using spectroscopic, electrochemical, and chromatographic instrumentation. New techniques and experimental results will be discussed during the lecture. Prerequisites: CHEM 211; CHEM 339 (may be taken concurrently) or 349. Enrollment Limit: 12.
Sem 2 CHEM-347-01 Tu 8:00-8:50 p.m. Mr. Thompson
Th 1:30-4:30 Mr. Thompson

349. Chemical and Statistical Thermodynamics 3 hours
3NS, QPf
Thermodynamics, introduction to statistical thermodynamics, and kinetic theory. Application of mathematical methods and physical principles to chemistry. Prerequisites: CHEM 102 or CHEM 103. Students who have not taken CHEM 102 or CHEM 103 at Oberlin must have credit for CHEM 109. PHYS 111 or PHYS 104; MATH 231.
Sem 1 CHEM-349-01 MWF 9:00-9:50 Staff

409. Topics in Physical Chemistry 2 hours
2NS, QPf
Topics covered include molecular orbital theory and computational chemistry methods (use of computational engines and visualization techniques). Prerequisites: CHEM 339 or consent.
Sem 2 CHEM-409-01 To be arranged Mr. Elrod

Other Advanced Courses

374. Biochemistry 4 hours
4NS
Rigorous examination of the chemical basis of enzyme catalysis, metabolism and metabolic control, and aspects of molecular biology. General principles, specific detailed examples, and phylogenetic comparisons. Prerequisites: CHEM 254; BIOL 213, BIOL 214. Enrollment Limit: 18.
Sem 1 CHEM-374-01 TuTh 8:35-9:50 Mr. Fuchsman
Laboratory
CHEM-374-02 M 1:30-4:30 Mr. Fuchsman

525, 526. Research 2-5 hours
2-5NS
Projects for original investigation are assigned. Normally taken in the senior year. Interested students are encouraged to speak with faculty members about possible projects. Students in the Honors program are required to enroll. Consent of chair required.
Sem 1 CHEM-525-01 To be arranged Staff
Sem 2 CHEM-526-01 To be arranged Staff

995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
1-3NS
Private readings can be undertaken on a wide range of chemistry topics. Advanced courses not offered in the current academic year may be taken as a private reading and count towards the advanced course requirement of a chemistry major. Please consult with the chair about taking advanced courses as a private reading. Private Readings sponsored by Mr. Ackermann, Mr. Elrod, Mr. Fuchsman, Mr. Matlin, Mr. Nee, Ms. Stoll, and Mr. Thompson. Consent of instructor required.

 

 

 

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