General and inorganic Chemistry

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Basic compulsory subjects
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (40 hours), Exercise (12 hours), Laboratory (16 hours)

The course begins with elementary notions and does not require previous knowledge of chemistry.

Final Examination: 

The examination consists in a written test with the resolution of eight problems pertinent to: stoichiometry and redox, molecular geometries, acid-base reactions and solubility, electrochemical cells. The student is admitted to the oral test only if the written test results is ≥ 18/30: the oral test consists in a discussion of the written test and a logical exposition of selected topics among the most important ones of the course. The final mark is the mean of those of the written and oral tests.

Voto Finale

Teaching this course means giving the bases for understanding the macroscopic properties of matter, starting from the structure of atoms and molecules, and their properties. The course develops the criteria to understand the ability of a substance to react, or to break and to form bonds, and the corresponding energy exchanges, in relation with possible applications and with the behaviour of materials. The exercises will examine thoroughly, not only numerically, the aspects treated in class.

Lectures (5 CFU-40 hrs)

The atomic nature of matter (1,25 Credits–10 hrs)
Matter: atoms ands molecules, elements and compounds, the mole. Types of chemical reactions.
Atomic theory of matter, chemical periodicity and overview of quantum mechanics: photoelectric effect, De Broglie equation, Heinseberg uncertainly principle, Schrödinger equation. Quantum numbers and atomic orbitals. Electronic structure and atoms properties: Pauli principle, Hund rule and “aufbau prinzip”. The periodic table and dependence of atomic properties on the electronic structure.
Chemical bonding: structure and properties of the substances. Ionic bond. Covalent bond and molecular geometry, VSEPR theory. Hybrid orbitals and steric number. Electronegativity according to Pauling and molecular polarity.
Intermolecular attractions and the properties of liquids and solids. Hydrogen bond. Gaseous state and condensed phase. Metallic solids, ionic solids, covalent solids and molecular solids.
Inorganic chemical nomenclature.
Thermochemistry and thermodynamics (0,625 Credits–5 hrs)
The first law of thermodynamics. State function enthalpy (H) and Hess law. Enthalpy of formation, reaction and combustion. The second law and the third law of thermodynamics: state function entropy (S) and state function Gibbs free energy (G).
Chemical equilibria (0,625 Credits–5 hrs)
Chemical equilibrium and equilibrium constants: homogenous and heterogeneous equilibria. Le Châtelier principle and chemical equilibria.
Liquids and solutions (0,625 Credits–5 hrs)
Solutions properties: ideal solutions, Raoult law and Henry law. Phase equilibria. Colligative properties of solutions. Colloidal dispersions. Phase diagrams.
Chemical transformations in water solutions (1,5 Credits–12 hrs)
Acids and bases: Arrhenius, Brönsted and Lewis definitions. Water and the pH scale: strong acid and base, weak acids and bases. Buffer solutions. Dissolution and precipitation equilibria.
Redox reactions and electrochemistry: balancing redox equations, using standard reduction potentials, Nernst equation, free energy and cell voltage. Electrolysis and Faraday law.
Inorganic chemistry (0,375 Credits–3 hrs)
An overview of inorganic chemistry topics that relate to the biochemical field.

Tutorials (1 CFU–12 hrs)

Atomic and molecular mass, isotopes. Mole and number of molecules. Chemical reactions and equations. Ideal gases and mixtures gases. Concentrations and stoichiometry of the reactions in aqueous solutions. Atomic and molecular structure, chemical bond. Intermolecular forces: solids, liquids, gases. Energy and energy balances, thermodynamics and chemical equilibrium. Colligative properties of solutions. Electrolyte solutions: salts, acids, bases and pH. Spontaneity of redox reactions. Electrochemical and electrolytic cells.

The help of a text of University level (please no books from High School) is necessary, however. The recommended book is:
D'Arrigo, Famulari, Gambarotti, Scotti, Chimica: Esercizi e Casi Pratici, EdiSES, 2016.

The recommended books for mastery will be suggested in the course of the early lectures.

Sets of university lectures, texts of examination with resolution and exercises are available on the site e-learning

The course consists of lectures (5 CFU) and classroom exercises (1 CFU). In the lectures and tutorials, the treatment of the topics is also carried out with the help of presentations shown in the classroom, complemented by the screening of educational films.

At the end of every lesson or upon appointment via email, using the official student’s address:
The mail address of professor is