General and inorganic Chemistry

Degree course: 
Corso di First cycle degree in SCIENZE BIOLOGICHE
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Cognomi A-L
Course type: 
Basic compulsory subjects
First Semester
Standard lectures hours: 

The course begins with elementary notions and does require previous knowledge of chemistry from high school.
Basic knowledges of mathematics and physics, provided during the years of high school, are required.

Final Examination: 

The examination consists in a written test comprising the resolution of questions pertinent to theoretical topics, and stoichiometry problems.
The exam is considered passed with a vote ≥ 18/30.

Voto Finale

Introduction and training goals
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.

Knowledge and understanding
-acquisition of competences and tools suitable for the communication of the collection, the elaboration and the presentation of the data.
-acquisition of abilities suitable for the development and examination of further skills for a strong learning of basic notions, for a following autonomous acquisition of higher knowledge, and for continuous updating.

Applying knowledge and understanding (Skills and knowhow)
- acquiring the fundamental elements of general chemistry and inorganic reactivity;
- knowing the main chemical and physical factors that influence chemical reactions;
-developing the ability to describe analytically, to simulate, to analyze and to solve problems of physical-biological interest as well;
- showing the ability of extracting and synthesizing the relevant information;
- showing ability of communicating in an effective way and with the correct terminology, both orally and in writing.

Lectures (6,5 CFU-52 hrs in classroom)

1)The atomic nature of matter (2,0 Credits–16 hrs)
Matter: atoms and molecules, elements and compounds, the mole and Avogadro's constant.
Atomic theory of matter, chemical periodicity and overview of quantum mechanics: photoelectric effect, De Broglie’s 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: The periodic table and dependence of atomic properties on the electronic structure: atomic and ionic radius, ionization energy and electron affinity.
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.

2)Thermochemistry and thermodynamics (1 Credits–8 hrs)
The first law of thermodynamics. State function enthalpy (H) and Hess’s 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).

3)Chemical equilibria (0,750 Credits–6 hrs)

Chemical equilibrium and equilibrium constants: homogenous and heterogeneous equilibria. Le Châtelier’s principle and chemical equilibria.

4)Liquids and solutions (0,500 Credits–4 hrs)
Solutions properties: ideal solutions, Raoult’s law and Henry’s law. Phase equilibria. Colligative properties of solutions. Phase diagrams.

5)Chemical transformations in water solutions (2 Credits–16 hrs)
Acids and bases: Arrhenius, Brönsted and Lewis definitions. Water and the pH scale: strong acids and strong bases, weak acids and weak bases. Acid-base neutralization and acid-base titrations. Buffer solutions. Dissolution and precipitation equilibria.
Redox reactions and electrochemistry: redox equations, using standard reduction potentials, Nernst equation, free energy and cell voltage. Electrolysis and Faraday’s law.

6)Inorganic chemistry (0,250 Credits–2 hrs)
An overview of inorganic chemistry topics that relate to the biochemical field.

Tutorials (1 CFU–12 hrs in classroom)
Atomic and molecular mass. Mole and number of molecules: Avogadro’s constant and molar mass. Chemical reactions and equations: types of physicalchemistry reaction, balanced chemical equations and stoichiometric calculations. Ideal gases and mixtures gases. Avogadro’s law. Concentrations and stoichiometry of the reactions in aqueous solutions.
Oxidation numbers and redox reactions: oxiding and reducing agents, balancing redox equations.
Atomic and molecular structures, chemical bonds. Intermolecular interactions: 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.

Laboratory activites (0,500 CFU-8 hrs of practical experiences)
The course will be integrated by 2 experimental activities (redox and acid-base titrations), each of 4 hours to be held in the didactic laboratory. Professor will communicate the calendar of lab activities. The attendance at lab activities is mandatory and it will be considered in the final evaluation.

Theory: Brown, Lemay, Bursten, Murphy, Woodward “Fondamenti di Chimica” Ed. EdiSES

Stoichiometry: D'Arrigo, Famulari, Gambarotti, Scotti “Chimica: Esercizi e Casi Pratici” Ed. EdiSES

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

The course consists of lectures (6,5 CFU), classroom exercises (1 CFU) and experiments in laboratory (0,500 CFU). In the lectures and tutorials, topics are discussed exploiting overhead presentations and by solving numerical problems.


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