The material on this page is from the 1995-96 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.


Professors Boyles, Ledlie, and Wenzel, Chair; Assistant Professors Lawson, Côté (on leave fall semester), and Austin

Chemistry deals with phenomena that affect nearly every aspect of our lives and environment. A liberal education in this scientific and technological age should include some exposure to the theories, laws, applications, and potential of this science.

The chemistry curriculum is sufficiently flexible to allow students with career interests in areas such as the health professions, law, business, and education to design a major program suitable to their goals. Students interested in careers in chemistry or biochemistry will find sufficient chemistry electives to provide a strong background for graduate work, industry, or other positions requiring an in-depth foundation in chemistry. A major in biological chemistry has been developed in conjunction with the biology department. See separate listing under Biological Chemistry for more details. The Department and its curriculum are approved by the American Chemical Society.

All students majoring in chemistry are required to meet the following minimum course requirements: Chemistry 107-108, 203, 206, 212, 215, 217-218, and Chemistry 457 and/or 458. Further course and unit selections depend upon the goals and interests of the student. All students preparing for graduate study or for a position in the chemical industry should include in their programs Chemistry 223, 316, and any other advanced courses in their specific area of interest. It should be noted that Chemistry 101 and 102 may not be used to satisfy the requirements for the major in chemistry and that courses in mathematics and physics are prerequisites to some of the advanced courses in chemistry. A written thesis is required of all majors. This may be either a laboratory or library thesis. Students doing a laboratory thesis may register for Chemistry 457, 458, or both, while students doing a library project may register for Chemistry 457 or 458. Students in the Honors Program must register for 457 and 458. All senior majors must participate in the Department's seminar program. Each senior major is required to present two seminars during the senior year.

General Education. The following sets are available: Chemistry 101-102, 101-s21, 107-108, 107-102. Chemistry s21, s23, s25, s27, s31, and s35 may serve as an option for the third course. The quantitative requirement may be satisfied through any chemistry course or unit.

101. Environmental Chemistry. This course is designed for a nonscience major. Fundamental principles of chemistry are introduced within the context of their importance in environmental chemistry. No prior formal exposure to chemistry is assumed. Not open to students who have taken Chemistry 107, 108, or 109. Enrollment is limited to 100. Mr. Boyles. F

102. The Chemistry of Life. A nonscientist's introduction to organic molecules and the chemistry of living organisms. Structures and nomenclature of simple carbon-containing molecules will be presented, and these principles will be applied to larger biologically important molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, and fats. Beginning with photosynthesis in plants and food digestion in animals, the processes by which cells produce and utilize energy will be discussed. The mechanisms by which genetically encoded information is maintained in organisms and acted upon in individual cells will also be emphasized. Laboratory: three hours per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 101 or 107, or permission of the instructor. Ms. Austin. W

107. Principles of Chemistry I. Fundamental principles and concepts necessary for a successful understanding of all aspects of chemistry are studied. Major topics include stoichiometry, states of matter, atomic structure, periodicity, and bonding. This course, or its equivalent, is a prerequisite for all advanced courses in chemistry. Laboratory: three hours per week. Mr. Wenzel, Ms. Austin. F

108. Principles of Chemistry II. A continuation of Chemistry 107. Major topics include thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, acid/base behavior, and electrochemistry. Laboratory: three hours per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 107. Mr. Boyles, Mr. Ledlie, and Mr. Lawson. W

201. Environmental Risk Assessment. Current methodology allows us to find some level of toxic chemicals virtually anywhere we look. The decision on whether to manage the release of a toxic chemical depends on whether the chemical, at the concentration present, is judged to be a significant health risk. This course examines how the level of risk associated with a chemical is investigated. The types of questions that are asked when assessing risk, and the procedures used to try to answer those questions, are considered. The uncertainty inherent in the interpretation of scientific data and in the definition of terms such as "significant" and "risk" is addressed. Prerequisite: any 100-level science set. Open to first-year students with Advanced Placement credit awarded for a 100-level science set (a score of 4 or 5 on the AP examination). Mr. Wenzel. F

203. Thermodynamics and Kinetics. Major topics include thermodynamics, phase equilibrium, reaction equilibrium, and reaction kinetics. Laboratory: three hours per week. Prerequisites: Chemistry 108 or 109, Mathematics 105, 106. Prerequisite or corequisite: Physics 107. Mr. Boyles. F

206. Quantum Chemistry and Statistical Mechanics. Major topics include quantum mechanics, atomic and molecular structure, spectroscopy, and statistical thermodynamics. Corequisite: Physics 108. Physics 301 is recommended. Mr. Côté. W

212. Separation Science. A study of some of the most universally used methods and techniques of chemical separation. Both theory and applications are covered. Topics include chemical equilibrium, liquid-liquid extraction, and gas and liquid chromatography. Laboratory: three hours per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 108 or 109. Mr. Wenzel. W

215. Inorganic Chemistry. A study of the wide-ranging aspects of inorganic chemistry. Lectures focus on theoretical models of the physical properties and reactions of inorganic compounds. Experimental methods are also discussed. Topics include atomic structure, symmetry, solids, donor/acceptor behavior, theories of bonding, and transition metal coordination chemistry. Laboratory: three hours per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 108 or 109. Ms. Austin. F

217. Organic Chemistry I. An introduction to organic chemistry. Topics include bonding, structure, and nomenclature; reactions of alkanes, alkenes, alkylhalides, alkynes, and aromatics; and spectroscopic methods. Laboratory: three hours per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 108 or 109. Mr. Ledlie. F

218. Organic Chemistry II. A continuation of Chemistry 217. The reactions of organic halides, alcohols, phenols, ethers, carbonyl compounds, and organic nitrogen compounds are studied from both a mechanistic and a synthetic point of view. Laboratory: three hours per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 217. Mr. Ledlie. W

223. Analytical Spectroscopy and Electrochemistry. Spectroscopic and electrochemical methods employed in chemical analysis are discussed. Topics include nuclear magnetic resonance; ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and atomic spectroscopy; potentiometric and voltammetric methods of analysis. Prerequisite: Chemistry 108 or 109. Mr. Wenzel. F

307. Chemistry at the Classical/Quantum Mechanical Interface. Exploration of areas of physical science where classical and quantum mechanical theories converge. Topics considered include statistical thermodynamics, molecular reaction dynamics, and matter-radiation interactions. Prerequisite: Chemistry 206 or Physics 308 or permission of the instructor. [Mr. Boyles, Mr. Côté]. F

316. Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. A study of advanced topics in inorganic chemistry including organometallic chemistry, catalysis, bioinorganic chemistry, fluxional molecules, and applications of spectroscopy. Prerequisite: Chemistry 215. Ms. Austin. W

321. Biological Chemistry I. An introduction to biochemical principles. Topics include chemistry and structure of proteins, mechanisms and kinetics of enzyme-catalyzed reactions, chemistry and structure of nucleic acids, DNA replication, and the biochemistry and regulation of gene expression at the transcriptional and translational levels. Laboratory: three hours per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 218. Mr. Lawson. F

322. Biological Chemistry II. A continuation of 321. Topics include carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, photosynthesis, metabolic synthesis of amino and nucleic acids, nitrogen metabolism, structure and metabolism of lipids and complex carbohydrates, and the structure and function of membranes. Special attention will be given to the regulation of metabolic pathways. Laboratory: three hours per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 321. Mr. Lawson. W

325o. Organic Synthesis. A study of important organic reactions with emphasis on structure, stereochemistry, mechanism, and synthesis. Prerequisite: Chemistry 218. Mr. Ledlie. W

326e. Advanced Organic Chemistry. Lectures and discussions on various aspects of theoretical organic chemistry related to the structure of organic molecules and reactive intermediates. Topics include molecular orbital theory, orbital symmetry, thermodynamics, conformational analysis, and kinetics. Prerequisites: Chemistry 203, 218. [Mr. Ledlie].

360. Independent Study. Independent research by a student under the supervision of a member of the staff. A report is required at the end of each semester of work. May be taken more than once for credit. Must be approved by staff supervisor and Department Chair. Staff. F W

365. Special Topics. A course or seminar on a departmentally approved topic in an area of chemistry outside the scope of regular course offerings. May be taken more than once for credit on different topics. Staff. F W

370. Chemistry and Biology of Nucleic Acids. A laboratory investigation of the techniques involved in the synthesis, isolation, and use of nucleic acids in biochemical research. Recombinant DNA techniques including oligonucleotide synthesis, hybridization, and polymerase chain reaction are used in experiments. This course is the same as Biology 370. Prerequisites: Biology s42, Chemistry 218. Recommended background: Biology 331, Chemistry 321-322. [Mr. Lawson, Mr. Pelliccia].

457-458. Senior Research and Seminar. A laboratory or library research study in an area of interest under the supervision of a member of the staff. Two seminar presentations on their research are given by each senior major. Staff. F W

Short-Term Units
s21. Biotechnology: Life Science for Citizens. A nonscientist's introduction to the science of the biotechnology revolution. Topics include the basic biology and chemistry of cells, the biochemistry of gene expression, the development and applications of recombinant DNA and related technologies, and the structure and functioning of the biotechnology research establishment in the United States. Weekly laboratory exercises include a DNA cloning project. Credit cannot be applied toward the chemistry or biology major. Not open to majors in chemistry or biology. Enrollment is limited to 18. Mr. Lawson.

s23. Science Meets Art: Loudspeaker Design and Construction. Hands-on experience in the science and art of designing, building, and testing audio loudspeakers serves as a practical introduction to the concepts of waves and resonance. Students purchase parts and materials to build loudspeakers of their own design, which they then keep. Students with either technical or nontechnical backgrounds are equally welcome. Enrollment is limited to 12. Mr. Côté.

s31. Trash. Using the state of Maine as a case study, this unit investigates the types and magnitude of waste generated by our society, and the means of disposing of, or reusing, that waste. The role of state and local governments, environmental groups, scientists, and citizens in the development of waste management and reduction policies is examined. The success of current policies, including trash-to-cash options such as recycling, composting, and incineration, is explored. Enrollment is limited to 14. [Mr. Wenzel].

s35. Data Reduction, Uncertainties, and Truth in the Sciences. The unit focuses on some of the common methods and techniques used in science to treat numerical data and their inevitable uncertainties. Topics include: uncertainties as error, distributions of uncertainties, statistical treatment of uncertainty, curve fitting, numerical methods, and computer programming. Prerequisites: at least one science course at the introductory level, and Mathematics 106. Open to first-year students. Mr. Boyles.

s36. Work-Study Internship in the Natural Sciences. Participation by qualified students in the work of some institution or agency concerned with the application of scientific knowledge. By specific arrangement and Department approval only. Each intern is supervised by a staff member. Staff.

s42. Molecular Spectroscopy. The unit focuses on the interpretation of spectroscopic data as a means of identifying organic and inorganic molecules. Included is the interpretation of proton, carbon-13, and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance and of ultraviolet/visible, mass, and infrared spectra. Prerequisite: Chemistry 218. [Mr. Wenzel].

s46. Internship in the Natural Sciences. Off-campus participation by qualified students as team members in an experimental program in an actual research laboratory project. By specific arrangement and Department approval only. Staff.

s48. Recent Developments in the Synthesis of Homochiral Molecules. Extraordinary developments have recently been made in the synthesis of a wide range of homochiral, naturally occurring organic materials and their derivatives. Examples include steroids, vitamins, antibiotics, and other important biologically active compounds. Lectures and discussions focus on the use of "chiral pools" and chiral auxiliaries as strategic synthetic methodologies which are now routinely employed in homochiral synthesis. Prerequisite: Chemistry 218. Mr. Ledlie.

s50. Individual Research. Registration in this unit is granted by the Department only after the student has submitted a written proposal for a full-time research project to be completed during the Short Term and has secured the sponsorship of a member of the Department to direct the study and evaluate results. Staff.

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Last modified: August 14, 1995