The Catholic University of America

Chemistry 104 and 108

Spring Semester 2015
Prerequisites:  CHEM 103 OR 107 AND 113
Co requisite:    CHEM 114
Classroom 11:10 - 12:00 MWF HAN  106
    3:40-4:30  F  Gowan 126 (Auditorium)

  • Instructor: Dr. Greg Brewer
  • Office: B51 NBIO
  • Phone: 319-5386 or 5395
  • e-mail: BREWER@CUA.EDU
  • Office hours: 1:00 p.m.  M, W ,F, and by appointment
  • Class schedule: 11:10 M,W, F; and 3:40 F; 175 MAL, F.O. Rice Auditorium
  • COURSE DESCRIPTION (from Cardinal Station

    Instruction Methods:   Lecture

    Required Text:  Chemistry The Central Science, 13th Edition by Brown, LeMay, and Bursten and Solutions Manual to above.

    Computer Notes: Access to this syllabus, from which you may link to notes on individual chapters and
    sample tests, may be obtained at the following:   or from the
    Chemistry home page

Other materials: calculator with log/ln and exponential function
Course Goals

The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to both qualitative and quantitative aspects of kinetics, equilibrium, electrochemistry and thermodynamics. The relationship between chemical principles, general predictions based on these principles and calculations to verify these predictions will be covered. An additional goal is to cover several aspects of descriptive chemistry from the areas of nuclear, transition metals, organic and biochemical. These aspects will include topics in atomic structure and stability, shape, bonding and reactivity of representative molecules.


Goals for Student Learning

The student will be able to:

1. Determine the kinetic order of a reaction from experimental data.

2. Solve quantitative kinetic problems for rate constants and half-lives.

3. Write, understand and solve  Kc, Kp, and Q expressions for any reaction.

4. Employ algebra to solve equilibrium problems.

5. Understand an apply LeChatelier’s principle.

6. Understand Acid base theories and make predictions on strength.

7. Calculate pH and acidity and basicity constants for weak acid and base solutions.

8. Employ solution stoichiometry to solve quantitative problems involving

chemical reactions in solution such as titrations.

9. Have a quantitative understanding of buffers

10. Employ solubility equilibrium constants to calculate molar solubilities from Ksp or the reverse as well as other quantitative relationships.

11. Demonstrate understanding of basic thermodynamic functions, including the
relationships between state functions and equilibrium behavior.

12. Balance redox equations employing the half-reaction method.

13. Determine cell emf’s, concentrations, and other quantities in electrochemical systems.

14. Employ basic nuclear concepts to complete and balance simple nuclear equations.

15. Have a general understanding of bonding, shape, properties and reactions of simple coordination complexes, organic and biochemical molecules.


Course Requirements:

Quizzes (12.5%): There will be eight (8) quizzes of which your best five (5) will be counted. The quizzes will be short and based directly on the current homework assignments.

Tests (62.5%): There will be five (5) tests. The tests will cover several chapters, are problem oriented, and are based directly on lecture material and textbook coverage. No test grades will be dropped. 

Final Examination (25%):  The final exam is the ACS standardized exam, which is comprehensive of all material covered in 103/104.

            The dates and coverage for quizzes, tests, and exam are provided in this document


Expectations and policies


Academic honesty: Academic honesty is expected of all CUA students. Faculty are required to initiate the imposition of sanctions when they find violations of academic honesty, such as plagiarism, improper use of a student’s own work, cheating, and fabrication. 

The following sanctions are presented in the University procedures related to Student Academic Dishonesty (from “The presumed sanction for undergraduate students for academic dishonesty will be failure for the course. There may be circumstances, however, where, perhaps because of an undergraduate student’s past record, a more serious sanction, such as suspension or expulsion, would be appropriate. In the context of graduate studies, the expectations for academic honesty are greater, and therefore the presumed sanction for dishonesty is likely to be more severe, e.g., expulsion. ...In the more unusual case, mitigating circumstances may exist that would warrant a lesser sanction than the presumed sanction.”

Please review the complete texts of the University policy and procedures regarding Student Academic Dishonesty, including requirements for appeals, at and



Quizzes, Tests and the Final Examination are based directly on the material from
the text presented in lecture.
The lecture stresses the most important aspects of the chapter coverage.
It is to your distinct advantage to attend all lectures.  Students with poor class attendance rarely perform
well in a chemistry course and always do worse than they would have done if they had a good
attendance record. Further information is available from the following site under item XII.


Quiz, Test and Examination:

The quiz, test and examination schedule is provided in this document. All work must appear on the test paper in a legible manner. You are required to have a basic calculator (not a computer, cell phone, pager, personal organizer etc) with you for the tests (quiz and exam). You may not borrow or share a calculator. All constants that you need and a periodic chart will be provided.


Electronic Devices: Other than calculators as described above electronic devices may not be used during tests or exams. Please turn off all cell phones/pagers and other related devices during all class/test sessions.


Makeup Policy:

You must request, in writing, prior to the test date to take a makeup test if a University event requires that you miss a test. A form for this purpose is attached to the handout. Absence from a test or exam will result in a grade  of zero being awarded. Verifiable medical emergencies are the only exception to this policy. The makeup tests will cover the same material and be of the same degree of difficulty as the regular test but will be of a different format. There are no make-ups for the quizzes as your lowest three (3) scores will not be counted. Further information may be obtained from the following site.



Every effort is made to grade your papers in a uniform and fair manner and to return them to you at the next class meeting. An answers key will be posted on the bulletin board outside 102F. The key will indicate the point loss for certain types of errors. It is impossible to itemize the point loss for  all possible errors. Common errors such as significant figures or units will typically result in a two point penalty for a problem that was assigned a ten point value. Failure to show work will result in a total loss of points.  


Grading Error:

Please check the answer key first if you feel that you have done a problem correctly and it was graded incorrectly. Test papers which you feel are graded incorrectly should be submitted  to Dr. Brewer for review. You must do this prior to the next test date in order to have your paper re-graded. Any questions that you have concerning your grade should be addressed to Dr. Brewer.  



You cannot learn chemistry unless you do chemistry problems. You will be assigned homework problems at the start of each class, which are representative of the current material. You should make every attempt to do all of the assigned problems on your own prior to the next class meeting. Solutions are detailed in the Solutions Manual if you are stuck. Questions that you have should be addressed to Dr. Brewer during the Friday afternoon review period or during office hours. A good student will work (and rework) as many problems as possible to learn the material. Many students find it helpful to keep a separate notebook of problems that they have worked. Such collections are quite valuable in reviewing for the test and the final exam. It is a wise practice to devote a constant daily amount of time to studying chemistry and working problems rather than a smaller number of intensive study sessions prior to a test. The average student will find that a week's worth of chemistry is too much to master in a single session.


Campus Resources for student support: (e.g. add contact information for library, tutoring center, writing center, counseling center)

Accommodations for students with disabilities: Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss specific needs. Please contact Disability Support Services (at 202 319-5211, room 207 Pryzbyla Center) to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. To read about the services and policies, please visit the website:  


Your numerical average will be calculated by weighting your scores from the three areas listed below as indicated. Letter grades will be assigned from the above average in strict accordance  to the following scale.  Grades are not curved.


A (100-91),  A- (91-89)

B+ (89-86),  B (86-82),  B- (82-79)

C+ (79-76),  C (76-72),  C- (72-69)

D (69?60)

F (below 60)


Quizzes (12.5%): There will be eight (8) quizzes of which your best five (5) will be counted. The quizzes will be short and based directly on the current homework assignments.

Tests (62.5%): There will be five (5) tests. The tests will cover several chapters, are problem oriented, and are based directly on lecture material and textbook coverage. No test grades will be dropped. 

Final Examination (25%):  The final exam is the ACS standardized exam, which is comprehensive of all material covered in 103/104.

University grades:

The University grading system is available at for undergraduates and for graduate students.

Reports of grades in courses are available at the end of each term on .


Semester Schedule

Chapter Title # periods
    18                          CHEMISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT       3
    19                             CHEMICAL THERMODYNAMICS       3
    20                                         ELECTROCHEMISTRY        4
    21                                        NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY       3
    23                          TRANSITION METALS AND COORDINATION CHEMISTRY       3

Quiz, Test Dates and Exam Dates and Coverage

The following is the schedule of tests and chapter coverage. Any deviation from this schedule will be announced in class at least one week (if possible) in advance of the test. In the event that the University cancels class on a test date and time the test will be held at the next scheduled class meeting.

Assign Date Time   Chapters Covered
Quiz 1 1/23 3:40 PM   Chap. 13
Quiz 2 1/30 3:40 PM   Chap. 14
Test 1 2/6 3:40 PM   Chaps. 13 and 14
Quiz 3 2/13 3:40 PM   Chap. 15
Quiz 4 2/20 3:40 PM   Chap. 16
Test 2 2/27 3:40 PM   Chaps. 15 AND 16:
Quiz 5 3/6 3:40 PM   Chap. 17
Quiz 6 3/20 3:40 PM   Chaps. 19
Test 3 3/27 3:40 PM   Chaps. 17 and 18
Quiz 7 4/10 3:40 PM   Chaps. 21
Test 4 4/17 3:40 PM   Chap. 19 AND 20
Quiz 8 4/24 3:40 PM   Chap. 23
Test 5 5/1 3:40 PM   Chaps. 21, 23 and 24
and Selected Coverage
FINAL 5/8  1:00 - 3:00 PM   ACS standardized Test

All quizze and tests are in Gowan Auditorium and the final examination is in HAN 106. You are required to have a calculator with you for all tests and the exam.

*FINAL TIME AND DATE ARE DETERMINED BY THE UNIVERSITY, NOT INSTRUCTOR. Please plan accordingly for travel, work or appointments.




Request for Makeup Test

(to be completed by student)



Test date to be missed:_________________________________________________________________


Requested alternate test date and time:____________________________________________________

Reason for request:


(to be completed by instructor)

request granted:_____________ Alternate date and time:________________

request denied:______________



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All rights reserved. Last edited 2010.

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