This first-year University chemistry course explores the basic principles of the chemical bond by studying the properties of solids. Properties such as stiffness, electrical conductivity, thermal expansion, strength, and optical properties are the vehicle by which you can learn a great deal of practical chemistry. You will see how experts use their knowledge of trends in the periodic table to predict the properties of materials. 3.091x is an engineering course so there is an emphasis on applications and how materials are used. The on-campus version of the course has been taught for over forty years and is one of the largest classes at MIT. This course will cover the relationship between electronic structure, chemical bonding, and atomic order, and characterization of atomic arrangements in crystalline and amorphous solids: metals, ceramics, semiconductors, and polymers (including proteins). There will be topical coverage of organic chemistry, solution chemistry, acid-base equilibria, electrochemistry, biochemistry, chemical kinetics, diffusion, and phase diagrams. Examples will be drawn from industrial practice (including the environmental impact of chemical processes), from energy generation and storage (e.g., batteries and fuel cells), and from emerging technologies (e.g., photonic and biomedical devices).
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