Physical Chemistry

Physics, First Cycle
Educational Physics
3 year

Jurij Reščič

Hours per week – 2. semester:

Registration in 3rd year of study.
Passed exams in Physics 1, Physics 2, Mathematics 1, Mathematics 2, and Statistical Physics.
Passed lab course exam is required for exam from theory.

Content (Syllabus outline)

Thermal equilibrium, energy and entropy.
Thermodynamic quantities, state functions and Maxwell relations. Thermochemistry: standard enthalpies of formation and od reaction. Standard states. Entropy change during chemical reaction. Hess' and Kichhoff's law. Spontaneous chemical reactions: Gibbs free energy, chemical potential. Temperature dependence of thermodynamic potentials, Gibbs-Helmholtz equation.

Phase equilibria in one-component systems.
Phase diagram, phase rule, Clausius-Clapeyron equation.

Mixtures. Entropy, entalpy and Gibbs free energy of mixing. Mixtures of gases. Fugacity. Binary solutions: Raoult's and Henry's law, elevation of boiling point, depression of freezing point, osmotic pressure, solubility. Distribution of a solute between two phases.

Phase equilibria in two-component systems.
Pressure-composition and temperature-composition phase diagrams of ideal and of non-ideal binary mixtures. Fractional distillation. Azeotropes.

Chemical equilibrium. Spontaneous reactions, equilibrium composition, reaction quotient, equilibrium constants Ka, Kp, Kc in Kx.Response of equilibria on temperature and pressure change.

Equilibrium electrochemistry. Electrochemical cell, electrode potentials, standard potentials, Nernst equation, pH, membrane potential. Fuel cells. Electrical conductivity of electrolytes. Electrolysis. Activity of electrolytes, Debye-Hückel theory.

Chemical kinetics. Definition of chemical reaction rate, integrated rate laws. Reaction order, rate constants, half-live. Elementary reactions. Temperature dependence of reaction rates: Arrhenius equation. Catalysis.


A. Jamnik, Fizikalna kemija, Založba UL FKKT, Ljubljana, 2013.
več avtorjev, Fizikalna kemija – praktikum, Založba UL FKKT, Ljubljana, 2012.
P. W. Atkins in J. De Paula, Physical Chemistry 8th ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2006.
Kuščer in S. Žumer, Toplota. DMFA, Ljubljana, 1987.
P. Ziherl in G. Skačej, Rešene naloge iz termodinamike.  DMFA, Ljubljana, 2005.

Objectives and competences

Introduction to the fundamentals of chemical thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and chemical kinetics.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
Knowledge of fundamentals of chemical thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium, ckemical kinetics, phase diagrams of puse substances and binary mixtures, and of electrochemistry.

Acquired knowledge enables better understanding of physico-chemical principles of stability and of thermodynamic properties of pure substances and mixtures, thus making firm basis for studies of condensed matter, soft matter and materials.

The subject broadens thermodynamics and applies its principles on realistic physicochemical systems. Students are given detailed theoretical understanding of chemistry through interplay of chemistry and physics as basic nature sciences.

Transferrable skills

The importace of phenomenological description of physico-chemical systems are emphasized through numerous examples.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures and lab course.


Written exam (lab course).
Written exam (theory).
grading: 5 (fail), 6-10 (pass) (according to the Statute of UL)

Lecturer's references
  1. BONČINA, Matjaž, LAH, Jurij, REŠČIČ, Jurij, VLACHY, Vojko. Thermodynamics
    of the lysozyme-salt interaction from calorimetric titrations. J. Phys. Chem., B
    Condens. mater. surf. interfaces biophys., 2010, vol. 114(12), 4313-4319.
  2. BONČINA, Matjaž, REŠČIČ, Jurij, VLACHY, Vojko. Solubility of lysozyme in
    polyethylene glycol-electrolyte mixtures : the depletion interactions and ionspecific
    effects. Biophys. J., 2008,
    vol. 95(3), 1285-1294.
  3. REŠČIČ, Jurij, LINSE, Per. Potential of mean force between charged
    colloids : effect of dielectric discontinuities. J. Chem. Phys., 2008, vol. 129(11),
    art. no. 114505.
  4. REŠČIČ, Jurij, LINSE, Per. Gas-liquid phase separation in charged colloidal
    systems. J. Chem. Phys., 2001, vol. 114(22), 10131-10136.