This course builds an understanding of the theoretical frameworks that are used to create submicroscopic models of atomic and molecular structure and the way these frameworks can explain observed chemical phenomena. It starts with a modern quantum mechanics based study of atomic structure and builds to theories of chemical bond formation in molecules. The study of the principles of structure-property relationships culminates in developing an understanding of stereochemistry and conformation of carbon-based compounds and the structure-property relationships in transition metal complexes. Molecular spectroscopy tools used to gain insight into the structure of atoms and molecules form the bridge between theoretical frameworks derived from quantum mechanics and experimental observations.
In the laboratory component of the course, students interpret experimental data to explain structure, properties relationships as well as experiment with basic computational tools used to study chemical structure.