General Chemistry


The overall objective of General Chemistry is to provide the fundamental scientific background and practical training in Chemistry that are the basis for the understanding of the world around us. A key general objective is the development of qualitative and quantitative problem-solving skills. Of comparable importance is to learn proper laboratory practices, execute experiments, interpret experimental results and draw reasonable conclusions. Specific learning objectives for this course include the development of conceptual understanding of: elctronic distribuition on an atom; the principal chemical bond theories; bulk properties and models of gases, liquids and solids; thermodynamic laws and their relation with equilibrium - entropy and free energy concepts; physical and chemical equilibria; acqueous equilibria; electrochemistry and chemical kinetics.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Carlos da Silva Barbosa Sotomayor


Weekly - 4

Total - 65

Teaching language



Available soon


- “Chemical Principles. The Quest for Insight”, P.Atkins, L. Laverman and L. Jones, Freeman 7th ed.(2016).

- “Química” (portuguese translation of “Chemistry”), R. Chang, K.A. Goldsby, 11th ed., McGraw-Hill (2012).

- “Chemistry”, Raymond Chang, Jason Overby, 12th ed., McGraw-Hill (2018).

Teaching method

Lectures in  continuos avaluation mode, problem-solving sessions and labs 

Evaluation method

It is required to obtain the frequency to the chair, which requires the achievement of two  practical laboratory work, and the 2 tests or 1 final exam.

The final evaluation results from the application of the following calculation formula:

FINAL SCORE = average of two test scores (or final exam score)* x 0.8  +  P score 0.2 

* = The average grade obtained in the two tests or the final exam will have to be compulsorily equal to or greater than 9.5.

where P score = lab report grade, affected by information from the 2 lab classes

Note: Lab score is retained just in the year when the lab work was done.

Subject matter

1.1. Electronic Structure of Atoms

1.1.1. Quantum numbers

1.1.2. Atomic Orbitals

1.1.3. Periodic Table and Periodic Variation of properties

1.2. Chemical Bond

1.2.1. Lewis Dots symbols

1.2.2. Covalent Bond

1.2.3. Valence Bond Theory

1.2.4. Molecular Orbital Theory

1.2.5. Electronegativity

1.2.6. Intermolecular Forces

1.3. Thermochemistry.

1.3.1. Revision of concepts: systems, work, energy and heat.

1.3.2. Calorimetry. Specific heat and heat capacity.

1.3.3. 1st Law of Thermodynamics.

1.3.4. Energy transfer in chemical reactions.

1.3.5. Enthalpy. Formation Enthalpy and reaction Enthalpy..

1.4. Entropy, Gibbs energy and equilibrium.

1.4.1. Spontaneous processes.

1.4.2. Entropy and the 2nd law of Thermodynamics.

1.4.3. Total entropy changes.

1.4.4. Gibbs energy.

1.4.5. Gibbs energy and chemical equilibrium.

1.5. Chemical Equilibrium.

1.5.1. The concept of chemical equilibrium. Ways of expressing equilibrium constants.

1.5.2. Factors that affect chemical equilibrium. Le Châtelier Principle.

1.6.Chemical kinetics.

1.6.1. The rate of reactions.

1.6.2. Rate laws. Experimental determination of rate law.

1.6.3. Arrhenius Law and activation energy.

1.6.4. Reaction mechanisms. Elementary steps. Molecularity.

1.6.5. Introduction to the collision theory and activated complex theory.


Programs where the course is taught: