Oct 10th 2016

Metal and Metalloids of the Main Groups: Basis and Their Role in the Daily Life (URJC)

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This course deals with the study of the basis in the metal and metalloid elements of the so-called Main Groups in the Periodic Table and their important role in Our Daily Life. During the course, students will address the dissemination of the most relevant physical and chemical properties of these elements, which are commonly treated in a specific inorganic chemistry course, through the assistance of spectacular lab videos. In addition, the obtaining process of the most industrially demanded elements as well as basic chemicals derived from them, in conjunction with the study of their amazing applications in our daily life, will be extensively covered. The management of these skills are really valuable across many related occupations. This course is great for anyone to start their studies in inorganic chemistry or individuals simply interested in understanding how these elements impact in our daily life. The review of essential key concepts in inorganic and general chemistry.

This course deals with the study of metals and metalloids of what is known “Main Groups” of the Periodic Table. During this course the student will have the opportunity to discover how an element occur in nature, how can be obtained and for which important applications is employed. Additionally the study of physical and chemical properties of these elements will help learners to understand and consolidate all those basic concepts acquired in a General Chemistry course, such as, the study of chemical reactions, and the thermodynamics, kinetics and equilibrium of those reactions. After the course, the student will be able to analyze the suitability of a determined element for some application. This relationship with real life will contribute to the engagement of the student during the course.

During the first week of the course we will review the main acid/base theories and oxidation/reduction concepts, which would be a key factor to assimilate mostly of the content of this course. The student will learn how to construct and interpret redox diagrams, such as, Latimer and Frost diagrams, which are really useful to visualize the most stable oxidation states of the elements. Moreover, during this first week, we will also show the construction and interpretation of Ellingham diagrams, which are really important in order to rationalize the process of extraction of a metal from its ore.

From the second week until the end of the course we will go over through what it is known as “The Main Groups” of the Periodic Table, by exploring and studying metal and metalloids elements present in those groups. It would be a descriptive study of each element where we will review all their physical and chemical properties. We will pay more attention to those elements or combinations that are most useful in our lives, so we will end up every week with a series of compounds for each studied group, which are relevant in our society.

The course has been structured in videos, where basic ideas are presented, and some text readings intercalated, in order to gain a deeper insight about specific physical and chemical data, such as, density values, ionizations energies data, main reactivity, abundance of the elements on earth and so on. We have also included an experiment recorded in our laboratories facilities which will be really useful to see chemistry in action and grasp conveniently all concepts learnt during the week.

The course’s assessment will be based on some small problems intercalated between the videos, homework programmed at the end of the week and a final exam the last week of the course. For a detailed explanation about how will be the assessment developed please consult the grading policy of the course. We have estimated around 3-4 hours per week in order to complete successfully all the content.