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Haverford College

Course Catalog

Chemistry: 2007-2008

DescriptionFacultyMajor RequirementsMinor RequirementsRequirements for HonorsCoursesDepartment Homepage


The program in chemistry is designed to meet the needs of students who are pursuing chemistry either for a variety of pre-professional reasons or to increase their knowledge of the natural sciences. Therefore, Haverford has a chemistry major program that provides preparation for careers in science, medicine, law, business, K-12 education as well as a number of other professions.

The major program recognizes that chemistry as a discipline occupies the broad area between physics and biology with strong ties to both disciplines; some of the most exciting areas in science today are found in the interdisciplinary fields of chemical physics and chemical biology. The chemistry major allows the student flexibility in designing a program that can be directed toward such interdisciplinary areas or to one of the more traditional areas of organic, physical, or inorganic chemistry. In addition, the chemistry department is one of the sponsor departments of the concentration in biochemistry and biophysics.

Students have three possible entry points into the program; the particular option depends on the level of preparation of the individual student. This is determined by the combination of results from a placement examination given during Customs Week, secondary school records, scores from standardized and advanced placement tests, and individual consultation. All three starting points can result in the completion of the chemistry major program. No previous chemistry experience is required for the first year general chemistry sequence (Chemistry 100 and 101). Students with adequate preparation may omit Chemistry 100 and are directed to enter the chemistry sequence starting with an advanced general chemistry course (Chemistry 105) in the second semester, continuing with Chemistry 220, 221 in the sophomore year. These first-year students then have an extra course slot available in their first semester that might be used for a mathematics or a physics course. The third option available to a few students is to take organic chemistry (220, 221) in the first year, continuing with junior-level chemistry in the sophomore year.

All students as seniors are required to participate in a research program for advanced course credit. This research experience nurtures talents and abilities that may not have been developed in prior formal class work. It can help the student define choices for careers after graduation. Summer research experience is particularly encouraged. This provides a background of focused experience that can greatly enrich the senior research tutorial experience. In recent years, fifteen to twenty students per summer have received stipends to participate in research in the chemistry department.

Chemistry majors wishing to study abroad during the junior year should confer with the faculty advisor and should plan to take at least one chemistry course per semester at the foreign institution. The chemistry department has currently approved chemistry major credit for selected courses at Oxford University (England), University College London (England), University of Melbourne (Australia) and University of Aberdeen (Scotland). Chemistry majors have also satisfied major requirements using courses from domestic programs such as the Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.

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John Farnum Professor of Chemistry Colin MacKay, Emeritus
Professor Claude E. Wintner, Emeritus
Professor Terry Newirth
Professor Robert Scarrow
Associate Professor Karin Åkerfeldt
Associate Professor Frances Rose Blase, Chairperson
Assistant Professor Casey Londergan
Assistant Professor Alexander Norquist
General Chemistry Laboratory Instructor Dennis Collin
Organic Chemistry Laboratory Instructor Michael J. Kukla
Visiting Assistant Professor Lisa Chirlian

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Major Requirements

Each student confers with the major advisor to plan a program that takes into account specific interests and career aims. The major requirements have been designed to meet the educational needs of students interested in careers in chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, medicine, K-12 education, business, law, and other professions. An American Chemical Society (ACS) certified major requires additional course work and is recommended for students interested in pursuing graduate study in science and engineering, or who wish to directly enter the job market in a chemistry related field after graduation.

Chemistry Major
The core required courses are: Chemistry 100 (or placement in Chemistry 105), either 101 or 105 (or placement in Chemistry 220), 220, 221, 301, 311, 312, 304, at least one semester of 380 or 36x (research tutorials), 391, and one semester of inorganic chemistry (Chemistry 320 and 351 or 353). Chemistry majors must also complete one semester of additional advanced chemistry courses numbered 303-359; one semester of mathematics courses numbered 114/115 (calculus II) or higher; and either introductory physics (Physics 101/102 or 105/106) or both semesters of Biology 200.
Chemistry Major with Biochemistry Concentration
Biochemistry concentrators are allowed to substitute either semester of Biology 300 for Chemistry 311/312. (Chemistry 301 (Superlab I) is required of all chemistry majors and cannot be replaced.) Concentrators also must take one semester of an advanced biology course (see the Biochemistry and Biophysics section of this catalog for a current list of advanced Biology courses), and two half semester advanced chemistry courses with a biological emphasis. These include Chem 351 (0.5 semester, bioinorganic), Chem 352 (0.5 semester,biophysical) or Chem 357 (0.5 semester, bioorganic). Biology 200a, 200b, Physics 101/102 or 105/106 are required for biochemistry concentrators.
ACS-Certified Chemistry Major
In order to receive ACS-certification, students must satisfy all of the major requirements (with or without a biochemistry concentration) and must complete Chemistry 305 as an additional (third) semester of advanced course work. The following requirements also apply for ACS-certification and may be met with the same courses used to meet major requirements: Physics 101/102 or 105/106; and, at least one semester of biochemistry. This last requirement may be satisfied by Biology 200 (second semester), by Bryn Mawr Chemistry 242, or by two half-semester courses of Chemistry 351, 352, or 357.

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Minor Requirements

The required courses are: Chemistry 100 (or placement in Chemistry 105), 101 (or 105), 220, 221, 304, and one semester of advanced chemistry chosen from courses numbered between 301 and 369. Students who begin by placement in Chemistry 220 must take an additional (fifth) chemistry course credit with an analytical or physical chemistry laboratory component (such as Chemistry 301 or 311/312, or Bryn Mawr Chemistry 251 and 252). At least three of the courses taken for the chemistry minor must be taken at Haverford College. The senior seminar (Chemistry 391j) is not required, but attendance at seminars, including the Philips Visitor Series in Chemistry, is strongly recommended.

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Requirements for Honors

All students who participate in senior research will be considered for departmental honors. Successful honors candidates will be expected to do superior work in major courses and to complete a research problem at a level superior both in quality and quantity of effort to that expected in normal course work.

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  • 100 General Chemistry I: Principles and Applications of Chemistry NA/QU
    K.Akerfeldt, D.Collin, R.Scarrow
    Properties of atoms and molecules, stoichiometry, acid-base equilibria, thermochemistry, and kinetics as the foundation for future work in chemistry. One of the sections is designed for students with limited or no exposure to high school Chemistry courses; it is limited to placement by the department and consists of five lectures and one laboratory period. The remaining section does not have enrollment limits and consists of three lectures, one required recitation, and one laboratory period. Placement of students into section 1 or 2 of the course will be done by the Chemistry Department based on a placement exam, secondary school records, scores from standardized and advanced placement tests, and a questionnaire given prior to the beginning of the Fall Semester. Typically offered every Fall.
  • 101 General Chemistry II: Atoms and molecules in Isolation and Interaction NA/QU
    K.Akerfeldt, D.Collin, R.Fairman,T.Newirth
    Three lectures, one required recitation, and one laboratory period. Survey of principles and applications of thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, atomic and molecular structure and bonding, and chemical equilibria to provide a basis for an appreciation of chemical reactivity, including foundations of nuclear chemistry. Prerequisite: Grade of 2.0 in Chem 100 or placement by department. Typically offered every Spring.
  • 105 Advanced General Chemistry: The Chemical Basis of the Biosphere NA/QU
    C.Londergan, A.Norquist
    Three lectures, one laboratory period and one laboratory planning meeting. A treatment in some depth of the concepts that shape our understanding of the chemical reaction: energetics, dynamics, and structure. The lectures will emphasize applications of chemistry to biology, environmental science, and materials science. The laboratory will involve a student discovery and investigation of unknown compounds and their physical and chemical properties. Prerequisite: Placement by department; Mathematics 113 or higher placement. Typically offered every Spring.
  • 151 Case Studies in Chemistry NA
    Three lectures. A non-science majors course that will discuss the fundamental principles of organic molecules, chemical bonding, structure and 3-dimensional arrangement in space. This will provide the foundation to examine the area of drug discovery and the pharmaceutical industry from the early beginnings to present day drug design. Not open to students with prior college chemistry. Does not count toward the major. Offered occasionally.
  • 152 Chemistry: Its Application to the Everyday World NA
    Three lectures. This course is directed to the non-science major and will help students understand the many varied ways that science and chemistry affects their lives both positively and negatively. Chemical concepts will be introduced to help students understand the basic properties of matter as well as higher level chemical concepts. Concepts will be developed both qualitatively and quantitatively to help students make links between phenomena that they can observe and microscopic quantities such as atoms and molecules. Does not count toward the major. Offered occasionally.
  • 220 Organic Chemistry I: Introduction to Organic Chemistry NA
    Three lectures, one required recitation, and one laboratory period. The basic structural, mechanistic, and synthetic concepts of organic chemistry, and the properties of the common organic functional groups, are surveyed. Prerequisite: Grade of 2.0 in Chem 101 or Chem 105, or placement by Dept. Typically offered every Fall.
  • 221 Organic Chemistry II: Topics in Organic Chemistry NA
    F.Blase, M.Kukla
    Three lectures, one required recitation, and one laboratory period. Topics in stereochemistry, reaction mechanisms, biochemistry and natural-products chemistry, building on the fundamentals developed in Chemistry 220. Prerequisite: Grade of 2.0 in Chemistry 220. Typically offered every Spring.
  • 300 Laboratory in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology NA (Cross-listed in Biology)
    R.Fairman, R.Hoang, K.Johnson, A.Morris, I.Okeke, Staff
    Prerequisite: Biol 200 and Chem 220a or equivalent or consent.
  • 301 Lab in Chemical Structure and Reactivity NA
    F.Blase, A.Norquist
    Two lectures and two laboratory periods. An introduction to the methods of research in chemistry. Inorganic, organic, physical chemistry, and biochemical concepts are integrated in a broad laboratory study of structure and its relationship to chemical reactivity. Physical methods are used in studies of organic, inorganic, and biochemical reactions. Chemical synthesis and the modern methods of instrumental analytical chemistry are particularly stressed. Instruments such as lasers, the 300 MHz NMR spectrometer, powder x-ray diffraction,and the gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer are used by students, with faculty supervision. Prerequisite: Chemistry 221 (Co-requisite: 304) Typically offered every Fall.
  • 304 Physical Chemistry: The Physical Basis of Chemistry and Biology NA/QU
    Three lectures. A quantitative approach to the description and prediction of behavior in chemical systems. Topics to be covered include: introductory quantum mechanics and energy in molecules, statistical mechanics and energy partitioning, thermodynamics of molecules and larger systems, physical and chemical equilibrium, and chemical kinetics. Systems of interest range from single molecules to complicated condensed-phase macromolecular assemblies; specific experimental examples of single molecule observation, phase changes in lipids and liquid crystals, and observations of protein folding will be discussed in the context of the course material. Prerequisite: one semester of Math 114/115/116, Math 121 or 216 is highly recommended. Typically offered every Fall.
  • 305 Quantum Chemistry NA/QU
    Two lectures. The quantum theory of atoms and molecules as applied to problems in molecular structure, computational chemistry, and basic spectroscopic techniques. Emphasis on computer-based solutions and visualization. Typically offered every Spring.
  • 311 Advanced Organic Synthesis Laboratory NA
    Two lectures and two laboratory periods for one-half semester (one-half course credit). Applications of organic reactions toward the synthesis of naturally occurring organic molecules; synthesis and purification of peptides, study of their physical and conformational properties. Prerequisite: Chemistry 221 Typically offered every Spring.
  • 312 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Laboratory NA
    Two lectures and two laboratory periods for one-half semester (one-half course credit). Theory and practice of one- and two-dimensional Fourier transform Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy for samples in solution, with applications to molecular structure determination and determination of reaction rates in chemical and biochemical molecular systems. Prerequisite: Chemistry 221 and Chemistry 304. Typically offered every Spring.
  • 320 Concepts of Inorganic Chemistry NA
    Three lectures for one-half semester (one-half course credit). An introduction to structure and reactivity of inorganic molecules and materials. Topics include: theories of chemical bonding, symmetries of molecules and solid state materials, acid-base, oxidation-reduction reactions, and structures and nomenclature of coordination complexes. Prerequisite: Chemistry 304. Typically offered every Spring.
  • 340 Molecular Spectroscopy NA
    Two lectures for one-half semester (one-half course credit). Quantum mechanical description of current techniques in the spectroscopy of molecules. Prerequisite: Chemistry 305 or Physics 214 or consent of instructor. Offered occasionally.
  • 351 Bioinorganic Chemistry NA
    Three lectures for one-half semester (one-half course credit). Biological cells require metals such as zinc, iron, copper, manganese, and molybdenum; metal-binding abilities of various functional groups within proteins and nucleic acids, metal-based reactivity involved in reaction mechanisms of specific metalloenzymes, and medically-relevant topics such as bioaccumulation and storage of metal ions, the toxicity of heavy metals, and use of metal-containing drugs in treating disease will be discussed. Prerequisite: Chemistry 221 and 304. Typically offered every Spring.
  • 352 Topics in Biophysical Chemistry NA
    Two lectures for one-half semester (one-half course credit). Survey of spectroscopic methods of probing the structure and function of biopolymers, accompanied by interpretive reading of the literature on topics of current interest, with an emphasis on the dynamics of protein folding. Prerequisite: Chemistry 304 or consent of instructor. Offered occasionally.
  • 353 Topics in Materials Science NA
    Three lecture for one-half semester (one-half course credit) This course will focus on the structure-property relationship central to the study of materials with specific functions. Structural studies will include bonding, order/disorder, and non-stoichiometry in crystalline and non-crystalline solids. Optical, magnetic and electronic properties will be discussed in the context of non-linear optical materials, ferroelectric and magnetoresistant materials, as well as superconductors and semiconductors. Prerequisite: Chem 304 or Phys 214 & Chem 101 or Chem 105. Typically offered every Spring.
  • 354 Solid State Chemistry NA
    Three lectures for one-half semester (one-half course credit) An examination of the reactivity of solids. Synthetic techniques and structural analyses will be emphasized. Prerequisite: Chemistry 304 or Physics 214 and Chemistry 101 or Chemistry 105. Offered occasionally.
  • 355 Topics in Advanced Organic Chemistry NA
    Three lectures for one-half semester (one-half course credit). Variable content, depending on the interests of students and faculty. Topics are selected in consultation with students electing the course. Previous topics have been modern synthetic methods, asymmetric synthesis, natural product chemistry, combinatorial approaches to synthesis, free radical chemistry, organometallic chemistry. Topics selected differ from those selected for 357 in the previous year. Prerequisite: Chemistry 221. Offered occasionally.
  • 357 Topics in Bioorganic Chemistry NA
    K. Akerfeldt, T. Newirth
    Three lectures for one-half semester (one-half course credit). The course will focus on organic chemistry as applied to biological systems, biomaterials, protein design, chemistry of coenzymes and glycobiology. Prerequisite: Chemistry 221. Typically offered every Spring.
  • 358 Environmental Chemistry NA
    Three lectures for one-half semester (one-half course credit). This course will examine chemical processes that occur in natural waters, soils and the atmosphere. Specific topics will be chosen with input from enrolled students, who will be expected to share in discussion leadership. Prerequisite: Chemistry 221 (Organic Chemistry II), Chemistry 304 (Physical Chemistry I), and concurrent or prior enrollment in Chemistry 320g (Concepts of Inorganic Chemistry). Offered occasionally.
  • 380 Independent Research in Chemistry NA
    This course is designed for chemistry majors who want to pursue a library research experience. Students will work closely with a faculty member on a topic in the current chemical literature to prepare a thesis paper. Prerequisite: Chemistry 221 and Chemistry 304.
  • 391 Departmental Seminar NA
    T.Newirth, A.Norquist
    One meeting per week throughout the year (one-half course credit). Presentation and discussion of current research topics in the various areas of chemistry by faculty, students and outside speakers. Typically offered every year.
  • 480 Independent Study NA
  • 493 Interdisciplinary Examinations of Biologically Significant Research NA (Cross-listed in Biology and Physics and Psychology)

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Students with solid preparation in the department’s course work then register for a research tutorial in an area of active faculty research. In these tutorials the student attempts to define and solve a research problem under the close supervision of a faculty member.

  • 361 Research Tutorial in Physical Chemistry NA
    Directed research in physical chemistry, condensed phase chemical physics, and biophysical chemistry, with emphasis on spectroscopic studies of site-specific environmental and conformational dynamics in peptides and proteins. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • 363 Research Tutorial in Organic Chemistry NA
    K.Akerfeldt, F.Blase,T.Newirth
    Directed research in bioorganic chemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, and physical-organic chemistry. Topics include de novo synthesis of proteins, total synthesis of biologically significant molecules, new methods of enantioselective synthesis, the study of organic reaction mechanisms, and studies in conformational analysis and molecular modeling. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • 365 Research Tutorial in Bioinorganic Chemistry NA
    Topics include spectroscopic and kinetic studies of metalloproteins and inorganic coordination compounds. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • 369 Research Tutorial in Materials Science NA
    Topics include synthesis and structural characterization of organically templated microporous materials. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

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The following courses may be used to satisfy the advanced course requirement of the chemistry major.

  • 242 Biological Chemistry
  • 311, 312 Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • 321, 322 Advanced Physical Chemistry
  • 332 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
  • 345 Advanced Biological Chemistry

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