Learning outcomes of the course unit
The objective of the course is to provide the students with:
- the fundamental concepts of chemistry, including stoichiometry; a necessity to prepare laboratory media and for the comprehension of analytical techniques;
- the basic knowledge of structure and function of the biological macromolecules.
Course contents summary
General and Inorganic Chemistry
Elements and compounds. Sub-atomic particles. Atomic number, mass number, isotopes. Atomic structure. Electronic configuration of the elements.
Periodic table. Periodic trends in the chemical properties of the elements.
Chemical bonding: ionic bond; covalent bond (pure, polar, dative). Intermolecular bonding.
Atomic and molecular weight, gram atom, gram molecule; related exercises and stoichiometric calculations.
Inorganic chemical compounds: hydrurs, binary acids, oxides, anhydrides, peroxides, hydroxides, acids, neutral and acidic salts; formation reactions, reaction balancing, nomenclature.
Oxidation state and oxidation number; balancing ox-red reactions.
Chemical kinetics: rates of chemical reactions. The factors that affect chemical reaction rate: chemical nature of the reactants, concentration (order of a reaction), temperature and catalysts.
Chemical equilibrium: concept of dynamic equilibrium. The general expression of the equilibrium constant. Factors that affect the chemical equilibrium. Le Chatelier's principle.
Chemical thermodynamics: concept of enthalpy, entropy, free energy. Solutions. Concentrations units: percent fraction w/w and w/v, molarity, molality. Preparation of solutions.
Colligative properties of solutions: boiling point elevation, freezing point depression; osmosis, osmotic pressure and osmolarity.
Acids and bases. Acid-base equilibria. Water ionization. Concept of pH. Calculating the pH of acid and base (strong and weak) solutions. Buffer solutions: properties and pH calculation.
Aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons: nomenclature, physical properties and characteristic reactions.
Alcohols: nomenclature, physical properties, characteristic reactions. Formation of ethers.
Aldehydes and ketones: nomenclature, physical properties, characteristic reactions.
Carboxylic acids: nomenclature, physical properties, characteristic reactions.
Esters: nomenclature, formation reaction, basic hydrolysis. Amides, anhydrides, acid halides: structure and nomenclature.
Amines: structure and nomenclature, basicity, characteristic reactions.
Stereoisomerism and optical activity: basic concepts.
Lipids: fatty acids, triglycerides, phospholipids; structure and properties.
Aminoacids and proteins: general structure and classification of the 20 aminoacids that occur in proteins. Acid-base behaviour of aminoacids; isoelectric point. Peptide bond. The different levels of protein structure: primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary.
Carbohydrates: structure and properties of the most important monosaccharides (glucose, fructose), disaccharides (maltose, lactose, saccarose) and polysaccharides. Chiral properties.
Nucleic acids: the sugar and the base components of nucleosides and nucleotides. Nucleosides and nucleotides. Structure and fundamental properties of RNA and DNA.
All the study materials and supporting web sites are provided by the teacher.
Frontal lectures (aided by presentations and animations files) and practicals.
Written and oral exam.