December 12: Final grades have been submitted. You should be able to see your grade through UT Direct beginning on lucky December 13. It's been fun, everybody! Good luck with the rest of the semester, and have a safe and happy break!
November 17: This is it, the last experiment of the course (and also the most fun). We give you an unknown reaction using unknown reagents, and you break the overall reaction into its step-by-step mechanism, figure out the rate law for the reaction, and identify the limiting reagent along with any catalysts and intermediates, all without knowing that the reaction itself is. If that doesn't sound like fun, I don't know what does!
But we're working on a short week this time -- the Thanksgiving holiday will chop a few days out fo the week for writing the report. So I've put up a post-lab 10 hint sheet on the Freebies page to help you get started on the right track and save you some time.
We will do instructor surveys in lecture this week, then TA evaluations in lab. Everybody checks out of lab this week, even if you have a make-up lab to do. For questions about make-up labs, see the End of Semester FAQ.
November 13: Only one more experiment to go! I have added an End of Semester FAQ page to the web site to answer some of the more commonly asked questions at this time of year. Because of the Thanksgiving holiday you will have a short week to do the write-up, but it's a fairly short write-up, and I'll post another hint sheet to help save you some time on the post-lab.
November 10: We got three, count 'em three, fabulous online offerings for you this week:
1) Lecture notes available in small and extra-large
2) A cheat sheet, courtesy of Dr. Leytner, to help with parts 3 and 4 of the lab write-up
3) A hint sheet for the Post-lab 9 problems.
I will be out of town this Thursday and Friday, but will have e-mail access in the evenings.
We are nearing the end of the course. Our last regular class meeting will be Thanksgiving week. There is no quiz covering kinetics (Experiment 10), and unless you have a make-up lab to do, you are done with the course when you turn in your lab report on December 3 or 4. I will post some end-of-semester information on this site next week.
November 5: Dr. Fanning has left the building, and is being replaced by Josh Biberdorf on Mondays and by Orf on Tuesdays. Orf and Dorf, you might say. They're both smart and experienced guys, and I'm sure you'll grow to love them just as their parents eventually did. We haven't worked out office hours yet, but somebody will be there during Dr. Fanning's usual Monday noon to 1:pm time slot.
November 3: Rejoice! It's my favorite holiday of the whole year -- the night we get to set our clocks back an hour! Oh happy day! The lecture notes for Experiment 8 are now online. This experiment is kinda long, but it's really easy. Most of the time we're just collecting temperature readings every 30 seconds. That might sound kinda boring, and when you get to lab you'll find out it is, but at least it's easy. You'll be working in pairs. Bring a watch that counts seconds if you have one. There's a clock in the lab, but using a watch is easier. I have also posted a Help Sheet for Post-Lab 8 on the Freebies page -- it will help you get started on those problems.
October 28: Lecture 7 is now online. This week's experiment is a long one. It's not hard, but it will take some time. We'll also skip around a little in the procedure -- any time we have to wait for something to cool or for a slow reaction to proceed, we'll move on with another part of the experiment. This experiment has an unknown summary sheet on which you will report your results for Experiments 6 and 7, and Dr. Leytner has also made up a Cheat Sheet to help you with the calculations for the write-up. I will be in town for my Wednesday office hours, but will be gone again on Thursday and Friday, with e-mail access in the evenings.
October 20: The Experiment 6
lecture slides are up. It's a short experiment this week if you don't screw up, so let's nobody screw up this week, okay? All we're doing is drying our crystals a la Herr Buchner, then weighing out three samples, dissolving them in water, and titrating them. If all goes according to plan, you're done in 90 minutes max. I will be out of town again on Wednesday through Friday of this week. I will not have office hours on Wednesday, but you can go to TA office hours or go to Dr. Leytner's office hours in Welch 5.220B on Thursday from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. (I will also be out of town Thursday and Friday of next week.) I should have e-mail access at night, and will reply to e-mails as quickly as I can during this time. Sorry about the inconvenience.
October 14: The Experiment 5 lecture slides are now online. I have also posted a help sheet on the Freebies page for one of the Experiment 6 pre-lab problems, which asks you to determine oxidation numbers for manganese in various compounds. If you don't know how to assign oxidation numbers, take a look at the help sheet and it should get you through the problem.
I will be out of town Wednesday through Friday of this week. I will not have office hours on Wednesday, but you can go to TA office hours or go to Dr. Leytner's office hours in Welch 5.220B on Thursday from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. (I will also be out of town Wednesday thorugh Friday of next week, and Thursday and Friday of the week after that.) I should have e-mail access at night, and will reply to e-mails as quickly as I can during this time.
October 6: The lecture slides for Experiment 4 are now online. I have also posted a grade calculator spreadsheet on the Freebies page (scroll down to CH204 General Information) that will help you keep track of where you stand in this class. We'll talk briefly in class this week about how to use the spreadsheet. Also, Dr. Leytner has written up a cheat sheet to help you with the calculations in the Experiment 4 report. I will hand out copies of this in class, but a pdf version is posted on the Freebies page just in case.
September 29: This week we're doing a short and easy experiment, which is followed by a long and difficult write-up. Don't wait until the weekend to start working on this! The lecture slides for Experiment 3 are online. I have also posted a help sheet for Experiment 3 on the Freebies page. This should greatly reduce the amount of time you spend trying to figure out how to answer these questions. There is an unknown summary sheet for this lab, on which you will report the identities of your five unknown solutions.
September 21: A couple things which seem to have escaped the notice of some students:
1) You MUST read through the entire experiment before you come to lab. Don't think you can skim it looking for pre-lab answers and then copy the tables into your notebook. The TA's can tell who is familiar with the procedure and who is not -- I am hearing from them already -- and you will incrementally cut your own throat this way.
2) You MUST do a preliminary write-up. This isn't a matter of convenience for you; the TA's time is also on the line here. If you don't do the preliminary write-up, you will lose points.
3) You MUST dress appropriately for lab. If you don't, you will have to wear a bunny suit, and will lose points.
If you signed up for this course without intending to do the work, do yourself a favor and drop now.
Are we good? Good.
The lecture slides for Experiment 2 are now online. This is a long lab -- it will take most people between 3 and 3.5 hours. Once again you will enter your results into a lab spreadsheet, but this time you will also put your name on it. This experiment has an unknown summary sheet on which you will report the composition of your unknown sample.
September 15: The lecture slides for Experiment 1 are now online. This first experiment is mostly a chance for you to learn how to use some of the glassware and equipment that we'll be using throughout the semester. We'll also talk about using Excel, and what to expect on the quizzes. There is a sample quiz from a past semester on the Freebies page.
September 6: We have had an unexpected TA change, so if you downloaded the lecture slides before this date, some of the TA room assignments will have changed from what you have. We have had to change TA office hours as well. The office hours page and TA page are now up to date and correct, the lecture slides have been updated, and the Syllabus is also online as a pdf file.
August 25 : Our first class meeting will be the week of September 10. There will be no class and no lab until then, so during those first two weeks when we don't meet go ahead and sleep late or clean your room or call your mom or do whatever else it is you should be doing but never seem to have time for. Make sure you've got the lab manual and lab notebook, and have a combination lock for the first day. The Co-op always runs out of CH 204 lab manuals. Always. So get down there quick and snatch one up if you haven't already. I will show no sympathy to anyone who disregards my warning and then shows up without a lab manual. None. Try me. You'd get more sympathy from a Cretaceous caprolite. Get a lab manual from the Co-op before they run out! And that's all I've got to say about that.