Course Title: 
Nuclear Chemistry, States of Matter and Chemistry of S and P Block Elements
Course Code: 
Year Taught: 
Integrated Degree
Undergraduate (UG)
School of Arts and Sciences

'Nuclear Chemistry, States of Matter and Chemistry of S and P Block Elements' is a course offered at the School of Arts and Sciences, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Mysuru campus.

To enable students to develop an understanding of properties of Solids, Liquids and Gases, understand the shapes of molecules in terms of symmetries and to relate the properties of the matter in solid state to the structure and develop an understanding of the periodic trends, preparations, properties and uses of s and p block elements and their compounds.

Unit I: Nuclear Chemistry
Nuclear particles, nuclear forces, nuclear size, nuclear density, stability of nucleus, binding energy, packing fraction, n/p ratio. Nuclear models – liquid drop model and shell model. Natural radioactivity, modes of decay, decay constant, half-life period, average life, radioactive equilibrium, Geiger-Nuttall rule, units of radioactivity, radiation dosage. Induced radioactivity, nuclear reactions induced by charged projectiles, neutrons and γ rays, fission reactions, fusion reactions, spallation reactions, preparation of transuranic elements, Q values of nuclear reactions. Fertile and fissile isotopes, chain reaction, stellar energy. Application of Radioactivity and Radio isotopes as tracers in analysis, Reaction mechanism through tracer chemistry in medicines, in biological field, in agriculture and industry.

Unit II: Gases
Kinetic molecular model of gases: pressure of an ideal gas, derivation of gas laws, Maxwell's distribution of velocities – molecular velocities (average, root mean square and most probable velocities) Collision diameter, mean free path, viscosity of gases – temperature and pressure dependence. Relation between mean free path and coefficient of viscosity.Barometric distribution law, Law of equipartition of energy, degrees of freedom and molecular basis of heat capacities. Real gases: compressibility factor z, van der Waals equation of state – derivation and application in explaining real gas behaviour. Virial equation of state, van der Waals equation expressed in virial form – calculation of Boyle temperature, Isotherms of real gases, continuity of states. Critical phenomena. Liquefaction of gases (based on Joule-Thomson effect).

Unit III: Liquids
Intermolecular forces in liquids (qualitative idea only)- viscosity, the viscometer method Surface tension - structure of liquids.Unusual behaviour of water. Non-aqueous Solvents- Physical properties of a solvent, types of solvents and their general characteristics, reactions in non-aqueous solvents with reference to liquid NH3 and liquid SO2. Classification of acids and bases as Hard and Soft.Pearson’s HSAB concept, acid-base strength, hardness and softness, symbiosis.

Unit IV: Solids
Elements of symmetry – plane, axis and centre, elements of symmetry in cubic crystals, law of rational indices – Weiss and Miller indices, lattice planes in cubic crystals. Crystal lattice and unit cell, types of Lattice – Bravais lattices, X-Ray diffraction and Bragg’s Law (to be derived), determination of crystal structure of rock salt by rotating crystal method using Bragg's spectrometer, application of X-ray studies – distance between lattice planes, density of crystals, determination of Avogadro Number (numerical problems on applications). Study of Characteristics of Solid surface, surface phenomenon to explain various applications in daily life situations. Catalysis, characteristics of catalysed reactions, classification of catalysis, miscellaneous examples. Statement and explanation of BET and Gibbs Isotherms. Determination of surface area of adsorbent using Langmuir equation. Adsorption theory of Catalysts using Langmuir's Equation.

Unit V: Chemistry of s and p block elements
General characteristics of elements- Electronic configuration, oxidation state, inert pair effect, melting points and boiling points, densities, metallic character, nature of bonds formed, hydration of ions and ionic conductance in solution (only alkali metals), flame colouration. Reactivity, electrode potentials and reducing properties, reaction with water. Compounds – Oxides and peroxides-formation and reaction with water, basic character of oxides and hydroxides. Carbonates thermal stability. Reasons for anomalous behaviour of Li and Be, diagonal relationship of Li and Mg. Hydrides- classification of boron hydrides, diborane-preparation from BCl3, properties(reactions with ammonia and Lewis acid properties) and structure (based on VBT). Halides- comparison of Lewis acid character of boron trihalides. Catenation, allotropic forms of carbon- diamond, graphite and fullerenes (C60) and their structures, carbon nanotubes (brief mention without structural details). Silicates- Classification, structures of ortho and pyrosilicates.

  1. B. R. Puri, L. R. Sharma, Kalia, Principles of Inorganic Chemistry, Milestone Publishers, New Delhi.
  2. B. R. Puri, L. R. Sharma, M. S. Pathania, Elements of Physical chemistry, Vishal Pub. Co. Jalandhar.

  1. H. J. Arnikar, Essentials of Nuclear Chemistry, New Age.
  2. R. Gopalan, Elements of Nuclear Chemistry, Vikas Publ. House.
  3. K. L. Kapoor, A Textbook of Physical chemistry, Volumes 1, Macmillan India Ltd.
  4. P. Atkins and J Paula, The elements of Physical chemistry, 7th edn., Oxford University Press.
  5. F. A. Alberty and R J Silby, Physical Chemistry, 3rd Edn, John Wiley.
  1. Systematic semi-micro qualitative analysis of a mixture of two simple salts (with no interfering radicals). Constituent ions in the mixture to be restricted to the following. Anions: HCO3- , CO32-, SO3-, Cl-, Br-, NO3-, SO42-, BO33-, PO43- Cations: Pb2+, Bi3+, Cd2+, Al3+, Fe2+, Fe3+, Mn2+, Zn2+, Ba2+, Ca2+, Sr2+, Mg2+, K+, Na+ and Mg2+

    Note:Mixtures requiring elimination of borate and phosphate to be avoided. Combination of anions of 2nd group shall be avoided. The combination of two cations in the mixture should belong to different groups.

  2. Determination of density by specific gravity bottle and viscosity of the given liquid by Ostwald's viscometer.
  3. Determination of density by specific gravity bottle and surface tension of the given liquid by stalagnometer.
  4. Determination of refractive index of pure liquids and mixtures.