Definition of Physical Chemistry- Physical chemistry is the branch of chemistry. Physical Chemistry utilizes applications of physics to chemical systems to understand their physical properties.
Physical chemistry is the study of atomic, subatomic, macroscopic, microscopic or particulate phenomena in chemical systems in terms of different laws and concepts of physics. Physical chemistry applies the principles and concepts of physics such as thermodynamics, force, time, energy, motion, statistical mechanics, quantum chemistry, dynamics and equilibrium.
Physical properties of different type of chemical substances can be studied on different scales like atomic, subatomic, macroscopic and microscopic.
Atomic properties are properties related to atoms or elements. Atomic numbers, atomic weight, oxidation state, electron per shell, electronic configuration, and atomic radius are example of atomic properties.
Atomic Properties of Element Carbon
- Chemical Symbol: C
- Atomic Number: 6
- Atomic Weight (Relative Atomic Mass), u (g/mol): 12.0107
- Oxidation States: -4, +2, +4
- Electrons Per Shell: K2 L4
- Electronic Configuration: 1s22s22p2
- Atomic Radius, pm: 67
Subatomic properties are properties related to study of subatomic particles and research on energy and waves. This is part of advanced physical chemistry or nuclear chemistry.
Microscopic properties are properties related to microscopic level like shape and structure of crystals and molecules with the use of light microscopes, electron microscopes, and scanning probe microscopes
Macroscopic properties are properties of substances which describe how relatively large quantities of the substance behave as a group, for example melting points (M.P.) and boiling points (B.P.), vaporization and latent heats of fusion, specific heat capacity, thermal conductivity, coefficient of linear thermal expansion and many other physical properties.
For example water exist in three states i.e. Solid-Ice, Liquid-Water, Gas-Steam. When we cool steam it turns into water and on further cooling water convert into ice.
Branches of Physical Chemistry
Physical chemistry have many branches some of them are described below-
Electrochemistry is the branch of physical chemistry which deals with the studies of relationship between electricity and chemicals.
Photochemistry is the branch of physical chemistry which deals with the chemical effects of light. Photo-Chemistry describes chemical reaction caused by absorption of ultraviolet radiation (wavelength from 100 to 400 nm), visible light (400 – 750 nm) or infrared radiation (750 – 2500 nm).
Thermochemistry is the branch of physical chemistry which deals with the study of the energy and heat associated with chemical reactions and physical transformations.
Spectroscopy is the branch of physical chemistry which deals with the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.
Chemical Kinetics is the branch of physical chemistry which deals with the study of rates of chemical processes. Chemical Kinetics is also known as Reaction Kinetics,
Quantum chemistry is the branch of physical chemistry which deals with the application of quantum mechanics in physical models and chemical systems. Quantum chemistry is also known as molecular quantum mechanics.
Surface science is the branch of science which deals with the study of physical and chemical phenomena which occurs at the interface of two phases. Surface science includes the fields of surface chemistry and surface physics.
Solid-state chemistry is the branch of physical chemistry which deals with the study of structure, synthesis, and properties of solid phase materials. Solid-state chemistry also known as materials chemistry.
Biophysical chemistry is the branch of physical chemistry which deals with the uses of concepts of physics and physical chemistry for the study of biological systems.