Advanced A Level pre-university Physical-Theoretical Chemistry Revision Notes (~US K12 grades 11-12)


Doc Brown's Advanced A Level Chemistry Revision-Study Notes for pre-university Physical-Theoretical Chemistry

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Revision study notes and for researching information


All with worked out answers or feedback for self-assessment

There are lots of accompanying quizzes to go with the exemplar notes on basic chemical calculations listed below.

GCSE and AS basic Calculations sections 1 to 15 indexed examples, notes and short tests *

What is relative atomic mass?, relative isotopic mass and calculating relative atomic mass

Calculating relative formula/molecular mass of a compound or element molecule (this page)

Law of Conservation of Mass and simple reacting mass calculations

Composition by percentage mass of elements in a compound

Empirical formula and formula mass of a compound from reacting masses (easy start, not using moles)

Reacting mass ratio calculations of reactants and products from equations (NOT using moles) and brief mention of actual percent % yield and theoretical yield, atom economy and formula mass determination

Reacting masses, concentration of solution and volumetric titration calculations (NOT using moles)

Introducing moles: The connection between moles, mass and formula mass - the basis of reacting mole ratio calculations (relating reacting masses and formula mass)

Calculations based on the Avogadro Constant plus Answers

Using moles to calculate empirical formula and deduce molecular formula of a compound/molecule (starting with reacting masses or % composition)

Moles and the molar volume of a gas, Avogadro's Law

Reacting gas volume ratios, Avogadro's Law and Gay-Lussac's Law (ratio of gaseous reactants-products)

Molarity, volumes and solution concentrations (and diagrams of apparatus)

How to do volumetric titration calculations e.g. acid-alkali titrations (and diagrams of apparatus)

Electrolysis products calculations (negative cathode and positive anode products)

Other calculations e.g. % purity, % percentage & theoretical yield, volumetric titration apparatus, dilution of solutions (and diagrams of apparatus), water of crystallisation, quantity of reactants required, atom economy

Energy transfers in physical/chemical changes, exothermic/endothermic reactions

Gas calculations involving PVT relationships, Boyle's and Charles Laws

Radioactivity & half-life calculations including dating materials

Part 1 Acid-base and other non-redox titration calculation questions

PART 1 Fully worked out Question Answers

Part 2 Acid-base and other non-redox titration calculation questions

PART 2 Fully worked out Question Answers

Redox titration calculation questions



Revision notes on all you need to know on ATOMIC STRUCTURE for advanced level

The Mass Spectrometer and basics of mass spectrometry of elements

Notes on all you will ever need to know about RADIOACTIVITY for advanced level

Radioactivity & Nuclear Reactions Revision Notes Index

The Structure of Atoms - 3 fundamental particles and what is an atom like?

What is Radioactivity? Why does it happen? How three types of atomic-ionising radiation were found

Detection of Radioactivity, measurement and dose units, Ionising Radiation sources - radioactive materials

Alpha, beta & gamma radiation, properties, dangers of radioactive emissions

The uses of radioactive Isotopes emitting alpha, beta or gamma radiation

Half-life of a radioisotope, implications!, uses of decay data , half-life values, radiocarbon dating, dating rocks

What happens to the nucleus in radioactive decay?, nuclear equations, production of radioisotopes

Nuclear fusion reactions and the formation of 'heavy elements'

Nuclear Fission Reactions, nuclear power energy resource

Electronic Structure

Electron configurations of elements (Z = 1 to 56), ions and the Periodic Table

Spectroscopy, hydrogen spectrum, evidence of quantum levels, ionisation energy patterns

The basic stuff on bonding

Part 0 Why is knowledge of chemical bonding & structure so important?

Part 1 Introduction to chemical bonding - why? how? and patterns

Part 2 Ionic Bonding: compounds and properties

Part 3 Covalent Bonding: small molecules & properties

Part 4 Giant covalent structures and other big molecules

Part 5 Metallic Bonding – structure and properties of metals

Extra notes on chemical bonding

for Advanced Level Students ONLY (IB, US grade 11-12)

6.1 Electronegativity, bond polarity, type of chemical bonding

6.2 More on ionic structures and ionic bonding

(Working out electron configurations for atoms and ions)

6.3 More on covalent bonding - single, double & triple bond length & strength, dative bonds

6.4 Types of Crystal Structure and their relative physical properties

Shapes of molecules

Introduction - VSEPR theory - lots of inorganic molecule/ion examples

Some other molecules/ions of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and chlorine

shapes and bond angles of organic molecules

Intermolecular forces - intermolecular bonding

Introduction to intermolecular forces - intermolecular bonding

Detailed comparative discussion of boiling points of 8 organic molecules

Boiling point plots for six organic homologous series, explaining trends and differences

Case studies of boiling points related to intermolecular forces for a variety of compounds

Evidence & theory for hydrogen bonding in covalent hydrides, importance in other molecules



Basic notes of exothermic and endothermic reactions and calculation of enthalpy changes from 'simple' calorimetry experiments and resulting data

Part 1: Thermochemistry - Calorimetry experiments - Enthalpies of reaction, formation, combustion and bond dissociation are explained with exemplar calculations

PART 1 Enthalpy

Part 1a-b ΔH Enthalpy Changes

1.1 Advanced Introduction to enthalpy changes - reaction, formation, combustion

1.2a & 1.2b(i)-(iii) Thermochemistry - Hess's Law and Enthalpy Calculations - reaction, combustion, formation etc.

1.2b(iv) Bond Enthalpy Calculations

1.3a-b Experimental methods for determining enthalpy changes and treatment of results

1.4 Some enthalpy data patterns

1.4a The combustion of linear alkanes and linear aliphatic alcohols

1.4b Some patterns in Bond Enthalpies and Bond Length

1.4c Enthalpies of Neutralisation

1.4d Enthalpies of Hydrogenation of unsaturated hydrocarbons and evidence of aromatic ring structure in benzene

A set of structured practice Enthalpy Questions

Fully worked out ANSWERS to the ΔH enthalpy Q's above

Part 2 More complex Enthalpy Cycles

Part 2 ΔH Enthalpies of ion hydration, solution, atomisation, lattice energy, electron affinity and the Born-Haber cycle

2.1a-c What happens when a salt dissolves in water and why?

2.1d-e Enthalpy cycles involving a salt dissolving

2.2a-c The Born-Haber Cycle

Part 3 Entropy and Free Energy

Part 3 ΔS Entropy and ΔG Free Energy Changes

3.1a-g Introduction to Entropy

3.2 Examples of entropy values and comments

3.3a ΔS, Entropy and change of state

3.3b ΔS, Entropy changes and the feasibility of a chemical change

3.4a-d More on ΔG, Free energy changes, feasibility and applications

3.5 Calculating Equilibrium Constants

3.6 Kinetic stability versus thermodynamic feasibility



GCSE notes for the basics of rates of reactions

KINETICS - advanced rates of reactions revision notes: temperature effect and activation energy, homogeneous catalysts and heterogeneous catalysts, obtaining data, rate expressions and orders of reaction, deducing orders of reaction

See also computer simulation of Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution of kinetic energies

KINETICS - advanced rates of reactions revision notes: Selected case studies of kinetics and rate expressions and calculations, deriving the activation energy Ea from kinetics-rates data and Kinetic versus thermodynamic stability


Revision notes on Inorganic and organic REDOX reactions, oxidation state explained etc.  (sub-indexes of sections)

1. Basic redox definitions

2. Introducing oxidation state (with sub–index)

3. Oxidation state rules–guidelines & inorganic examples

4. Naming inorganic compounds

5. Using oxidation states to describe redox changes in inorganic reactions (with sub–index)

6. Constructing full inorganic redox equations from half–equations (with sub–index)

7. Redox titrations

8. Organic synthesis reductions (with summary table)

9. Organic synthesis oxidations (with summary table)

10. Other Organic Redox Reactions (with sub–index)


15.0 Introduction to the interaction of electromagnetic radiation with matter

15.1 Index of mass spectroscopy notes: mass spectrometry of organic compounds, examples explained

15.2 Index of infrared spectroscopy notes: infrared spectra analysis of organic compounds, examples

15.3 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy: 1H NMR spectra of organic compounds, examples

15.4 Nuclear Magnetic resonance spectroscopy: 13C NMR spectra of organic compounds, examples

15.5 Emission and absorption spectroscopy (uv and visible) including colorimetry and flame photometry

Simple NMR problem solving with % composition and infra-red absorption data


States of Matter Part 1: gas-liquid-solid BASIC revision notes

States of Matter Part 2: More advanced topics on the Ideal Gas Laws, p-V-T

States of Matter Part 3: PV=nRT calculations, kinetic particle model-theory and ideal and non-ideal real gas behaviour (compressibility factors and Van der Waals equation), critical point - critical pressure/temperature

Also Computer simulations of kinetic particle theory - Maxwell Boltzmann Distribution of particle speeds/KE



From simple equilibria to electrode potentials and a lot in between!

Starter GCSE Notes-reversible reactions-equilibrium

Starter GCSE Notes on Electrochemistry

Simple Introduction to Acid-Base Theory and Weak and Strong Acids

Part 1. Equilibria Part 1. Dynamic molecular equilibrium and Le Chatelier's principle

Part 2. Kc and Kp equilibrium expressions and calculations

Part 3. Equilibrium and industrial processes

Part 4.1 Partition equilibrium between two phases, partition coefficient, immiscible liquids and solvent extraction

Part 4.2 Solubility product Ksp & common ion effect

Part 4.3 Ion-exchange systems

Part 5.1 Equilibria:  Lewis and Bronsted-Lowry acid-base theories

Part 5.2 Self-ionisation of water and pH scale

Part 5.3 Strong acids - examples and pH calculations

Part 5.4 Weak acids - examples & pH, Ka and pKa calculations

Part 5.5 Strong bases - examples and pH calculations

Part 5.6 Weak bases - examples and pH, Kb and pKb calculations

Part 5.7 Basic notes and equations on acids, bases, salts, uses of acid-base titrations - upgrade from GCSE!

Part 6.1 Equilibria - Salt hydrolysis

Part 6.2 Acid-base indicator theory, pH curves and titrations

Part 6.3 Buffers - definition, formulation and action

Part 6.4 Buffer calculations

Part 6.5 Case studies of buffer function

Part 7.1 Redox equilibria, half-cell reactions and electrode potentials

Part 7.2 Simple cells notation and construction

Part 7.3 The hydrogen electrode and standard conditions

Part 7.4 Half-cell potentials, Electrochemical Series and using Eθcell for reaction feasibility

Part 7.5 Electrochemical cells ('batteries') and fuel cell systems

Part 7.6 Electrolysis and the electrochemical series

Part 7.7 Exemplar Questions, Appendix 1. The Nernst Equation, Appendix 2 Free Energy, Cell Emf and Kc

Part 8.1 Vapour pressure origin and examples

Part 8.2.1 Introduction to Intermolecular Forces

Part 8.2.2 Detailed comparative discussion of boiling points of 8 organic molecules

Part 8.3 Boiling point plots for six organic homologous series

Part 8.4 Other case studies of boiling points related to intermolecular forces

Part 8.5 Steam distillation - theory, practice and uses

Part 8.6 Evidence and theory for hydrogen bonding in simple covalent hydrides

Part 8.7 Solubility of covalent compounds and miscible & immiscible liquids

Other Notes Links

NANOCHEMISTRY - nanoscience

SMART MATERIALS which obviously overlaps with nanomaterials


Year 12 AS Advanced Level Salters Chemistry Students at Whitby Community College Year 12 January 2002

Year 13 A2 Advanced Level Salters Chemistry Students at Whitby Community College Year 13 January 2002

Year 12 AS Advanced Level Salters Chemistry Students at Whitby Community College Year 12 January 2002

Advanced relaxation

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