Topics for Physical Science Section of the MCAT

Topics for Physical Science Section of the MCAT

source: http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/preparing/pstopics.pdf

Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
Physical Sciences
General Chemistry
Electronic Structure and Periodic Table
A. ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE
1. Orbital structure of hydrogen atom, principal quantum number n, number of
electrons per orbital
2. Ground state, excited states
3. Absorption and emission spectra
4. Quantum numbers l, m, s, and number of quantum states (electrons) per
orbital]
5. Common names and geometric shapes for orbitals s,p,d
6. Conventional notion for electronic structure
7. Bohr atom
8. Effective nuclear charge
B. THE PERIODIC TABLE: CLASSIFICATION OF ELEMENTS INTO GROUPS BY
ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE
1. Alkali metals; their chemical characteristics
2. Alkaline earth metals; their chemical characteristics
3. Halogens; their chemical characteristics
4. Nobel gases; their physical and chemical characteristics
5. Transition metals
6. Representative elements
7. Metals and non-metals
8. Oxygen group
C. THE PERIODIC TABLE: VARIATIONS OF CHEMICAL PROPERTIES WITH
GROUP AND ROW
1. Electronic structure
a. the representative elements
b. the noble gases
c. transition metals
2. Valence electrons
3. First and second ionization energy
a. Definition
b. prediction from electronic structure for elements in different groups or
rows
4. Electronic affinity
a. Definition
b. variation with group and row
5. Electronegativity
a. Definition
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Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
b. comparative values for some representative elements and important
groups
6. Electron shells and the size of atoms
Bonding
A. THE IONIC BON (ELECTROSTATIC FORCES BETWEEN IONS)
1. E= kQ1Q2/d
2. E= lattice energy
3. Force attraction= R(n+e)(n-e)/d2
B. THE COVALENT BOND
1. π and σ bonds
a. hybrid orbitals: sp3, sp2, sp and respective geometries
b. valence shell electron pair repulsion and the prediction of shapes of
molecules
(e.g., NH3, H2O, Co2)
2. Lewis electron dot formulasresonance structures
a. formal changes
b. Lewis acids and bases
3. Partial ionic character
a. role of electronegativity in determining charge distribution
b. dipole moment
c.
Phases and Phase Equilibrium
A. GAS PHASE
1. Absolute temperature, K scale
2. Pressure, simple mercury barometer
3. Molar volume at 0°C and 1 atm = 22.4 mol/L
4. Ideal gas
a Definition
b ideal gas law PV = nRT
i. Boyle’s law
ii. Charles’ law
iii. Avogadro’s number
5. Kinetic molecular theory of gases
6. Deviation of real-gas behavior from ideal gas law
a Qualitative
b quantitative (Van der Waals’ equation)
7. Partial pressure, mole fraction
8. Dalton’s law relating partial pressure to composition
B. LIQUID PHASE: INTERMOLECULAR FORCES
1. Hydrogen bonding
2. Dipole interactions
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Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
3. Van der Waals’ forces (London dispersion forces)
A. PHASE EQUILIBRIA
1. phase changes and phase diagrams
2. Freezing point, melting point, boiling point
3. Molality
4. Colligative properties
a vapor pressure lowering (Raoult’s law)
b boiling point elevation((ΔTb = KbM
c freezing point depression((ΔTf = KfM
d osmotic pressure((ΔTf = – kfm)
5. Colloids
6. Henry’s Law
Stoichiometry
1. Molecular weight
2. Empirical formula versus molecular formula
3. Metric units commonly used in the context of chemistry
4. Description of composition by % mass
5. Mole concept; Avagadro’s number
6. Definition of density
7. Oxidation number
a. common oxidizing and reducing agents
b. disproportionation reactions
c. redox titration
8. Description of reactions by chemical equations
a. conventions of writing chemical equations
b. balancing equations, including oxidation- reduction equations
c. limiting reactants
d. theoretical yields
Thermodynamics and Thermochemistry
A. ENERGY CHANGES IN CHEMICAL REACTIONS – THERMOCHEMISTRY
1. Thermodynamic system, state function
2. Conservation of energy
3. Endothermic/exothermic reactions
a. enthalphy H and standard heats of reaction and formation
b. Hess’ law of heat summation
4. Bond dissociation energy as related to heats of formation
5. Measurement of heat changes (calorimetry) ; heat capacity; specific heat
(specific heat of water = 1 cal/ °C
6. Entropy as a measure of “disorder”; relative entropy for gas, liquid, and crystal
states
7. Free energy G
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Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
8. Spontaneous reactions and ΔG°
B. THERMODYNAMICS
1. Zeroth law: concept of temperature
2. First law: (ΔE= Q -W (conservation of energy)
3. Equivalence of mechanical, chemical, electrical and thermal energy units
4. Second law: concept of entropy
5. Temperature scales, conversion
6. Heat transfer: conduction, convection, radiation
7. Specific heat, specific heat of water (1 cal/ °C·g)
8. Heat of fusion, heat of vaporization
9. PV diagram: work done= area under or enclosed by curve
10. Calorimetry
Rate Process in Chemical Reactions- Kinetics and Equilibrium
1. Reaction rates
2. Dependence of reaction rate upon concentration of reactants; rate law
a. rate constant
b. reaction order
3. Rate determining step
4. Kinetic control versus thermodynamic control of a reaction
5. Catalysts; the special case of enzyme catalysis
6. Equilibrium in reversible chemical reactions
a. Law of Mass Action
b. the equilibrium constant
c. application of LeChatelier’s principle
7. Relationship of equilibrium constant and ΔG°
Solution Chemistry
A. IONS IN SOLUTION
1. Anion, cation; common names, formulas and charges for familiar ions ( e.g., NH4
+
ammonium, PO4
3-
Phosphate, SO4
2- sulfate)
2. Hydration, the hydronium ion
B. SOLUBILITY
1. Units of concentration ( e.g., molarity)
2. Solubility product constant; the equilibrium expression
3. common-ion effect; its use in laboratory separations
a. complex ion formation ]
b. complex ions and solubility
c. solubility and pH
Acids/Bases
A. ACID/BASE EQUILIBRIA
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Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
1. Brønsted definition of acid, base
2. Ionization of water
a. Kw, its approximate value ( Kw =[H+] [OH-] = 10-14 at STP )
b. definition of pH; pH of pure water
3. Conjugate acids and bases ( e.g., amino acids)
4. Strong acids and bases (common examples, e.g., nitric, sulfuric)
5. Weak acids and bases (common examples, e.g. acetic, benzoic)
a. dissociation of weak acids and bases with or without added salt
b. hydrolysis of salts of weak acids or bases
c. calculation of pH of solutions of slats of weak acids or bases
6. Equilibrium constants Ka and Kb : pKa, pKb
7. Buffers
a. definition and concepts (common buffer systems)
b. influence on titration curves
B. TITRATION
1. Indicators
2. Neutralization
3. Interpretation of titration curves
4. Redox titration
Electrochemistry
1. Electrolytic cell
a. electrolysis
b. anode, cathode
c. electrolyte
d. Faray’s law relating amount of elements deposited (or gas liberated) at
an electrode to current
e. electron flow; oxidation, and reduction at the electrodes
2. Galvanic or voltaic cell
a. Half reactions
b. Reduction potentials; cell potential
c. Direction of electron flow
Physics
Translational Motion
1. Units and dimensions
2. Vectors, components
3. Vector addition
4. Speed, velocity (average and instantaneous)
5. Acceleration
6. Freely falling bodies
Force and Motion, Gravitation
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Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
1. Center of mass
2. Newton’s first law, inertia
3. Newton’s second law (F= ma)
4. Newton’s third law, forces equal and opposite
5. Concept of a field
6. Law of gravitation (F= KGm1m2/r²)
7. Uniform circular motion
8. Centripetal acceleration (F=mv²/r)
9. Weight
10. Friction, static, and kinetic
11. Motion on an inclined plane
12. Analysis of pulley systems
13. Force
Equilibrium and Momentum
A. EQUILIBRIUM
1. Concept of force, units
2. Translational equilibrium (ΣF¡ = 0)
3. Rotational equilibrium (Στı = 0)
4. Analysis of forces acting on an object
5. Newton’s first law, inertia
6. Torques, lever arms
7. Weightlessness
B. MOMENTUM
1. Momentum = mv
2. Impulse = Ft
3. Conservation of linear momentum
4. Elastic collisions
5. Inelastic collisions
Work and Energy
A. WORK
1. Derived units, sign conventions
2. Amount of work done in gravitational field is path-independent
3. Mechanical advantage
4. Work-kinetic energy theorem
5. Power
B. ENERGY
1. Kinetic energy: KE = ½ mv²; units
2. Potential energy
a. PE = mgh (gravitational, local)
b. PE = 1/2kx² (spring)
c. PE = -GmM/r (gravitational, general)
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Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
3. Conservation of energy
4. Conservative forces
5. Power, units
Waves and Periodic Motion
A. PERIODIC MOTION
1. Amplitude, period, frequency
2. Phase
3. Hooke’s law, force F= -kx
4. Simple harmonic motion; displacement as a sinusoidal function of time
5. Motion of a pendulum
6. General periodic motion: velocity, amplitude
B. WAVE CHARACTERISTICS
1. Transverse and longitudinal waves
2. Wavelength, frequency, velocity
3. Amplitude, intensity
4. Supposition of waves, interference, addition
5. Resonance
6. Standing waves, nodes
7. Beat frequencies
8. Refraction and diffraction
Sound
1. Production of sound
2. Relative speed of sound in solids, liquids and gases
3. Intensity of sound, decibel units, log scale
4. Attenuation
5. Doppler effect: moving sound source or observer, reflection of sound from a moving
object
6. Pitch
7. Resonance in pipes and strings
8. Harmonics
9. Ultrasound
Fluids and Solids
A. Fluids
1. Density, specific gravity
2. Buoyancy, Archimededs’ principle
3. Hydrostatic pressure
a. Pascal’s law
b. P = ρgh (pressure vs. depth)
4. Viscosity: Poiseuille flow
5. Continuity equation (A·v = constant)
6. Concept of turbulence at high velocities
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Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
7. Surface tension
8. Bernoulli’s equation
B. SOLIDS
1. Density
2. Elastic properties (elementary properties)
3. Elastic limit
4. Thermal expansion coefficient
5. Shear
6. Compression
Electrostatics and Electromagnetism
A. ELECTROSTATICS
1. Charge, conductors, charge conservatism
2. Insulators
3. Coulomb’s law: F = kqıq2/r², sign conventions
4. Electric dipole
a. Field
b. field due to charge distribution
5. Potential difference, absolute potential at point in space
6. Equipotential lines
7. Electric dipole
a. field lines
b. field due to dipole
c. potential due to dipole
8. Electrostatic induction
9. Gauss’ law
B. MAGNETISM
1. Definition of the magnetic field B
2. Existence and direction of force on charge moving in magnetic field
C. LIGHT, ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION
1. Properties of electromagnetic radiation (General properties only)
a. velocity equals constant c, in vacuo
b. electromagnetic radiation consists of perpendicularly oscillating electric and
magnetic fields; direction of proportion is perpendicular to both
2. Classification of electromagnetic spectrum (x-rays)
A. MAGNETISM
1. Orbits of charged particles moving in magnetic field
2. General concepts of sources of the magnetic field
3. Nature of solenoid, toroid
4. Ampere’s law for magnetic field induced by current in straight wire and other simple
configurations.
5. Comparison of E and B relations
a. force of B on a current
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Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
b. energy
Electronic Circuit Elements
A. CIRCUIT ELEMENTS
1. Current 1 = ∆Q/∆t, sign conventions, units
2. Battery, electromotive force, voltage
3. Terminal potential, internal resistance of battery
4. Resistance
a. Ohm’s law: 1 = V/R
b. Resistors in series
c. Resistors in parallel
d. Resistivity (r = R A/t)
5. Capacitance
a. concept of parallel plate capacitor
b. energy of charged capacitor
c. capacitors in series
d. capacitors in parallel
e. ddielectic
6. Discharge of a capacitor through a resistor
B. CIRCUITS
Power in circuits: P = VI, P = I²R
C. ALTERNATING CURRENTS AND REACTIVE CIRCUITS
1. Root-mean-square current
2. Root-mean-square voltage
Light and Geometrical Optics
A. LIGHT, ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION
1. Concept of interference; Young double slit experiment
2. Thin films, diffraction grating, single slit diffraction
3. Other diffraction phenomena, x-ray diffraction
4. Polarization of light
5. Visual spectrum, color
a. Energy
b. lasers
B. GEOMETRICAL OPTICS
1. Reflection from plane surface: angle of incidence equals angle of reflection
2. Refraction, refractive index n; Snell’s law: nı sin Ө = n2 sin Ө2
3. Dispersion, change of index of refraction with wavelength
4. Conditions for total internal reflection
5. Spherical mirrors
a. center of curvature
b. focal length
c. real and virtual images
6. Thin lenses
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Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
a. converging and diverging lenses
b. use of formula 1/p + 1/q = 1/f, with sign conventions
c. lens strength, diopters
7. Combination of lenses
8. Lens aberration
9. Ray tracing
10. Optical instruments
Atomic and Nuclear Structure
I. PHYSICS
A. Atomic Structure and Spectra
1. Emission spectrum of hydrogen (Bohr model)
2. Atomic energy levels
a. quantized energy levels for electrons
b. calculation of energy emitted or absorbed when an electron changes
energy levels
B. Atomic Nucleus
1. Atomic number, atomic weight
2. Neutrons, protons, isotopes
3. Nuclear forces
4. Radioactive decay: α, β, γ, half-life, exponential decay, semi-log plots
5. General nature of fission
6. General nature of fusion
7. Mass deficit, energy liberated
II. CHEMISTRY
Atomic and Nuclear Structure
1. Nuclear particles
2. Atomic number, atomic weight
3. Isotopes
4. Binding energy
5. Nuclear decay
a. α, β, and γ decay
b. stability, half-life
Basic Concepts and General Techniques
A. UNITS AND DIMENSIONS
1. Metric Units:
a. conversions within metric system
b. conversion from metric to English units
c. conversion within English system
2. Dimensional balance, checking equations for dimensional correctness
3. Significant figures
4. Numerical estimation
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Physical Sciences- General Chemistry
B. BASIC CONCEPTS
1. Mass, length, time
2. Role of experiment and measurement
C. GRAPHIC TECHNIQUES
1. CARTESIAN co-ordinate system
2. Use of semi-log graph paper
3. Use of log-log graph paper
D. ERROR ANALYSIS
1. Random vs. systematic errors
2. Propagation of errors
3. Mean and standard deviation
4. Chi
5. Student t

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