CHM214 Physical Chemistry (8)

Physical Chemistry is the study of the underlying physical principles that govern the structure and properties of matter. The subject provides many of the tools necessary to understand why materials and chemical systems behave as they do. This subject builds on knowledge introduced in Chemistry 1B with the development of quantitative descriptions for processes which occur at the atomic and molecular level. Concepts that are explored include:

  • the structure of matter;
  • the thermodynamic driving force for chemical reactions;
  • the kinetics of chemical reactions;
  • the relationship between electrochemical behaviour and the nature of electrodes and electrolytes;
  • interfacial processes;
  • and quantum mechanics, at a descriptive level.
Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: CHM214. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Wine and Food Sciences



Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • Be able to interpret the physical properties of matter, both descriptively and mathematically;
  • Be able to determine the thermodynamic changes that occur during chemical reactions, and have developed an understanding of the impetus for chemical reactions;
  • Be able to determine the mechanism by which a chemical reaction proceeds;
  • Be able to relate the nature of electrolyte systems to electrochemical behaviour and perform calculations using cell potentials;
  • Be able to relate the nature of chemical interfaces to colloidal and surface processes;
  • Be able to express a conceptual understanding of quantum chemistry;
  • Be able to employ skills in the evaluation, interpretation and reporting of experimental data.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The structure of matter
  • Thermodynamics
  • Chemical kinetics
  • Electrochemistry
  • Surface chemistry
  • Quantum chemistry

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory Residential School.Laboratory work and tutorials will be conducted at the residential school. Time allowance will be made for students to access resources such as the library during the residential school.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.