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Last updated:

December 13, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

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This subject deals primarily with equilibrium properties of macroscopic systems, basic thermodynamics, chemical equilibrium of reactions in gas and solution phase, and rates of chemical reactions.


The material for 5.60 has evolved over a period of many years, and therefore several faculty members have contributed to the development of the course contents. The following are known to have assisted in preparing the lecture notes available on OpenCourseWare: Emeritus Professors of Chemistry: Robert A. Alberty, Carl W. Garland, Irwin Oppenheim, John S. Waugh. Professors of Chemistry: Moungi Bawendi, John M. Deutch, Robert W. Field, Robert G. Griffin, Keith A. Nelson, Robert J. Silbey, Jeffrey I. Steinfeld. Professor of Bioengineering and Computer Science: Bruce Tidor. Professor of Chemistry, Rice University: James L. Kinsey. Professor of Physics, University of Illinois: Philip W. Phillips.

Course Curriculum

  • State of a system, 0th law, equation of state Unlimited
  • Work, heat, first law Unlimited
  • Internal energy, expansion work Unlimited
  • Enthalpy Unlimited
  • Adiabatic changes Unlimited
  • Thermochemistry Unlimited
  • Calorimetry Unlimited
  • Second law Unlimited
  • Entropy and the Clausius inequality Unlimited
  • Entropy and irreversibility Unlimited
  • Fundamental equation, absolute S, third law Unlimited
  • Criteria for spontaneous change Unlimited
  • Gibbs free energy Unlimited
  • Multicomponent systems, chemical potential Unlimited
  • Chemical equilibrium Unlimited
  • Temperature, pressure and Kp Unlimited
  • Equilibrium: application to drug design Unlimited
  • Phase equilibria — one component Unlimited
  • Clausius-Clapeyron equation Unlimited
  • Phase equilibria — two components Unlimited
  • Ideal solutions Unlimited
  • Non-ideal solutions Unlimited
  • Colligative properties Unlimited
  • Introduction to statistical mechanics Unlimited
  • Partition function (q) — large N limit Unlimited
  • Partition function (Q) — many particles Unlimited
  • Model systems Unlimited
  • Applications: chemical and phase equilibria Unlimited
  • Introduction to reaction kinetics Unlimited
  • Complex reactions and mechanisms Unlimited
  • Steady-state and equilibrium approximations Unlimited
  • Chain reactions Unlimited
  • Temperature dependence, Ea, catalysis Unlimited
  • Enzyme catalysis Unlimited

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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