PChem4all - Dr. Williams' Science Blog

Papers, projects, and musings of Physical Chemist Darren L. Williams


This page contains DW’s blog posts related to education in general and physical chemistry in particular.

Direct Product Tables

Deep in the application of group theory to molecular spectroscopy one finds a need to analyze the direct products of irreducible representations in the character table of a molecule.

VSEPR Shapes

Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion (VSEPR) Theory proposes that molecules and ions adopt 3D shapes that minimize repulsion between the bonding pairs in Local Bond Theory Lewis Structures.

Lewis Structures

Lewis structures use Local Bond Theory and Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion Theory to produce simple initial guesses at the 3D structure of molecules and ions.

Point Groups

When using symmetry elements to assign point group Schonflies labels to a particular molecule, the symmetry flow chart tool at Otterbein is unparalleled.

How to Teach Yourself

How do you teach yourself a new skill? How do you learn a tough subject? (like pchem?) I’m glad you asked. Here are my tips and tricks specifically focused on pchem survival (but applicable to life in general). 1. Don’t be afraid! (and that’s an order!) Thousands have been down this road and they were […]

Excel Roller Coaster – Yes, my hobby is Excel

If you have FUN programming Excel, on a SATURDAY…You MIGHT be a Redneck I mean, you might be a PCHEMIST. Years ago, I was at home on a Saturday fiddling with a wave function problem in Excel. The plot on the screen was of a couple of cosines, and my 8-year-old son said, “Hey that looks like […]

PChem at SHSU, What to Expect

Most of our frustration in life stems from incorrect expectations. So let me line out the year of PChem at SHSU so you will not be frustrated by the unknown. Starting at 30,000 ft elevation, we have the two semesters: Fall is Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy Spring is Thermodynamics Zooming in on the Fall semester, […]

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