Astronomical spectroscopy // alkynes of fun with organic chemistry

  • Posted on: 24 January 2022
  • By: ZackWilliams
LA Code: 

Nearly all chemists (organic, inorganic, materials, physical, medicinal, environmental, analytical...) use spectroscopic analysis every day in the 21st century. One of its most exciting applications is in the determination of the composition of exoplanets' atmospheres. We'll learn how this is done, what's been discovered so far, the limitations of this method, and what's to come.

We will learn about three very popular spectroscopic techniques: IR spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry. We will "decipher" mystery chemical structures using only spectroscopic information.

There will be an internal assessment opportunity (AS91388 - 3 credits).

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY (weeks 6-10, likely wrapping up in Term 2)
We will focus on organic chemistry - ­no, not the study of organic foods, but the study of carbon-containing molecules. We will expand upon knowledge of organic chemistry from Level 2 to include functional groups such as aldehydes, ketones, esters, amides, and acyl chlorides. We will try for ourselves the many chemical reactions that can be done with these organic compounds to make useful things, such as polymers and esters! This term will be “alkynes” of fun, so hopefully no one will be “diene” of boredom.

There will be an external assessment opportunity (AS91391 - 5 credits).

Assessment Opportunities: