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Advanced Main Group Chemistry (59-552)



Classes will be held in the Chemistry Conference Room (EH273) unless I indicate otherwise.



Thursday from 10 AM - 12 PM in Essex Hall room 273.

Course Outline


Paper and Presentation:

The paper will be due on March 31st.


Text books that may be helpful:

Main Group Chemistry by W. Henderson.
This is an inexpensive book that covers many of the aspects of descriptive Main Group Chemistry that we will examine in this course. There was at least one copy of this book in the library. This is the book that we will follow - I suggest that you purchase a copy of this book from e.g. Amazon or Wiley if you don't want to get it from the bookstore.

Inorganic Chemistry by C. Housecroft and A. Sharpe.
This is one of the books from 59-250. There is a companion web site for the book found at:

Main Group Chemistry by A. G. Massey.
This is a relatively expensive and more comprehensive book that covers many of the aspects of descriptive Main Group Chemistry that we will examine in this course. There was at least one copy of this book in the library.

Supplement: Periodicity and the s- and p-Block Elements by N. C. Norman
This is an inexpensive, soft-covered primer with brief explanations of the trends with which you are expected to be familiar in the study of the Main Group elements.

Other sources I will use and that you may find helpful:
Other introductory Inorganic Chemistry texts (such as those by: Shriver and Atkins; Huheey, Keiter and Keiter; Cotton, Wilkinson and Gaus; Rodgers; Rayner-Canham and Overton; etc. some of which may be found in the library)




USEFUL LINKS (more will follow):

WebElements contains information about the elements in the periodic table and links that may help you in your study of Chemistry.


The Periodic Table of Videos, as the name suggests, has videos and information about the elements in the periodic table.


Symmetry and Group Theory Sites (for those of you who forgot about point groups - if you need to, you can look at the class notes from my 59-250 course):

Point Group Practice Page (if you want some models to practice figuring out point groups, come see me).

Another piece of practice software for point groups can be found at (although I don't find it overly reliable, the idea is pretty good).

A web site that lets you practice using character tables (it will calculate the irreducible representation for the reducible representations that you have determined and it usually works):

A web site with more examples using group theory and another tool for determining reducible representations:

A web site with links to various other group theory websites (not all of them work but you can take a look if you so desire):

A series of seven YouTube videos that introduce you to symmetry and group theory:


Current Suggested Reading:

I will send you or provide you with articles to read in class but you should refresh yourself on the use of point group symmetry, particularly for making MO diagrams, and you should reacquaint yourself with the common bonding models (ionic, metal, covalent (VBT and MO)). 

You should also have a look at this article and perhaps some of the references contained therein:




CLASS NOTES (handed out in class for this course)