Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT

Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT
GENERAL CHEMISTRY ELECTRONIC STRUCTURE AND PERIODIC TABLE A. Electronic Structure 1. Orbital structure of hydrogen atom, principal quantum number n, number of electrons per orbital 2. Ground state, excited states 3. Absorption and emission spectra 4. Quantum numbers l, m, s, and number of electrons per orbital 5. Common names and geometric shapes for orbitals s, p, d 6. Conventional notation for electronic structure 7. Bohr atom 8. Effective nuclear charge B. The Periodic Table: Classification of Elements into Groups by Electronic Structure; Physical and Chemical Properties of Elements 1. Alkali metals 2. Alkaline earth metals 3. Halogens 4. Noble gases 5. Transition metals 6. Representative elements 7. Metals and nonmetals 8. Oxygen group C. The Periodic Table: Variations of Chemical Properties with Group and Row 1. Electronic structure a. representative elements b. noble gases c. transition metals 2. Valence electrons 3. First and second ionization energies a. definition b. prediction from electronic structure for elements in different groups or rows 4. Electron affinity a. definition b. variations with group and row 5. Electronegativity a. definition b. comparative values for some representative elements and important groups 6. Electron shells and the sizes of atoms

© 2009 AAMC. May not be reproduced without permission.


Boyle’s law ii. Electrostatic energy ∝ lattice energy 3. K 2. Lewis electron dot formulas a. Partial ionic character a.. dipole moment PHASES AND PHASE EQUILIBRIA A. Molar volume at 0°C and 1 atm = 22. The Ionic Bond (Electrostatic Forces Between Ions) 1.Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT BONDING A. Lewis acids and bases 3. Electrostatic energy ∝ q1q2/r 2. London dispersion forces © 2009 AAMC. Dalton’s law relating partial pressure to composition B. hybrid orbitals (sp3. formal charge c. Kinetic theory of gases 5. quantitative (van der Waals equation) 6. Electrostatic force ∝ q1q2/r2 B. Hydrogen bonding 2. Deviation of real-gas behavior from ideal gas law a. valence shell electron-pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory. Dipole interactions 3. Partial pressure. Ideal gas a. Pressure. and respective geometries) b. 2 . Avogadro’s law 4. resonance structures b. Absolute temperature. Charles’s law iii. role of electronegativity in determining charge distribution b. sp. qualitative b.4 L/mol 4. The Covalent Bond 1. simple mercury barometer 3.g. H2O. ideal gas law (PV = nRT) i. mole fraction 7. CO2) 2. predictions of shapes of molecules (e. May not be reproduced without permission. Intermolecular Forces 1. Gas Phase 1. sp2. Sigma and pi bonds a. NH3. definition b.

Phase Equilibria 1. Molecular weight Empirical formula versus molecular formula Metric units commonly used in the context of chemistry Description of composition by percent mass Mole concept. freezing point depression (ΔTf = Kfm) d. Free energy G 7. 5. Spontaneous reactions and ΔGº © 2009 AAMC. Energy Changes in Chemical Reactions: Thermochemistry 1. 7. Phase changes.Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT C. balancing equations including redox equations c. enthalpy H. melting point. boiling point elevation (ΔTb = Kbm) c. and crystal states 6. Thermodynamic system. Hess’s law of heat summation 3. redox titration 8. condensation point 3. Entropy as a measure of “disorder. osmotic pressure 5. conventions for writing chemical equations b. heat capacity. Freezing point. theoretical yields THERMODYNAMICS AND THERMOCHEMISTRY A. state function 2. limiting reactants d. 3. 6. phase diagrams 2.” relative entropy for gas. specific heat capacity (specific heat capacity of water = 4. 4. May not be reproduced without permission. 3 . disproportionation reactions c. vapor pressure lowering (Raoult’s law) b.184 J/g·K) 5. Measurement of heat changes (calorimetry). Colloids 6. boiling point. Endothermic and exothermic reactions a. Bond dissociation energy as related to heats of formation 4. Description of reactions by chemical equations a. Colligative properties a. standard heats of reaction and formation b. 2. Henry’s law STOICHIOMETRY 1. Avogadro’s number Definition of density Oxidation number a. Molality 4. common oxidizing and reducing agents b. liquid.

. convection. PO43–. Catalysts. application of Le Châtelier’s principle 8. electrical. Thermodynamics 1. activation energy i. radiation) 7. Complex ion formation 5. Equivalence of mechanical. Complex ions and solubility 6. Solubility 1. ammonium. phosphate.molarity) 2. Heat of fusion. Heat transfer (conduction..g. Temperature scales. Rate law. Zeroth law (concept of temperature) 2. Arrhenius equation 5. Dependence of reaction rate on temperature a. the hydronium ion B. rate constant b.g. the equilibrium constant c. NH4+. Ions in Solution 1. Equilibrium in reversible chemical reactions a. and thermal energy units 4. Reaction rates 2. enzyme catalysis 7. dependence of reaction rate on concentrations of reactants a. ΔH for the reaction b. its use in laboratory separations 4. cation (common names. Solubility product constant. First law (ΔE = q + w. interpretation of energy profiles showing energies of reactants and products. heat of vaporization 8. Rate-determining step 4. and charges for familiar ions. May not be reproduced without permission. Solubility and pH © 2009 AAMC. 4 . chemical. law of mass action b. sulfate) 2. Second law (concept of entropy) 5. Anion. activation energy. activated complex or transition state ii. the equilibrium expression 3. formulas. e. Hydration. Relationship of the equilibrium constant and ΔGº SOLUTION CHEMISTRY A. Kinetic control versus thermodynamic control of a reaction 6. Common-ion effect. conversions 6. conservation of energy) 3. SO42–. PV diagram (work done = area under or enclosed by curve) RATE PROCESSES IN CHEMICAL REACTIONS: KINETICS AND EQUILIBRIUM 1. reaction order 3. Units of concentration (e.Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT B.

Acid–Base Equilibria 1. Equilibrium constants Ka and Kb (pKa and pKb) 7. nitric. Kw. electrolysis b. pH definition. its approximate value (Kw = [H3O+][OH–] = 10–14 at 25°C) b. Interpretation of titration curves ELECTROCHEMISTRY 1. Galvanic (voltaic) cell a. definition.g. dissociation of weak acids and bases with or without added salt b. reduction potentials. Indicators 2. Conjugate acids and bases 4. electron flow. Faraday’s law relating amount of elements deposited (or gas liberated) at an electrode to current e. e. calculation of pH of solutions of weak acids or bases 6. oxidation and reduction at the electrodes 2. e. hydrolysis of salts of weak acids or bases c. Electrolytic cell a. concepts (common buffer systems) b. May not be reproduced without permission. Ionization of water a. pH of pure water 3. half-reactions b. acetic. anode. electrolytes d. benzoic) a. Strong acids and bases (common examples.Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT ACIDS AND BASES A. cell potential c. direction of electron flow © 2009 AAMC. influence on titration curves B. Neutralization 3. Buffers a.. Brønsted–Lowry definition of acids and bases 2. sulfuric) 5.g. 5 . cathode c.. Weak acids and bases (common examples. Titration 1.

time) Vectors. Momentum 1. Concept of a field 6. Law of gravitation (F = –Gm1m2/r2) 7. Center of mass 2. Conservation of linear momentum 4. Impulse = Ft 3. 3. lever arms 7. Momentum = mv 2. Newton’s first law (inertia) 3. Motion on an inclined plane 12. Analysis of pulley systems 13. Dimensions (length or distance. Analysis of forces acting on an object 5. Translational equilibrium ( ∑ Fi = 0) 3.Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT PHYSICS TRANSLATIONAL MOTION 1. Concept of force. components Vector addition Speed. Rotational equilibrium ( ∑ τi = 0) 4. Uniform circular motion 8. 6 . Inelastic collisions © 2009 AAMC. Centripetal force (F = –mv2/r) 9. 6. units 2. Newton’s third law (forces equal and opposite) 5. Friction (static and kinetic) 11. May not be reproduced without permission. GRAVITATION 1. Torques. Newton’s first law (inertia) 6. Newton’s second law (F = ma) 4. 4. Equilibrium 1. velocity (average and instantaneous) Acceleration Freely falling bodies FORCE AND MOTION. 5. Elastic collisions 5. Weightlessness B. Weight 10. 2. Force EQUILIBRIUM AND MOMENTUM A.

Standing waves (nodes. Hooke’s law (F = –kx) 4. Kinetic energy (KE = mv2/2. interference. wave addition 5. Conservation of energy 4. Phase 3. Conservative forces 5. Periodic Motion 1. 4. amplitude) B. Motion of a pendulum 6. Superposition of waves. gravitational. 3. liquids. units WAVES AND PERIODIC MOTION A. period. Refraction and general nature of diffraction SOUND 1. Energy 1. Mechanical advantage 4. frequency 2. Amplitude. Potential energy a. sign conventions 2. May not be reproduced without permission. Power. Work 1. log scale) Attenuation © 2009 AAMC. Power B. Production of sound Relative speed of sound in solids. General periodic motion (velocity. displacement as a sinusoidal function of time 5. local (PE = mgh) b. Resonance 6. Transverse and longitudinal waves 2. Derived units. spring (PE = kx2/2) c. Path independence of work done in gravitational field 3. 7 . Wave Characteristics 1. Amplitude and intensity 4. antinodes) 7. wave speed 3. Simple harmonic motion. units) 2. frequency. Work–energy theorem 5. gravitational. and gases Intensity of sound (decibel units. Beat frequencies 8. general (PE = –GmM/r) 3.Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT WORK AND ENERGY A. 2. Wavelength.

7. Doppler effect (moving sound source or observer. Insulators 3. behavior in electric field c. Archimedes’ principle (buoyancy) 3. Density 2. specific gravity 2. sign conventions) 4. Electric field a. Thermal expansion coefficient 5. reflection of sound from a moving object) Pitch Resonance in pipes and strings Harmonics Ultrasound FLUIDS AND SOLIDS A. charge conservation 2. Poiseuille flow (viscosity) 5. Bernoulli’s equation B. Electrostatics 1. Elastic properties (elementary properties) 3. Hydrostatic pressure a. Compression ELECTROSTATICS AND ELECTROMAGNETISM A. definition of dipole b. potential due to dipole © 2009 AAMC. 8. pressure versus depth (P = ρgh) 4. 8 .Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT 5. absolute potential at point in space 6. Concept of turbulence at high velocities 7. Coulomb’s law (F = kq1q2/r2. Electric dipole a. Continuity equation (Av = constant) 6. 9. Density. field lines b. 6. May not be reproduced without permission. Pascal’s law b. Solids 1. Elastic limit 4. conductors. Potential difference. Surface tension 8. Charges. Shear 6. Fluids 1. Equipotential lines 7. field due to charge distribution 5.

Capacitance a. energy of charged capacitor c. Gauss’s law B. Electrostatic induction 9. Concept of interference. Classification of electromagnetic spectrum (radio. Terminal potential. P = I2R) C. May not be reproduced without permission. Root-mean-square current 2. radiation consists of oscillating electric and magnetic fields that are mutually perpendicular to each other and to the propagation direction 2. Magnetism 1.) ELECTRONIC CIRCUIT ELEMENTS A. Current (I = ΔQ/Δt. UV. voltage 3. radiation velocity equals constant c in vacuo b. etc. Ohm’s law (I = V/R) b. units) 2. dielectrics 6. Alternating Currents and Reactive Circuits 1. Circuit Elements 1. internal resistance of battery 4. electromotive force. resistivity (ρ = RA/L) 5. capacitors in parallel e. Light (Electromagnetic Radiation) 1. Root-mean-square voltage LIGHT AND GEOMETRICAL OPTICS A. sign conventions. Electromagnetic Radiation (Light) 1. Definition of the magnetic field B 2. resistors in parallel d. Existence and direction of force on charge moving in magnetic field C. Circuits 1. 9 . X-rays. capacitors in series d. Conductivity theory B. infrared. Battery. Young’s double-slit experiment © 2009 AAMC. resistors in series c. Properties of electromagnetic radiation (general properties only) a. concept of parallel-plate capacitor b. Discharge of a capacitor through a resistor 7. Power in circuits (P = VI.Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT 8. Resistance a.

X-ray diffraction Polarization of light Doppler effect (moving light source or observer) Visual spectrum. Atomic Nucleus 1. exponential decay. radius. Snell’s law (n1sin θ 1 = n2sin θ 2) 3. real and virtual images d. Atomic energy levels a. Atomic Structure and Spectra 1. Neutrons. protons. 6. lens strength. General nature of fusion 7. focal length b. Spherical mirrors a. Emission spectrum of hydrogen (Bohr model) 2. Reflection from plane surface (angle of incidence equals angle of reflection) 2. May not be reproduced without permission.Content Outline for Physical Sciences Section of the MCAT 2. Thin films. Atomic number. Mass deficit. quantized energy levels for electrons b. focal length b. Conditions for total internal reflection 5. diopters e. Refraction. Nuclear forces 4. calculation of energy emitted or absorbed when an electron changes energy levels B. 10 . color a. diffraction grating. Geometrical Optics 1. Optical instruments ATOMIC AND NUCLEAR STRUCTURE A. lens aberration 7. half-life. β. use of formula (1/p) + (1/q) = 1/f with sign conventions c. use of formula (1/p) + (1/q) = 1/f with sign conventions c. atomic weight 2. General nature of fission 6. semilog plots) 5. energy liberated. refractive index n. 5. Dispersion (change of index of refraction with wavelength) 4. converging and diverging lenses. 4. Combination of lenses 8. real and virtual images 6. γ. energy b. mirror curvature. 3. isotopes 3. lasers B. binding energy © 2009 AAMC. stability. Ray tracing 9. single-slit diffraction Other diffraction phenomena. Radioactive decay (α. Thin lenses a.

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