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This online course will take an applied materials science approach to teaching chemistry at the introductory level. Chemistry is a common first year requirement in most engineering programs. Increasingly an applied approach is being used to teach this subject: blending traditional chemistry topics with materials science. In this project we propose to create a new online course at a foundational level that will fulfill the requirements for introductory chemistry with a materials approach. In particular, it will meet the requirements at the University of Toronto for all first year students, and will be designed for inclusion in the Engineering credit transfer matrix as an acceptable substitute for introductory chemistry for engineering students across Ontario.

Project Components
Strong, light, and not too bendy

In this module we explore the mechanical behaviour of matter.  Some of the concepts covered here are familiar to us from everyday life, so this is a good starting point.  However, don't be fooled by the comfort of familiarity as concepts like stress, strain and elastic behaviour have very specific and important meaning.

Material properties: properties matter

This module begins to explore the structure-property relationship that is at the heart of materials science and is the basis for the application of chemistry.  We explore the arrangement of atoms in solids and calculate the theoretical density of crystalline solids.

Meddling with matter

This module explores the mechanical behaviour of matter in more detail, particularly the permanent deformation of metals and begins to explore the crystalline imperfections that are able to explain much of the behaviour of matter and that can be used to engineer the properties for specific applications.  

If plastics are polymers, are all polymers plastic?

In this module we explore polymers, including their mechanical behaviour, microstructure, and strengthening mechanisms.

Quick! We need a better model!

In this module we expand on the topic of optical transparency and arrive at the need for a new way of understanding the interaction between light and matter.  We explore the structure of the isolated atom and it's electronic configuration which leads to primary bonding in solids and finally into the electronic configuration of collections of atoms and the band theory of solids.


This short module introduces the mechanical beahviour of ceramics and the influence of stress concentration on ceramics.

I need more structure in my life.

This module explores the crystal structures of solids in more detail.  Building on the previous module, we start with the structure of some common crystalline ceramics and then circle back to some common metallic crystal structures that we didn't need to study in our initial discussion in Material properies: properties matter.

Free time, free money, free energy?

This module introduces thermodynamics, phase equilibrium, and electrochemistry.