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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Sunway Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Toby Bell (Clayton); Dr Lim Yau Yan (Sunway)


This unit covers the theory and instrumentation behind common physical and analytical instrumental techniques such as infra-red, Raman, UV/Vis absorption and fluorescence and atomic spectroscopies, mass spectrometry, chromatography and electroanalytical chemistry. A knowledge of the physical chemistry of gases and liquids is an important precursor to the understanding of chromatographic and electroanalytical chemistry. The application of these techniques in forensic analysis is examined using examples such as the detection of accelerants at arson scenes, drug detection in sport and identification of microsamples at crime scenes. Practical exercises will provide problem solving in physical and forensic analytical chemistry. A "Moot Court" team exercise and guest lecturers are an integral part of the subject.


At the completion of this unit students will: understand key terms in instrumental analysis, including accuracy and precision, sensitivity, selectivity, detection limit and dynamic range; be able to explain and describe the principles and applications of spectroscopic techniques such as infra-red, Raman, UV/Visible absorption and fluorescence, and atomic mass spectrometry; have gained knowledge of electrochemical techniques for chemical analysis and have developed an understanding of the need for, and uses of, separation techniques such as gas and liquid chromatography. Students will have gained knowledge of a range of instrumental methods and of how different instruments operate, been exposed to a number of case studies illustrating the many and varied uses of chemical instrumentation for solving analytical and forensic problems, and gained an understanding and familiarity with the use of database searching and retrieval for compound identification. Students will have: further developed skills in the manipulation of chemicals, the use of chemical analysis techniques, risk assessment and the use of modern information technologies and data analysis; developed skills in working in small groups and in the written and oral presentation of scientific data including in the context of a "Moot-court" scenario.


Examination (2 hours): 40%
Mid semester test (1 hour): 20%
Computer test/Assignments: 10%
Laboratory reports: 30%
Students must achieve a pass mark in their laboratory work to achieve an overall pass grade.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Perran Cook

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures/tutorials and the equivalent of 3 hours laboratory activity per week


CHM1011 and CHM1022. Students without these should consult the second year coordinator.