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Learn physical chemistry with online courses and programs

Physical chemistry is used in everything from developing new drugs to understanding climate change and food science. Explore physical chemistry courses delivered by edX.

What is physical chemistry?

Physical chemistry is a branch of chemistry that explores the principles and theories governing the behavior and interactions of matter at the atomic and molecular level. It combines principles of physics and chemistry to study the fundamental properties of chemical systems and their transformations.Footnote 1

Physical Chemistry | Introduction Image

Physical chemistry course curriculum

For learners interested in studying physical chemistry, online courses may cover topics such as thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, chemical kinetics, and statistical mechanics. Learners can expect to analyze the energy changes and reaction rates of chemical processes, examine molecular structures, and study how matter behaves under different conditions. This knowledge is essential in various scientific and engineering disciplines, providing a deeper understanding of chemical processes and their applications in real-world scenarios.

Are you ready to start learning? Explore the range of educational opportunities offered through edX. Sign up for an accelerated boot camp or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore physical chemistry careers

Jobs that utilize physical chemistry can be found in various fields where a deep understanding of the physical properties and behaviors of matter is essential. Some examples include:

  • Research scientist: Physical chemists work in research and development laboratories, conducting experiments and studies to better understand chemical reactions, material properties, and energy transformations.

  • Chemical engineer: Physical chemistry principles are applied in chemical engineering to design and optimize processes, such as reactions, separations, and product development in industries like pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, and materials manufacturing.Footnote 2

  • Environmental scientist: Physical chemists contribute to environmental science by studying chemical processes in the atmosphere, water, and soil, assessing pollution levels and developing strategies for environmental remediation.

  • Material scientist: Understanding material properties at the atomic and molecular level is necessary to develop new materials with specific characteristics for applications in electronics, energy storage, and medical devices.Footnote 3

Build your expertise in physical chemistry to pursue a rewarding career in these fields and more. Explore the possibilities with courses delivered through edX.