Module 19

Main Progression - Modern Physics, Molecular Spectroscopy, and Nuclear Physics

Review & Preview - Finish studying for your fourth practice test.

Knowledge Mapping - An intense and challenging set of discussions designed to help you integrate a great deal of physics and chemistry.

Testing - Take your fourth practice test.

Main Progression

Videos

Assignments


Orient yourself to the model systems and terminology of Modern Physics before proceeding with the rest of your assignments. Browse the terminology and images within your MCAT Primer, complete the basic terms Crossword Puzzle (Solution) and perform an online drill at the Question Server.. Note that the sections in WikiPremed materials dealing with special relativity, cosmology, and advanced particle physics are optional for the MCAT
Master the Concept and Question cards for Modern Physics from the MCAT Primer for Physics. The first half dozen cards, which deal with special relativity, are optional.
Look over materials you covered earlier in Atomic Theory, which has significant overlap with Modern Physics. Here is the Atomic Theory Conceptual Chapter, the Atomic Theory Problem Set, and the Answer Key.
Finish your Main Progression work on Modern Physics with a review tour of the Modern Physics external resources in the Learning Center.

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Goals


Understand what blackbody radiation is and be able to describe the significance of Planck’s solution to the problem of how to interpret the emission spectrum of a blackbody.
Be able to describe the relationship between the frequency of electromagnetic waves and photon energy and feel comfortable applying the quantization of light energy to interpreting a range of phenomena such as atomic emission spectra or the photoelectric effect.
Be ready to solve problems involving the basic apparatus for demonstrating the photoelectric effect and interpret results to determine the work function.
Possess a basic familiarity with the Compton effect so that you would be able to navigate a passage dealing with it.
Learn the basic apparati, mechanisms and conclusions of the most significant experiments of early modern Atomic Theory including J.J. Thomson's cathode ray experiment, Millikin's oil drop experiement, and Rutherford's experiment with gold foil and alpha rays.
Be able to verbally reproduce the reasoning from evidence that led to Bohr's model of the hydrogen atom.
Master the basic description of the electronic structure of the atom in modern quantum theory in terms. Picture the orbitals of an atom. Understand how to use quantum numbers to describe them, the Pauli exclusion principle, the aufbau principle and Hund's rule.
Understand the significance of De Broglie’s extension of particle-wave duality from photons to include all forms of matter and have a basic sense of the concept of wave function collapse in the context of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

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Assignments


Regain your feel for Molecular Spectroscopy by browsing the terminology and images within your MCAT Primer, complete the basic terms Crossword Puzzle (Solution) and perform an online drill at the Question Server.
Read pp. 89-96 in ExamKrackers Organic Chemistry and perform the questions on p. 100 (The discussion also deals with some other lab techniques)
Take a careful review tour of the Molecular Spectroscopy external resources in the Learning Center. The spectroscopy discussions in the Virtual Textbook of Organic Chemistry are perfectly attuned to the MCAT.

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Goals


Understand the mechanism of IR spectroscopy in the vibrational excitation of covalently bonded atoms and groups by electromagnetic radiation in the infrared portion of the spectrum.
Be familiar with the meaning of reciprocal centimeters (cm-1) on an IR spectrograph.
Be able to predict how changes in the strength of a bond or the mass of bonded atoms would alter the frequency of absorption in IR spectroscopy.
Be familiar with the fingerprint and group frequency regions of an IR spectrograph and be able to recognize the half dozen most prominent types of stretching vibrations in the group frequency region by frequency.
At the basis of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), comprehend how the presence of an external magnetic field will result in the existence of difference spin states for a nucleus with a net magnetic moment.
Understand how the location of different nmr resonance signals depends on both the external magnetic field strength and the rf frequency in the context of shielding by extranuclear electrons. Understand what it means to refer to chemical shift in units of ppm.
Be able to use the electronegativities of bonded atoms to judge the extent of deshielding in proton NMR, and recall that pi electron systems can effect chemical shift by supporting or opposing the external field.
Remember that adding heavy water to a sample under proton NMR makes acid protons disappear from the spectrum.
Know how to interpret structural information from the signal splitting resulting from spin-spin interactions in proton NMR.
For UV spectroscopy, understand the electronic mechanism of absorption of electromagnetic radition in the context of molecular orbital theory and comprehend the role of conjugation in shifting absorption maxima toward longer wavelength.
For mass spectroscopy, you should be able to describe the basic mechanism of ionization, ion sorting under a magnetic field, and detection.
In interpreting a mass spectrum understand what is meant by the base peak (sometimes but not always the molecular ion).
Understand the distinction between even-electron ions and odd-electron ions and have a reasonable understanding of fragmentation patterns in mass spectroscopy.

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Videos

Assignments


Warm up before watching the videos. Browse Nuclear Physics in your MCAT Primer to get a feel for the field of reference. Perform your basic terms Crossword Puzzle (Solution) and perform an online drill at the Question Server.
Work through the Concept and Question cards for Nuclear Physics from the physics flashcards.
Close the circle with a review tour of the Nuclear Physics resources in the Learning Center.

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Goals


Understand the basic nomenclature for describing atomic nuclei, ie. atomic number, neutron number and mass number. Understand the differences between isotopes of an element.
Be able to use the concepts of nuclear binding energy and nuclear barrier to narrate the interplay of strong nuclear force and electrostatic force for subatomic particles at very short distances.
Have a basic sense of the concept of nuclear spin and understand the relevance of Larmor precessional frequency to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).
Possess a good familiarity with each of the major types of nuclear decay, alpha, beta, and gamma, and variations thereof.
Understand what is meant by the ‘island of stability’ and be able to predict what types of decay might occur for isotopes falling outside of this range.
Know how to solve simple quantitative problems involving activity and half-life of nuclear reactions.
Be familiar with carbon dating.
Know how to apply mass-energy equivalence to solving simple problems involving nuclear reactions.
Be able to distinguish nuclear fusion and fission.
Understand why nuclear fusion only can occur at extremely high temperature.
Be able to narrate the chain reaction fission of U235. Understand the purposes of the major components of a nuclear reactor such as the control rods and moderator.

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Preview & Review

Assignments


In this module you take your fourth scheduled practice test. The Preview & Review component this module is dedicated to comprehensive review in preparation. Using your past three practice tests, ExamKrackers, WikiPremed materials, any other MCAT books, online resources, and whatever other study materials you prefer to finish preparing for your fourth practice test this week.

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Goals


In finishing preparation for your 4th practice test, concentrate on the sense that whatever types of phenomena an MCAT passage is dealing with, from the physical and biological sciences, you can find your footing to orient yourself in the fundamental principles. You really need be able to put any passage into its proper context from the first sentence, so that you can interpret what you are reading in the light of the basic concepts that will inform the questions coming later.
Now that you have reached the end of the main progression constantly give thought to consolidating physics as the conceptual basis of general chemistry and understand the sense in which physical science is the basis of the biological sciences.

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Knowledge Mapping

Assignments


Start HERE and read the Coaching Discussions in the course for Modern Physics, Molecular Spectroscopy, and Nuclear Physics.

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Goals


Taking into account classical views of electromagnetic radiation and thermal energy, be able to narrate the important experimental results contradicting the classical view which led to quantum theory.
Be familiar with the basic apparatuses used in the important experiments in the history of modern physics. Applying fundamental physics from mechanics, thermodynamics, electricity & magnetism, and light & optics in the context of modern physics experimentation is a major MCAT theme.
Conceptualize the basics of nuclear binding energy compared and contrasted to the concept of chemical binding energy.
Understand the absorption of light in infrared, ultraviolet, and NMR spectroscopy as models of interaction of light and matter.

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Testing

Assignments


It is time for your fourth practice test. Hurray! By far the best practice MCATs are located at the AAMC site www.e-mcat.com.

Set aside six or seven hours when you can guarantee you will be undisturbed. Secure pencils, scratch paper, and a clean desk with only your computer. If you have a WikiPremed study group, try to arrange for everyone to take the same practice tests in the same order so that you can discuss them together. Good luck!
As you begin reading each passage in the science sections, practice orienting the subject matter within the outlines of the sciences you have internalized. No matter how dense or difficult a passage seems, the questions will be about fundamental principles. It is a rule that the harder the passage the easier the questions.

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Goals


You should be taking comprehensive responsibility for the knowledge at this stage.
When you go through the solutions and score report, try to gain as much insight into your strengths and weaknesses. Although there aren't enough question instances on an MCAT for fine-grained diagnostics, look for any weaknesses in major MCAT topics.
Master the MCAT pace and the nature of MCAT passages and questions. The MCAT is a good test. You should be feeling a good sense of the point of view of its authors so that the real MCAT is not going to surprise you.

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MECHANICS & WAVES
MCAT course 
syllabus module 1
Kinematics
Newton's Laws
Work, Energy, & Power
Momentum & Impulse
MCAT course syllabus module 2
Rotation  
Harmonic Motion
Elastic Properties of Solids
Fluid Mechanics
Waves
FUNDAMENTAL FORCES
MCAT course syllabus module 3
Gravitation
Electricity
THE STRUCTURE OF MATTER
MCAT course 
syllabus module 4
Atomic Theory
Periodic Properties
The Chemical Bond
Intermolecular Forces
MCAT course syllabus module 5
Functional Groups
Stereochemistry
THERMODYNAMICS & KINETICS
MCAT course syllabus module 6
Temperature & Heat Flow
Ideal Gas & Kinetic Theory
1st Law of Thermodynamics
Stoichiometry
Thermochemistry
MCAT course syllabus module 7
2nd Law & Heat Engines
Chemical Thermodynamics
The States of Matter
Orgo Physical Properties
Chemical Kinetics
AQUEOUS SYSTEMS
MCAT course syllabus module 8
Water
Solutions
Acids & Bases
Organic Acids & Bases
ORGANIC REACTION CHEMISTRY
MCAT course syllabus module 9
Nucleophiles & Electrophiles
Rearrangements
Radical Intermediates
Conjugation & Aromaticity
Alkanes
Alkenes  optional
Alkynes  optional
Alkyl Halides
Allylic Conjugation
Aromatic Compounds  optional
Alcohols & Ethers
Aldehydes & Ketones
Carboxylic Acids
Amines
Phosphorus Compounds
Sulfur Compounds
MCAT course 
syllabus module 10Overall Review
BIOMOLECULES
MCAT course syllabus module 11
Proteins
Carbohydrates
Nucleic Acids
Lipids
THE CELL
Biological Membranes
The Prokaryotic Cell
The Eukaryotic Cell
BIOENERGETICS & BIOSYNTHESIS
MCAT course syllabus module 12
Coordination Chemistry
Oxidation/Reduction
Redox in Organic Chemistry
Electrochemistry
Cellular Respiration
Photosynthesis  optional
Integration of Metabolism
GENETICS & REPRODUCTION
MCAT course syllabus module 13
Gene Expression
Cellular Reproduction
Mendelian Genetics
Recombination & Mutation
Molecular Biology Lab
Human Genetics
DIVERSITY OF LIFE
MCAT course syllabus module 14
Viruses
Bacteria & Archaea
Protista  taxonomy optional
Fungi
Plants  optional
Animals  taxonomy optional
Embryology
MCAT course 
syllabus module 15
Tissues & Histology
HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY
Nervous System
Sensory Systems
Endocrine System
Musculoskeletal System
Cardiovascular System
Blood
Respiratory System
Lymphatic System & Immunity
Urinary System
Digestive System
Reproductive System
POPULATION BIOLOGY
MCAT course syllabus module 16
Evolution
Ecology
ELECTROMAGNETISM, LIGHT, & MODERN PHYSICS
MCAT course syllabus module 17
Electricity
DC Current
Magnetism
Electomagnetic Induction
AC Current
MCAT course syllabus module 18
Properties of Light
Geometric Optics
Wave Optics
MCAT course syllabus module 19
Modern Physics  relativity optional
Molecular Spectroscopy
Nuclear Physics
MCAT course 
syllabus module 20Overall Review
The WikiPremed MCAT Course is a free comprehensive course in the undergraduate level general sciences. Undergraduate level physics, chemistry, organic chemistry and biology are presented by this course as a unified whole within a spiraling curriculum.

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