The Matter of Chemistry: Chemistry, Physical Chemistry and Physics

Not sure which physical sciences class will be a best fit? Take the placement questionnaire. Also, read math guidelines below.

The physical sciences describe nature in its entirety, from point-like elementary particles, nuclear reactions, unbreakable cryptography, and novel electronic materials to intelligent drug discovery, boundary-pushing skyscrapers, interplanetary travel, and the boundless cosmos. 

Students engage in an age-appropriate, accelerated introduction to chemistry, physical chemistry and physics in this course, which includes:

  • atomic theory
  • chemical bonding and reactions
  • classical mechanics
  • thermodynamics
  • electromagnetics
  • wave mechanics
  • intro to organic and biochemistry

This early introduction to fundamental chemistry and physics concepts provides intuitive foundations for rigorous mathematical, logical, and philosophical reasoning. It also offers a solid underpinning for the natural sciences (including the life sciences). For example, learning about atoms and molecules helps develop a more substantive understanding of molecular biology.

Students learn by performing chemistry labs; interacting with multimedia materials; hands-on physics learning lab equipment; a wide range of sensors, a spectrophotometer, and oscilloscope; and engineering resources, including Arduino integration and automation, and a 3D printer.

Site visits and visiting specialists! The Ti2 team engages area research institutions and industries to help students understand how people are investigating the science behind and developing innovative solutions to topics covered in this course. Learning opportunities may include specialists from or field trips to one or more of the following over the course of the academic year: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, lab tours at MIT, Harvard, Tufts, or Brandeis, as well as area museums or scientific archives.

Learning entry points may include the use of storytelling, fiction and nonfiction literature and art.