Can chemistry be done without using physics

The minor subject "Physical Chemistry" (PC) consists of the lecture module PC I (8 ECTS) and the practical module (6 ECTS), which you take together with the chemists.

Physical chemistry I

The lecture consists of four hours a week, accompanied by two-hour exercises plus two-hour tutorials.
The semester is divided into two major subject areas.
The first part contains the thermodynamics and partly also transport processes (diffusion etc.) and statistical theory of thermodynamics (kinetic gas theory).
The second part, Kinetics, deals mainly with reaction kinetics and partly also with electrochemistry.
In the exercises, tasks are then calculated that fit the subject area just dealt with.
It is advisable to study the exercise sheets that are given out weekly.
Especially at the beginning you need a lot of time to follow up on the lectures.
Here you see differential equations and partial derivatives for the first time without being able to deal with them.

Physical chemistry II

Right at the front: As a physicist, you don't have to hear them.
If you still want to hear the lecture, you will benefit from further studies in physics, as quantum mechanics is already being discussed extensively here.
In principle, it is even possible to use the ECTS points for PC II as approval for the internship, although you do not actually have to listen to the lecture. That might be useful if you haven't passed the exam in PC I but don't want to listen to this lecture again.
Unfortunately, PC II is still a lot heavier than PC I because it summarizes quantum mechanics; after all, as a physicist, you don't get introduced to quantum mechanics until the fourth semester.

Further information on the lectures can be found here.


The internship takes place in the last six weeks of the summer semester.
In groups of two, a total of 12 experiments must then be carried out on two afternoons per week.
In addition, there is the respective preparation and the creation of protocols - that can be quite stressful in these six weeks. However, it is also a good preparation for the subsequent physics internships.
The experiments are divided into five subject areas: thermodynamics, kinetics, transport phenomena, electrochemistry and spectroscopy.
Before each experiment, the group is asked about the theoretical background in a "space colloquium" by the experiment supervisor (if you prepare for the experiment in two hours, you can do it well).
At the end of the internship you will be examined orally by a supervising professor in a 20-minute "main colloquium" covering all experimental topics.
If you fail one of the main colloquia, it can be repeated once.
With one or two afternoons of preparation, this main colloquium should also be feasible.

Examination and grading

After each sub-area of ​​the lecture, a written exam is written, both are weighted equally and bring together 8 ECTS points. This grade also counts as admission for the PC internship.
The PC internship gives 6 ECTS points, the grade is almost exclusively determined by the final "main colloquium".
The complete subject grade "Physical Chemistry" results from the ECTS-weighted average of these two grades and has a total of 14 ECTS points.
The exact exam and internship modalities will be announced in the corresponding lecture.


The PC should represent the "physically closest" minor.
She deals with the border areas between chemistry and physics. Chemical knowledge is not absolutely necessary.
The professors are actually very personable throughout. Attending a lecture is recommended in order not to lose touch. The material is quite extensive and is quickly "whipped through".
Overall, the demands are not low - especially the mathematical one, although here as a physicist you usually have a noticeable advantage over chemists.
The final exam is not easy, but also not impossible.

In summary one can say: You have (only) two semesters a demanding and time-consuming minor subject.
What you work on here, however, brings you clear advantages for thermodynamics in the EX3, quantum mechanics and physical internships.
So it's definitely worth it!