Divided into three parts: thermo, phase diagrams, and kinetics. Unified by yucky math and an extremely bizarre final. Graces its students with a MetricAssload? of homework assignments, each of which may be (and often is) re-submitted up to twice if you should make even the most minor error. Since 2002, redos have been capped at 1, instead of 2.
The accompanying lab, Chem 53, culminates in an off-campus dinner, during which amusing antics are encouraged.
From another grader: the much-loved, oft-employed strategy of confusing the hell out of the grader with hairy math of your own design is actually more likely in this class to land you a big "HUH?" and a redo.
PhysicalChemistry is a course that covers thermodynamics, phase diagrams, and 2 other things. The followup course is GQ&S, or GroupTheoryQuantumChemistryAndSpectroscopy. Lately, it has also been taught by ProfessorVanHecke.
The most famous apocryphal tale of PChem comes from a final in AncientTimes? (I think that this is also attributed to CalTech?):
The sky is blue. Avagadro's Number is 6.022 x 10^23. If the sky were green, what would Avagadro's number be? This is the origin of the FroshChem music lyrics, "I could tell you why/ Blue's the color of the sky/ Using Avagadro's Number, e and pi/ If I only had an A. After AncientTimes?, but still BeforeYouWereBorn, ProfessorBaker included a related BonusProblem? on the PChem Final: The sky is blue. What is Avagadro's Number? Note: no work need be shown for this derivation.