Basic Ideas in Chemistry - Michael Clark
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Success in studying Chemistry depends upon the familiarity of students with a few basic ideas, conventions, and methods upon which later studies are built.
Application of chemical ideas to everyday situations requires a mastery of basic language and principles.
These notes present some basic ideas, conventions and methods. When a student has achieved mastery of them, further studies can be pursued with greater confidence.
Without mastery of them, students are likely to find higher levels of study in Chemistry difficult.
The basic areas are developed in two sections. The first deals with;
1. Use of chemical symbols and formulae, (with a simple introduction to bonding),
2. Writing chemical equations,
3. Calculations involving moles (solids, gases, and solutions).
There are numerous detailed examples of mole-based calculations, and a number of exercises supplied, with answers. In some cases theoretical rigour has been sacrificed for simplicity, with the assumption that rigour can be developed as mastery develops.
In the first section part of the first two topics may be useful in junior level chemistry, but are likely also to be useful for reference for some senior level students. The section on redox equations in the second topic, and the third topic, on mole calculations, will be useful mainly at senior level. This first section is not indexed.
The second section covers the majority of theory required for an understanding of senior chemistry. It is presented as a series of topics, with exercises and answers provided for some topics, and the section as a whole is indexed.
There is no reference to laboratory activities in this book. This is not to suggest, however, that laboratory experience with chemical substances and their reactions is not a vital part of learning Chemistry.
These notes were prepared as part of my working as a private tutor to senior chemistry students, who have usually found them useful. They are not intended to replace a text, but rather to provide a supplement to other text-books, to which students must return for more detailed and perhaps practical development of the topics covered in these notes.
1. Chemical Symbols and Formulae
a) Elements and symbols
b) Compounds and formulae
c) Writing names and formulae of ionic compounds
d) List of names and formulae of common ions
e) Practice exercises for writing formulae
f) Introduction to Bonding Theory and explanation of rules for writing formulae.
2. Chemical Equations
a) What balancing an equation means
b) How to balance equations by inspection
c) Summary and practice exercises in balancing simple chemical equations
d) Molecular and ionic equations, and spectator ions
3. Redox Reactions and Redox Equations
b) Identifying redox reactions
c) Oxidation states
d) Writing redox equations : oxidation state method
e) Writing redox equations : half-equation method
4. Moles and Mole Calculations