This Textmap is an introductory chemistry text aimed for a single semester or quarter beginning experience to the chemistry field. This Textmap surveys some of the basic topics of chemistry and should give students enough knowledge to appreciate the impact of chemistry in everyday life and, if necessary, prepare students for additional instruction in chemistry.
- Chemistry is the study of matter and the ways in which different forms of matter combine with each other. You study chemistry because it helps you to understand the world around you. Everything you touch or taste or smell is a chemical, and the interactions of these chemicals with each other define our universe.
- Chemistry, like all sciences, is quantitative. It deals with quantities, things that have amounts and units. Dealing with quantities is very important in chemistry, as is relating quantities to each other. In this chapter, we will discuss how we deal with numbers and units, including how they are combined and manipulated.
- There are many substances that exist as two or more atoms connected together so strongly that they behave as a single particle. These multiatom combinations are called moleculesThe smallest part of a substance that has the physical and chemical properties of that substance.. A molecule is the smallest part of a substance that has the physical and chemical properties of that substance. In some respects, a molecule is similar to an atom. A molecule, however, is composed of more than one atom.
- A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the transformation of one set of chemical substances to another. Chemical reactions encompass changes that only involve the positions of electrons in the forming and breaking of chemical bonds between atoms, with no change to the nuclei (no change to the elements present), and can often be described by a chemical equation.
- How do we compare amounts of substances to each other in chemical terms when it is so difficult to count to a hundred billion billion? Actually, there are ways to do this, which we will explore in this chapter. In doing so, we will increase our understanding of stoichiometry, which is the study of the numerical relationships between the reactants and the products in a balanced chemical reaction.
- Solutions play a very important role in many biological, laboratory, and industrial applications of chemistry. Of particular importance are solutions involving substances dissolved in water, or aqueous solutions. Solutions represent equilibrium systems, and the lessons learned in our last unit will be of particular importance again. Quantitative measurements of solutions are another key component of this unit.
- How do atoms make compounds? Typically they join together in such a way that they lose their identities as elements and adopt a new identity as a compound. These joins are called chemical bonds. But how do atoms join together? Ultimately, it all comes down to electrons. Before we discuss how electrons interact, we need to introduce a tool to simply illustrate electrons in an atom.
- Gases have no definite shape or volume; they tend to fill whatever container they are in. They can compress and expand, sometimes to a great extent. Gases have extremely low densities, one-thousandth or less the density of a liquid or solid. Combinations of gases tend to mix together spontaneously; that is, they form solutions. Air, for example, is a solution of mostly nitrogen and oxygen. Any understanding of the properties of gases must be able to explain these characteristics.