In this book you will be learning about the fundamental concepts of chemistry. These concepts are meant to help you understand more about the world around you, and to prepare you for the second semester of this course on organic and biochemistry. This is the first semester of two part course on nursing chemistry.
- 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.
- 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.
- Although this works, most of the reactions occurring around us involve much larger amounts of chemicals. Even a tiny sample of a substance will contain millions, billions, or a hundred billion billions of atoms and molecules. 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.
- Solutions are a large part of everyday life. A lot of the chemistry occurring around us happens in solution. In fact, much of the chemistry that occurs in our own bodies takes place in solution, and many solutions are important for our health. In our understanding of chemistry, we need to understand a little bit about solutions. In this chapter, you will learn about the special characteristics of solutions, how solutions are characterized, and some of their properties.
- Energy is a vital component of the world around us. Nearly every physical and chemical process, including all the chemical reactions discussed in previous chapters, occurs with a simultaneous energy change. In this chapter, we will explore the nature of energy and how energy and chemistry are related.
- Many of us are familiar with the group of chemicals called acids. But do you know what it takes for a compound to be an acid? Actually, there are several different definitions of acid that chemistry uses, and each definition is appropriate under different circumstances. Less familiar—but just as important to chemistry and ultimately to us—is the group of chemicals known as bases. Both acids and bases are important enough that we devote an entire chapter to them—their properties and their reactio
- We begin our study of organic chemistry with the alkanes, compounds containing only two elements, carbon and hydrogen, and having only single bonds. There are several other kinds of hydrocarbons, distinguished by the types of bonding between carbon atoms and by the properties that result from that bonding. We will first examine hydrocarbons with double bonds, with triple bonds, and with a special kind of bonding called aromaticity.