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Chemistry LibreTexts

1: Essential Ideas of Chemistry

  • Page ID
    360557
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    Most everything you do and encounter during your day involves chemistry. Making coffee, cooking eggs, and toasting bread involve chemistry. The products you use—like soap and shampoo, the fabrics you wear, the electronics that keep you connected to your world, the gasoline that propels your car—all of these and more involve chemical substances and processes. Whether you are aware or not, chemistry is part of your everyday world. In this course, you will learn many of the essential principles underlying the chemistry of modern-day life.

    • 1.1: Introduction to Chemistry
      Chemistry is a very universal and dynamically-changing subject to be confined to a fixed definition; it might be better to think of chemistry more as a point of view that places its major focus on the structure and properties of substances— particular kinds of matter— and especially on the changes they undergo.
    • 1.2: Physical and Chemical Properties
      All substances have distinct physical and chemical properties, and may undergo physical or chemical changes. Physical properties, such as hardness and boiling point, and physical changes, such as melting or freezing, do not involve a change in the composition of matter. Chemical properties, such flammability and acidity, and chemical changes, such as rusting, involve production of matter that differs from that present beforehand.
    • 1.3: Measurements
      Measurements provide quantitative information that is critical in studying and practicing chemistry. Each measurement has an amount, a unit for comparison, and an uncertainty. Measurements can be represented in either decimal or scientific notation. Scientists primarily use the SI (International System) or metric systems. We use base SI units such as meters, seconds, and kilograms, as well as derived units, such as liters (for volume) and g/cm3 (for density).
    • 1.4: Measurement Uncertainty, Accuracy, and Precision
      Quantities can be exact or measured. Measured quantities have an associated uncertainty that is represented by the number of significant figures in the measurement. The uncertainty of a calculated value depends on the uncertainties in the values used in the calculation and is reflected in how the value is rounded. Measured values can be accurate (close to the true value) and/or precise (showing little variation when measured repeatedly).
    • 1.5: Mathematical Treatment of Measurement Results
      Measurements are made using a variety of units. It is often useful or necessary to convert a measured quantity from one unit into another. These conversions are accomplished using unit conversion factors, which are derived by simple applications of a mathematical approach called the factor-label method or dimensional analysis. This strategy is also employed to calculate sought quantities using measured quantities and appropriate mathematical relations.
    • 1.6: Converting Between Units (Video)
    • 1.E: Essential Ideas of Chemistry- Homework
      These are homework exercises to accompany the Textmap created for "Chemistry" by OpenStax.

    Contributors and Attributions


    1: Essential Ideas of Chemistry is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by OpenStax.

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