Chapter 1 Outline


The first chapter of the textbook provides some basic vocabulary and concepts that will be used throughout the course. These sections should be read carefully, be certain that you understand the concepts. You will not be tested on definitions, but if you don't know what something means you will be unable to use it. I will communicate using the vocabulary of chemistry, if you don't know that vocabulary you won't understand what I am saying. There is also a focus on numerical problem solving. Most of this should be review. However, YOU MUST HAVE THIS DOWN. If you don't have a solid background in mathematics you need to get extra help NOW. The chapter contains the following sections.
  1. Atoms and Molecules. Things are made up of atoms. There are different types of atoms, we call these elements. Different elements have different properties. Elements are listed in the periodic table. Atoms combine in different ways to make compounds and molecules. You need to have a clear understanding of the difference between an atom, an element, a compound, and a molecule.

  2. The Scientific Approach to Knowledge

  3. The Classification of Matter. Basic ideas of solids, liquids, and gasses. Kinetic-Molecular theory is briefly introduced, this is a model or way of looking at things that explains the properties of solids, liquids and gasses. There is also a discussion of how matter behaves on the molecular level. Thinking about what the molcules are doing is a useful way to help understand chemistry.

  4. Physical and Chemical Changes and Physical and Chemical Properties. Since this is a chemistry class, we will focus on chemical changes this year. There is an conceptual difference between physical changes and chemical changes. You should understand the difference after reading this section. Physical are simply properties of a material. Figure 1.7 is a nice explaination. D

  5. Energy: A Fundamental Part of Physical and Chemical Change

  6. The Units of Measurement. We will be using the SI system of measurements almost exclusively in this class. For the first chapter we will use the english system for some conversion problems since most of you are more familiar with these units. You need to start thinking in the SI system. You need to know the base units listed in table 1 and below:
    SI Base Units (Table 1 from NIST Special Publication 811, 1995 Edition)
    QuantityNameSymbol
    lengthmeterm
    masskilogramkg
    timeseconds
    electric currentampereA
    Thermodynamic temperaturekelvinK
    amount of substancemolemol
    luminous intensitycandelacd

    In addition, the units below will be frequently used throughout the course.
    Property Unit Abbreviation Conversion
    Distance Meter m  
    Angstrom Å 10-10 m
    Mass Gram g  
    Volume cubic meter m3  
    liter l dm3
    cubic cm cc or cm3 10-3 l
    Time second s  
    Temperature Kelvin K °C + 273.15
    Celcius °C K - 273.15
    Force Newton N kg m s-2
    Energy Joule J Nm or (kg m2 s -2)
    calorie cal 4.184 J
    electron volt eV 1.6021 x 10-19 J
    Power Watt W J s-1
    Pressure Pascal Pa N m-2 (kg m-1 s-2)
    torr torr 133.3 Pa
    mm Mercury mmHg 133.3 Pa
    Atmosphere Atm 101325 Pa
    Bars Bar 105 Pa
    Pounds per Square Inch PSI 6893 Pa

    SI prefixes (Table 5 from NIST Special Publication 811, 1995 Edition)
    FactorPrefixSymbolFactorPrefixSymbol
    1024yottaY10-1 deci*d
    1021zettaZ10-2 centi*c
    1018exaE10-3 milli*m
    1015 petaP10-6 micro*u
    1012 teraT10-9 nano*n
    109 gigaG10-12 pico*p
    106 mega*M10-15 femtof
    103 kilo*k10-18 attoa
    102 hectoh10-21 zeptoz
    101 dekada10-24 yoctoy

  7. The Reliability of a Measurement. You should know how to determine the appropriate number of significant digits in a calculation. In general, I expect all answers to have a reasonable number of significant digits. If you are way off from this I will take off points. If specifically requested I will expect the "correct" number of digits.

  8. Solving Chemical Problems. This is probably the most important section in the chapter. It is the bulk of what you will be tested over. The chapter discusses unit conversions, density problems, significant figures, accuracy and precision. Do all the example problems and exercises in this section. You need to get really good at this. You should be able to work any density problems.

    This section should help you approach problem solving. In this course you will see increasingly complex and involved problems. There will not be a single way to find the answer. Instead there will be many different paths. Students who attemt to memorize formats for solving different problems have a great deal of difficulty with this coures and are ultimately not successful. You will need to learn how to place a problem in context and use concepts to help you setup and solve problems. One of the most important goals for this course is to teach you how to approach complex problems and to apply chemical concepts to solve these problems. So you need to learn how to solve problems and to understand chemical concepts.


This page is maintained by
Scott Van Bramer
Department of Chemistry
Widener University
Chester, PA 19013

Please send any comments, corrections, or suggestions to svanbram@science.widener.edu.

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Last Updated Friday, August 23, 2013 1:53:12 PM