- 1 What is Chemistry all about, anyway?
*Chemistry in a nutshell:*The major concepts and ideas of chemical science, and a look at some of the major currents of modern Chemistry. We hope this will motivate you get through the less-fun stuff in the first-year course!- 2 Getting started in Chemistry: essential background
- Classification and properties of matter • density and buoyancy • energy, heat and temperature • units and dimensions • measurement error and uncertainty • significant figures and rounding off
- 3 The basics of atoms, moles, formulas, equations
- These five units take you through basic atomic theory and chemical arithmetic, and how chemicals are named. You will need these skills in amost everything that comes later.
- 4 What is pseudoscience?
- How to tell the difference from science. Pseudoscience, junk science and quackery are pervasive in our culture, and all-too-many science courses simply ignore it.

- 5 Getting serious about atoms
- 5a
**Primer on quantum theory of the atom** - A quantum catechism: elementary introduction to quantum theory in the form of a question-and-answer "primer", emphasizing the concepts with a minimum of mathematics.
- 5b
**Atomic structure and the periodic table** - Everything you need to know in a first-year college course about the principal concepts of quantum theory as applied to the atom, and how this determines the organization of the periodic table.
- 5c
**Why doesn't the electron fall into the nucleus**? - Opposite charges attract, so why not? It's surprising how few textbooks explain this properly!
- 6
**Properties of gases: matter at its simplest** - A six-part treatment of the gaseous state of matter. Includes numerous examples of application of kinetic molecular theory and a section on real gases.
- 7 Solids and liquids
- 7a
**States of matter** - condensed states, liquids, types of solids, intermolecular forces, types of molecular units.
- 7b Liquids and their vapors
- special physical properties of liquids, vaporization and boiling, changes of state, phase diagrams.
- 7c Solutions
- types of solutions, expressing concentrations, colligative properties, solutions of volatile substances, osmosis, ions in aqueous solution.
- 8 Chemical bonding and molecular structure
- 8a
**Models of chemical bonding** - This set of short tutorials summarize the various ways of looking at bond formation without going into too much detail.
- 8b All about chemical bonding
- Ten-part tutorial set on covalent bonding and polar covalence, shapes of molecules (VSEPR theory), hybrid orbitals, molecular orbitals applied to simple diatomics, introduction to transition metal d-orbital splitting and band theory of metals and semiconductors.
- 9 Introduction to acid-base theory
- covers the fundamental concepts of acids and bases. Except for some stoichiometry and a discussion on pH, this section is largely qualitative.

- 20 All about chemical equilibrium
- This thorough treatment sets out the underlying concepts without invoking thermodynamics or complicated calculations; considerable emphasis is placed on the distinction between
*Q*and*K*. The section on equilibrium calculations contains problem examples illustrating techniques such as iterative and graphical solutions of polynomials, all of which employ the "systematic" method of organizing information. - 21 Acid-base equilibria
- 21a
**Acid-base equilibria and calculations** - covers the quantitative treatment of acid-base equilibria at somewhat greater breadth and depth than is available in standard textbooks. The principles of electroneutrality and mass balance are used to develop exact solutions for common equilibrium problems, and the common approximations and their limitations are explored. At the other extreme, there is an extensive treatment of the use of log-concentration vs. pH graphs for obtaining approximate solutions of equilibrium problems without arithmetic. There is a detailed discussion of the proton-free energy concept (without the thermodynamics!) that is helpful in understanding more complex acid-base systems. Other sections cover practical methods of solving quadratic and higher-order equations, graphical solution of equilibrium problems, titration curves, the carbonate system, physiological applications, and acid rain.
- 21b Acid-base without algebra
- The commonly-taught algebraic method of solving acid-base problems hides the underlying principles and is able to deal with only the simplest systems. Here is a far easier approach that avoids the math, provides a bird's-eye view of what's going on in the solution, and yields equally good results.
- 21c The fall of the proton: why acids react with bases
- Acid-base chemistry can be extremely confusing, particularly when dealing with weak acids and bases. This tutorial presents an updated view of the Brønsted-Lowry theory that makes it easy to understand answers to these questions: What's the fundamental difference between a strong acid and a weak acid? Can you neutralize a weak acid with a weak base? Why are some salts acidic and others alkaline? What is the strongest acid that can exist in water?
- 22 Chemical Energetics
- Introduction to thermodynamics • the First Law • enthalpy • molecules as energy carriers and converters • thermochemistry and calorimetry • some applications of enthalpy and the First Law
- 23 Thermodynamics of chemical equilibrium
- All about entropy, free energy, and why chemical reactions do or don't take place. Energy spreading and spontaneous change • What is entropy? • The Second Law • Gibbs free energy • free energy and equilibrium • some applicatins of entropy and free energy
- 24 All about electrochemistry
- Chemistry and electricity • galvanic cells and electrodes • potential differences at interfaces • cell potentials and thermodynamics • Nernst equation and its applications • batteries and fuel cells • electrochemical corrosion • electrolytic cells and electrolysis

- The measure of matter
- The first three sections of this unit cover units and dimensions, measurement error and significant figures and are duplicated in an early first-semester unit. The last two sections,
and**reliability of a measurement**introduce simple statistics that are needed in analytical chemistry courses.**drawing conclusions from data** - 31 The fall of the electron (oxidation-reduction)
- How to predict the directions of oxidation-reduction reactions while avoiding formal electrochemistry. Similar to Fall of the Proton unit 21c. Coverage of biological redox reactions makes this a useful supplement for biochemistry courses.
- 32 Survey of Environmental Geobiochemistry
- Provides an overview of "environmental chemistry" in its broadest context: the chemical evolution and constitution of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. This formed the background reading for the first two weeks of a third-year Environmental Chemistry course. Much of it is suitable for lower-level courses.
- 33 Understanding entropy
- In contrast to the common but misleading "entropy is disorganization" line, this tutorial describes entropy as a measure of the spreading and sharing of thermal energy. This concept provides rational, non-mathematical explanations of the effects of temperature change on reaction equilibria and on the colligative properties of solutions.
- 40 Advanced aquatic chemistry
- These PDF documents were part of an upper-level course in aquatic environmental chemistry.
- 40a
**Acid-base chemistry of natural aquatic systems** - 40b Carbonate equilibria in natural waters
- 40c
**Redox equilibria in natural waters** - 40d
**Solids in contact with natural waters**