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College Chemistry Topics

Views:1     Author:Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.     Publish Time: 2020-04-29      Origin:ThoughtCo.

College Chemistry Topics

Important Concepts in General Chemistry

By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Updated January 29, 2020

College chemistry is a comprehensive overview of general chemistry topics, plus usually a little organic chemistry and biochemistry. This is an index of college chemistry topics which you can use to help study college chemistry or to get an idea of what to expect if you're thinking about taking college chem.

Units & Measurement

0002 Chemistry is a science that relies on experimentation, which often involves taking measurements and performing calculations based on those measurements. This means it is important to be familiar with the units of measurement and ways of converting between different units. If you're having trouble with these topics, you may want to review basic algebra. While units and measurement are the first part of a chemistry course, they are used in every aspect of the science and must be mastered.

  · Significant Figures

  · Scientific Notation

  · Calculate the Mean

  · Metric Units

  · Metric Conversions - Unit Cancelling

  · Temperature Conversions

                                                                 · Pressure Conversions

                                                                 · Gram - Mole Conversions

Atomic & Molecular Structure0003

Atoms are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons form the nucleus of the atom, with electrons moving around this core. The study of atomic structure involves understanding the composition of atoms, isotopes, and ions. Understanding the atom doesn't require a lot of math, but it's important to know how atoms are constructed and interact because it forms the basis of chemical reactions.

 · Basic Model of the Atom

 · Bohr Model of the Atom

 · Molecules & Moles

 · Introduction to Molecular Geometry

 · Quantum Numbers & Electron Orbitals

Periodic Table0004

The periodic table is a systematic way of arranging the chemical elements. The elements exhibit periodic properties that can be used to predict their characteristics, including the likelihood they will form compounds and participate in chemical reactions. There's no need to memorize the periodic table, but a chemistry student needs to know how to use it to obtain information.

 · What Is an Element?

 · List of Elements

 · Periodic Table of the Elements

 · Introduction to the Periodic Table

 · Trends in the Periodic Table

 · Periodic Table Study Guide

Chemical Bonding

Atoms and molecules join together through ionic and covalent bonding. Related topics include electronegativity, oxidation numbers, and Lewis electron dot structures.

 · Types of Chemical Bonds

 · Electronegativity

 · Element Valences

 · Lewis Structures or Electron Dot Structures


Electrochemistry primarily is concerned with oxidation-reduction reactions or redox reactions. These reactions produce ions and may be harnessed to produce electrodes and batteries. Electrochemistry is used to predict whether or not a reaction will occur and in which direction electrons will flow.

 · Oxidation Numbers

 · Balancing Redox Reactions

 · Nersnt Equation

 · Electrochemical Cells

Equations & Stoichiometry

It's important to learn how to balance equations and about the factors that affect the rate and yield of chemical reactions.

 · How to Balance Equations

 · Factors that Affect Rate of Reaction

 · Law of Multiple Proportions

 · Limiting Reactant & Theoretical Yield

 · Chemical Reaction Orders

Solutions & Mixtures0005

Part of General Chemistry is learning how to calculation concentration and about different types of solutions and mixtures. This category includes topics such as colloids, suspensions, and dilutions.

 · Solutions, Suspensions, Colloids & Dispersions

 · How to Calculate Concentration

 · Dilutions from Stock Solutions

 · Solubility Rules

 · Boiling Point Elevation

 · Freezing Point Depression

Acids, Bases and pH0006

Acids, bases and pH are concepts that apply to aqueous solutions (solutions in water). pH refers to the hydrogen ion concentration or ability of a species to donate/accept protons or electrons. Acids and bases reflect the relative availability of hydrogen ions or proton/electron donors or acceptors. Acid-base reactions are extremely important in living cells and industrial processes.

 · Acid-Base Definitions

 · Important Acids & Bases

 · Quick pH Review

 · Strong & Weak Acids and Bases

 · Salt Formation

 · Buffers

Thermochemistry/Physical Chemistry

Thermochemistry is the area of general chemistry that relates to thermodynamics. It is sometimes called Physical Chemistry. Thermochemistry involves the concepts of entropy, enthalpy, Gibbs free energy, standard state conditions, and energy diagrams. It also includes the study of temperature, calorimetry, endothermic reactions, and exothermic reactions.

 · Laws of Thermochemistry

 · Standard State Conditions

 · Absolute Zero

 · Endothermic & Exothermic Reactions

 · Calorimetry & Heat Flow

 · Heats of Formation

Organic Chemistry & Biochemistry

Organic carbon compounds are especially important to study because these are the compounds associated with life. Biochemistry looks at different types of biomolecules and how organisms build and use them. Organic chemistry is a broader discipline which includes the study of chemicals that can be made from organic molecules.

 · Elements in the Human Body

 · Photosynthesis

 · Carbon Cycle

 · Monomers & Polymers

 · Protein & Polypeptide Structure

 · Carbohydrates

 · Amino Acids

 · Vitamins




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