Cover image for Chemistry for dummies
Chemistry for dummies
Moore, John T.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Wiley Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
xviii, 362 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QD37 .M66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QD37 .M66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QD37 .M66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QD37 .M66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
QD37 .M66 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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We're all natural born chemists. Every time we cook, clean, take a shower, drive a car, use a solvent, such as fingernail polish remover, or perform any of the countless everyday activities that involve complex chemical reactions we're doing chemistry. You might even say that we're all participating in a grand chemistry experiment that started with the first human who mixed pigments to do a cave painting. Why do so many of us desperately resist learning chemistry when we're young? Maybe it has something to do with the way it's taught in school.

Now there's a fun, easy way to learn basic chemistry. Whether you're studying chemistry in school and you're looking for a little help making sense of what's being taught in class, or you're just into learning new things for their own sake, Chemistry For Dummies gets you rolling with all the basics of matter and energy, atoms and molecules, acids and bases, and much more. In no time you'll:

Understand atomic structure and function Use the Periodic Table of elements Know what happens when matter changes from one state to another Explore ionic and covalent bonding Get a handle on chemical reactions Perform simple chemistry calculations Understand acids, bases, pHs, antacids, and gases Make sense Boyle's Law, Avrogadro's Law and other key laws in chemistry

Packed with examples of chemistry in action in everyday life, Chemistry For Dummies is a fascinating exploration of broad range of topics in chemistry, including:

States of matter, from the macroscopic to the microscopic Understanding how the elements are arranged in the Periodic Table Nuclear chemistry, radioactivity and radioactive decay Positive and negative ions and ionic compounds Covalent bonding in covalent compounds Chemical reactions, chemical equilibrium, and electrochemistry The mole and how it's used to calculate chemical reactions Great serendipitous discoveries in chemistry Environmental chemistry

Written in plain English and requiring only basic math, Chemistry For Dummies puts you on the fast track to mastering the basics of chemistry.

Author Notes

John T. Moore Ed.D. has been a teacher for more than thirty years. Numerous grants have permitted him to focus on the professional development of elementary and middle school teachers in science

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
About This Bookp. 2
How to Use This Bookp. 2
Assumptions (And You Know What They Say about Assumptions!)p. 2
How This Book Is Organizedp. 3
Icons Used in This Bookp. 5
Where to Go from Herep. 6
Part 1 Basic Concepts of Chemistryp. 7
Chapter 1 What Is Chemistry, and Why Do I Need to Know Some?p. 9
What Exactly Is Chemistry?p. 9
So What Does a Chemist Do All Day?p. 13
And Where Do Chemists Actually Work?p. 13
Chapter 2 Matter and Energyp. 15
States of Matter: Macroscopic and Microscopic Viewsp. 15
Ice in Alaska, Water in Texas: Matter Changes Statesp. 17
Pure Substances and Mixturesp. 19
Measuring Matterp. 22
Nice Properties You've Got Therep. 23
Energy (Wish I Had More)p. 26
Measuring Energyp. 27
Chapter 3 Something Smaller Than an Atom? Atomic Structurep. 31
Subatomic Particles: So That's What's in an Atomp. 31
The Nucleus: Center Stagep. 33
Where Are Those Electrons?p. 38
Electron configurations (Bed Check for Electrons)p. 44
Isotopes and Ions: These Are a Few of My Favorite Thingsp. 49
Chapter 4 The Periodic Table (But No Chairs)p. 53
Repeating Patterns of Periodicityp. 53
Understanding How Elements Are Arranged in the Periodic Tablep. 56
Chapter 5 Nuclear Chemistry: It'll Blow Your Mindp. 65
It All Starts with the Atomp. 66
Radioactivity and Man-Made Radioactive Decayp. 66
Natural Radioactive Decay: How Nature Does Itp. 68
Half-Lives and Radioactive Datingp. 71
Gone (Nuclear) Fissionp. 74
Nuclear Fusion: The Hope for Our Energy Futurep. 80
Am I Glowing? The Effects of Radiationp. 82
Part II Blessed Be the Bonds That Tiep. 83
Chapter 6 Opposites Do Attract: Ionic Bondsp. 85
The Magic of an Ionic Bond: Sodium + Chlorine = Table Saltp. 85
Positive and Negative Ions: Cations and Anionsp. 89
Polyatomic Ionsp. 92
Putting Ions Together: Ionic Compoundsp. 94
Naming Ionic Compoundsp. 96
Electrolytes and Nonelectrolytesp. 97
Chapter 7 Covalent Bonds: Let's Share Nicelyp. 99
Covalent Bond Basicsp. 99
Naming Binary Covalent Compoundsp. 103
So Many Formulas, So Little Timep. 104
Some Atoms Are More Attractive Than Othersp. 110
What Does Water Really Look Like? The VSEPR Theoryp. 117
Chapter 8 Chemical Cooking: Chemical Reactionsp. 121
What You Have and What You'll Get: Reactants and Productsp. 122
How Do Reactions Occur? Collision Theoryp. 123
What Kind of Reaction Do You Think I Am?p. 126
Balancing Chemical Reactionsp. 131
Chemical Equilibriump. 134
Le Chatelier's Principlep. 136
Reacting Fast and Reacting Slow: Chemical Kineticsp. 140
Chapter 9 Electrochemistry: Batteries to Teapotsp. 147
There Go Those Pesky Electrons: Redox Reactionsp. 148
Power On the Go: Electrochemical Cellsp. 155
Five Dollars for a Gold Chain? Electroplatingp. 159
This Burns Me Up! Combustion of Fuels and Foodsp. 161
Part III The Mole: The Chemist's Best Friendp. 163
Chapter 10 The Mole: Can You Dig It?p. 165
Counting by Weighingp. 165
Pairs, Dozens, Reams, and Molesp. 166
Chemical Reactions and Molesp. 169
Chapter 11 Mixing Matter Up: Solutionsp. 177
Solutes, Solvents, and Solutionsp. 177
Solution Concentration Unitsp. 179
Colligative Properties of Solutionsp. 185
Smoke, Clouds, Whipped Cream, and Marshmallows: Colloids Allp. 190
Chapter 12 Sour and Bitter: Acids and Basesp. 193
Properties of Acids and Bases: Macroscopic Viewp. 193
What Do Acids and Bases Look Like?--Microscopic Viewp. 195
Acids to Corrode, Acids to Drink: Strong and Weak Acids and Basesp. 197
An Old Laxative and Red Cabbage: Acid-Base Indicatorsp. 202
How Acidic Is That Coffee: The pH Scalep. 205
Buffers: Controlling pHp. 208
Antacids: Good, Basic Chemistryp. 209
Chapter 13 Balloons, Tires, and Scuba Tanks: The Wonderful World of Gasesp. 211
Microscopic View of Gases: The Kinetic Molecular Theoryp. 211
I'm Under Pressure--Atmospheric Pressure, That Isp. 214
Gases Obey Laws, Too--Gas Lawsp. 216
Stoichiometry and the Gas Lawsp. 225
Dalton's and Graham's Lawsp. 225
Part IV Chemistry in Everyday Life: Benefits and Problemsp. 229
Chapter 14 The Chemistry of Carbon: Organic Chemistryp. 231
Hydrocarbons: From Simple to Complexp. 232
Functional Groups: That Special Spotp. 241
Chapter 15 Petroleum: Chemicals for Burning or Buildingp. 247
Don't Be Crude, Get Refinedp. 247
The Gasoline Storyp. 252
Chapter 16 Polymers: Making Big Ones from Little Onesp. 257
Natural Monomers and Polymersp. 258
Classifying Unnatural (Synthetic) Monomers and Polymersp. 259
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle--Plasticsp. 268
Chapter 17 Chemistry in the Homep. 271
Chemistry in the Laundry Roomp. 271
Chemistry in the Kitchenp. 277
Chemistry in the Bathroomp. 277
Chemistry in the Medicine Cabinetp. 287
Chapter 18 Cough! Cough! Hack! Hack! Air Pollutionp. 289
Civilization's Effect on the Atmosphere (Or Where This Mess Began)p. 289
To Breathe or Not to Breathe: Our Atmospherep. 290
Leave My Ozone Alone: Hair Spray, CFCs, and Ozone Depletionp. 291
Is It Hot in Here to You? (The Greenhouse Effect)p. 293
Brown Air? (Photochemical Smog)p. 295
"I'm Meltingggggg!"--Acid Rainp. 297
Chapter 19 Brown, Chunky Water? Water Pollutionp. 301
Where Does Our Water Come From, and Where Is It Going?p. 302
Water: A Most Unusual Substancep. 303
Yuck! Some Common Water Pollutantsp. 305
Wastewater Treatmentp. 311
Drinking Water Treatmentp. 314
Part V The Part of Tensp. 315
Chapter 20 Ten Serendipitous Discoveries in Chemistryp. 317
Archimedes: Streaking Aroundp. 317
Vulcanization of Rubberp. 318
Right- and Left-Handed Moleculesp. 318
William Perkin and a Mauve Dyep. 318
Kekule: The Beautiful Dreamerp. 319
Discovering Radioactivityp. 319
Finding Really Slick Stuff: Teflonp. 319
Stick 'Em Up!! Sticky Notesp. 320
Growing Hairp. 320
Sweeter Than Sugarp. 320
Chapter 21 Ten Great Chemistry Nerdsp. 321
Amedeo Avogadrop. 321
Niels Bohrp. 321
Marie (Madame) Curiep. 322
John Daltonp. 322
Michael Faradayp. 322
Antoine Lavoisierp. 322
Dmitri Mendeleevp. 323
Linus Paulingp. 323
Ernest Rutherfordp. 323
Glenn Seaborgp. 324
That Third-Grade Girl Experimenting with Vinegar and Baking Sodap. 324
Chapter 22 Ten Useful Chemistry Web Sitesp. 325
American Chemical Societyp. 325
Material Safety Data Sheetsp. 326
U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyp. 326
Chemistry .About.Comp. 326
Webelements.comp. 327
Plastics.comp. 327
Webbookp. 327
ChemClub.comp. 328
Institute of Chemical Educationp. 328
The Exploratoriump. 328
Appendix A Scientific Units: The Metric Systemp. 329
SI Prefixesp. 329
Lengthp. 330
Massp. 330
Volumep. 331
Temperaturep. 331
Pressurep. 332
Energyp. 332
Appendix B How to Handle Really Big or Really Small Numbersp. 333
Exponential Notationp. 333
Addition and Subtractionp. 334
Multiplication and Divisionp. 334
Raising a Number to a Powerp. 335
Using a Calculatorp. 335
Appendix C Unit Conversion Methodp. 337
Appendix D Significant Figures and Rounding Offp. 341
Numbers: Exact and Counted Versus Measuredp. 341
Determining the Number of Significant Figures in a Measured Numberp. 342
Reporting the Correct Number of Significant Figuresp. 343
Addition and subtractionp. 343
Multiplication and divisionp. 343
Rounding Off Numbersp. 344
Indexp. 345