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Introduction to Chemistry


Featured Articles For Unit 0

Students interested in earning credit by editing articles should start with the featured articles.

Article #1

Chemistry is an experimental science based on observations of the structure and composition of matter, energy, and the interactions between matter and energy; Chemistry is a physical science based on laws, theories, and models. According to Zumdahl, Zumdahl, and DeCoste, chemistry is a science that deals with the materials of the universe and the changes that these materials undergo.<ref>Zumdahl, S.S., Zumdahl, S. L., DeCoste, D. J. (2006). World of Chemistry. Houghton Mifflin Company.</ref>

The Central Science
Brown, LeMay and Bursten suggested that chemistry is the central science because chemistry touches so many other subjects. For example, chemistry is interwoven with physics, biology, and earth science.

First year students will study atomic structure, chemical bonds, stoichiometry, kinetics, thermochemistry, and chemical reactions. Students will need to be organized, practice solving problems, and constantly ask questions. Additionally, students must be comfortable with math.


Article #2 Chemical research follows an approach to study known as the scientific method, however, "intuition and imagination play an important part in the scientific method." <ref>Pauling, L. (1988). General Chemistry, (3rd ed.). Dover.</ref>


Unit 0

Unit 0 is an introduction to chemistry, the textbook, and the website. Unit 0 is California content standards for investigation and experimentation. Textbook chapters include 1 and 5. A unit 0 test focuses on the concepts and vocabulary.

State Standards

  1. Investigation & Experimentation


Alchemy is the precursor to modern chemistry.


  1. What is chemistry?
  2. History of chemistry
  3. Scientific method
  4. Lab safety
  5. Lab equipment
  6. Measurements
  7. Scientific notation
  8. Significant figures
  9. SI Units
  10. Length, Volume, and Mass
  11. Temperature
  12. Density
  13. Equivalence statements
  14. Dimensional analysis
  15. Mathematics
  16. Unit 0: Assessment


For the test you need to know the following terms and concepts. Review the lecture notes, lab notes, reading packets, vocabulary lists, homework, quizzes, and textbook chapters 1 and 5.

  • Define chemistry
  • Identify five traditional areas of study in chemistry
  • Relate pure chemistry to applied chemistry
  • Distinguish between macroscopic and microscopic views
  • Explain how alchemy laid the groundwork for chemistry
  • Describe how Lavoisier transformed chemistry
  • Identify the steps in the scientific method
  • Define hypothesis, theory, and law
  • Define qualitative and quantitative observations
  • Convert measurements to scientific notation
  • Distinguish among the accuracy, precision, and error of a measurement
  • Identify the number of significant figures to a measurement and in the result of a calculation
  • List SI units of measurement and common SI prefixes
  • Distinguish between the mass and weight of an object
  • Construct conversion factors from equivalent measurements
  • Apply the techniques of dimensional analysis to a variety of conversion problems
  • Solve problems by breaking the solution into steps
  • Convert complex units, using dimensional analysis
  • Calculate the density of a material from experimental data

Classroom Resources

  1. Learning Guides

Articles in Unit 0

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