General Chemistry: Concept Development and Application
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assignment 等级:入门
label 化学
chat_bubble_outline 语言:英语
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This course will cover the topics of a full year, two semester General Chemistry course. We will use a free on-line textbook, Concept Development Studies in Chemistry, available via Rice’s Connexions project. The fundamental concepts in the course will be introduced via the Concept Development Approach developed at Rice University. In this approach, we will develop the concepts you need to know from experimental observations and scientific reasoning rather than simply telling you the concepts and then asking you to simply memorize or apply them. So why use this approach? One reason is that most of us are inductive learners, meaning that we like to make specific observations and then generalize from there. Many of the most significant concepts in Chemistry are counter-intuitive. When we see where those concepts come from, we can more readily accept them, explain them, and apply them. A second reason is that scientific reasoning in general and Chemistry reasoning in particular are inductive processes. This Concept Development approach illustrates those reasoning processes. A third reason is that this is simply more interesting! The structure and reactions of matter are fascinating puzzles to be solved by observation and reasoning. It is more fun intellectually when we can solve those puzzles together, rather than simply have the answers to the riddles revealed at the outset. Recommended Background: The class can be taken by someone with no prior experience in chemistry. However, some prior familiarity with the basics of chemistry is desirable as we will cover some elements only briefly. For example, a prior high school chemistry class would be helpful. Suggested Readings: Readings will be assigned from the on-line textbook “Concept Development Studies in Chemistry”, available via Rice’s Connexions project. In addition, we will suggest readings from any of the standard textbooks in General Chemistry. A particularly good free on-line resource is Dickerson, Gray, and Haight, "Chemical Principles, 3rd Edition". Links to these two texts will be available in the Introduction module.

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  • Week 1 - Introduction
    This lecture will cover the unique approach used in this course to the introduction of the fundamental concepts of Chemistry. The Concept Development Study approach was created, implemented, developed and refined at Rice over the course of more than twenty yea...
  • Week 1 - Atomic Molecular Theory and Atomic Masses
    Chemistry can be understood fundamentally as the study of atoms and molecules. In this module, we will examine the experiments which reveal that all matter is composed of atoms which combine to form molecules. The clever analysis of these experiments illustr...
  • Week 2 - Structure of an Atom and the Electron Shell Model
    Proving the existence of atoms and knowing that they combine to form molecules does not provide a means to predict how or why these atoms might combine. This requires greater detail about the structure and properties of individual atoms. In this module, we ...
  • Week 3 - Electron Energies and Orbitals
    The electron shell model does not account for all of the observable properties of atoms, including the energies and motions of electrons. In this module, we observe that these energies are quantized. We also observe behaviors which reveal the surprising fact...
  • Week 4 - Bonding and Structures in Covalent Molecules
    To understand the types of compounds which can be formed and the properties of those compounds, we have to understand how atoms bond together to form molecules. In this module, we develop a model for the bonding of non-metal atoms to non-metal atoms, called a...
  • Week 5 - Types of Bonding: Non-Metals, Metals, and Salts
    In this module, we extend our model of bonding by observing properties of compounds formed between metals and non-metals. These properties reveal the existence of ionic bonds, which contrast to covalent bonds. We also consider the properties of pure metals a...
  • Week 6 - Energy Changes and Reaction Energies
    Chemical reactions involve energy changes, most commonly with the transfer of heat into or out of the reaction. Many chemical reactions are performed specifically because of the release of heat or other forms of energy. In this module, we develop a means to ...
  • Week 7 - Ideal Gas Law and the Kinetic Molecular Theory
    One of the powers of chemistry is the ability to relate the properties of individual molecules to the physical and chemical properties of the compounds of these molecules. In other words, we want to relate the atomic molecular world to the macroscopic world of...
  • Week 8 - Phase Transitions and Phase Equilibrium
    Substances can exist in different physical states, which we call “phases.” These include solid, liquid and gas. In this module, we study the transitions between these phases, which are observed to occur only at specific combinations of temperature and pressu...
  • Week 9 - Chemical Kinetics
    Chemical reactions occur at very different rates, some occurring so slowly that we only notice them with great passing of time and some occurring explosively rapidly. In this module, we develop measurements of the rates of reaction, determining the factors wh...
  • Week 10 - Chemical Equilibrium
    Many chemical reactions are observed to “go to completion,” meaning that essentially all of the reactants are consumed in creating products within the constraints of the stoichiometry of the reaction. However, other chemical reactions do not go to completion....
  • Week 11 - Chemical Thermodynamics
    One of the most subtle aspects of chemistry is in understanding the factors which make a chemical reaction favorable or unfavorable. In this module, we pursue this understanding by observing what makes a process “spontaneous,” and we develop the concept of en...


John Steven Hutchinson
Dean of Undergraduates and Professor of Chemistry



Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the U.S. and the top 100 in the world. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy.



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