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Duke University

Introduction to Chemistry: Structures and Solutions

Duke University via Coursera


This is an introductory course for students with limited background in chemistry; basic concepts such as atomic and molecular structure, solutions, phases of matter, and quantitative problem solving will be emphasized with the goal of preparing students for further study in chemistry.


  • Review Videos (I)
    • Welcome! Over the eight weeks of the Introduction to Chemistry: Structures and Solutions course, we will begin discussions about the electronic structure of the atom, structures of molecules, phases of matter, and solutions. This week, we included some basic concept videos in Chemistry. These come from the partner course called Introduction to Chemistry: Reactions and Ratios. You can technically start with either course, but when these courses were originally designed, the Reactions and Ratios content came first, and you might find it helpful to complete that course before this course. If you are not familiar with the concepts of physical change v.s. chemical change, or significant figure and scientific notations, then please begin by reviewing video “Introduction”. I hope you enjoy this week's materials!

  • light
    • We will cover introduction to light, Bohr model of the hydrogen atom, atomic orbitals, electron configurations, valence versus core electrons. Don’t forget to use this week’s discussion forum for any questions and discussions.
  • Quantum Number, Lewis Dot Structure
    • Welcome to week 2! This week we will introduce quantum numbers, more information about periodicity, chemical bonding concepts including Lewis dot structures, resonance, bond order. Continue using the discussion forum for any questions, concerns, discussions, and suggestions. We value your feedback very much!

      I hope you already found out how we captured the course logo from Colored Flames. Wasn't that fun to watch? Kudos to those of you who browsed the course, watched videos, submitted exercises, and/or posted on the discussion forum! Keep the great work going please.

  • Formal Charge, VSEPR Theory, Hybridization
    • Welcome to week 3! This week includes introduction to the octet rule and expanded octets, formal chargevalence shell electron pair repulsion (VSEPR) theory, sigma and pi bonds, hybridization of the main group elements, and introduction to molecular shapes.

      I hope you enjoyed the last two weeks of learning chemistry. Great work on watching videos, posting on the discussion forum and submitting your exercises!

  • Phases of Matter, Gas Laws
    • Welcome to week 4! This week we will discuss phases of matter, the importance of thermal energy, ideal gas law calculations, kinetic molecular theory of gases. Hope you will enjoy!

      We are at the midway point in the course! As a group you have been watching videos, completing quizzes, and/or actively discussing chemistry on the forums, so please accept our compliments on your hard work so far in the course.

  • Intermolecular Forces and Phase Changes
    • Welcome to week 5! This week we will examine the phases of matter more closely, looking at concepts such as intermolecular forces and thermal energy. We will also practice calculations of energetics such as those requiring enthalpies of phase transitions. Finally, we will introduce concepts in metal bonding and solid lattices. We made a few illustrative demonstrations for your viewing pleasure; I hope that these are helpful!

      Remember to continue posting any questions, concerns and suggestions to the discussion forum. Also help your peers out on the forum to build a beneficial learning community together!

  • Solutions
    • Welcome to week 6! We have reached the last week of video lectures and exercises for the course! Are you ready to make the final push through the rest of the material? After that, you should be ready to tackle the final exam which opens next week. I have enjoyed working on this course; and I hope you have too!

      This week, we will first release a couple of review videos related to solution and solubility from Introduction to Chemistry: Reactions and Ratios. Please review these important concepts before starting Lesson Two - Solutions. Then we will start with a review of dissolution and covers some concentration units. This is accompanied by solution-related demonstrations and another bonus interview with a chemist who also works at Duke. The interviews were conceived and filmed by Abdul Latif, an undergraduate in the humanities who is interested in the history of chemistry and how people choose their professions. Enjoy!

  • Strengthen Your Understanding
    • Congratulations on making through to the final week of the course! For many of you it was not an easy journey for the past six weeks with dozens of videos, exercises, problem sets, and forum discussions. I am proud of all of you! The last components of the course - final exam opens this week. Please use it as a chance to apply what you have learned from the course.

      There are two parts (timed, 90 minutes for each part) in the final exam. You are encouraged to review all course lectures, exercises, and problem sets before attempting the Final exam. Please feel welcome to use a calculator, scratch paper, simple periodic table, and the reference materials we provided in the course. Good luck with your final exam!

Taught by

Dorian Canelas


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4.2 rating, based on 4 reviews

Start your review of Introduction to Chemistry: Structures and Solutions

  • Raman Kumar completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    It is very interesting subject. I was new to this course. It seems to be very easy. Now I know about the reactions. Any one give my the challenge for these basic reaction

  • Anonymous
    Although the instructor is enthusiastic and passionate, and there are some attempts to try to make the course interesting by showing videos, by and large the quality of videos and instruction isn't there. The videos consist only of the instructor reading off of her slides, and there are no accompanying notes if you want to recap on what you've learned, which is a big pity. Unfortunate that Duke University would produce such a low-quality production.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    I have a diploma in analytical chemistry, and I'm not working yet. I would like to challenge/occupy myself doing this short course.
  • Abdul Majeed

    Abdul Majeed is taking this course right now.

    I am msc chemistry with spicialized field analytical chemistry. Sir basic chemistry is very much important, and coursera as I know is very much helpful in order to polish my self and learn something new about chemistry.

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