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The Open University

Discovering chemistry

The Open University via OpenLearn

Overview

Chemistry lies at the centre of our modern life, playing a part in areas as diverse as the development of new drugs and materials, analysing our environment through to more mundane activities such ...

Syllabus

  • Introduction and guidance
  • Introduction and guidance
  • What is a badged course?
  • Acknowledgements
  • Session1Session 1: Atoms – the building blocks of matter
  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 Atoms
  • 1.1 Chemical elements
  • 1.2 Introducing the neutron
  • 1.3 Isotopes
  • 1.4 Relative atomic mass
  • 1.5 Ions
  • 1.5.1 Using ions to explore atomic structure
  • 1.6 Models of the atom
  • 1.7 Electronic structure of an atom
  • 1.7.1 Energy levels in atoms
  • 1.8 Electronic configurations of atoms
  • 1.8.1 Electronic configurations of multi-electron atoms.
  • 1.9 Exciting electrons
  • 1.10 More about atomic orbitals
  • 1.10.1 Filling atomic orbitals with electrons
  • 1.10.2 Spinning electrons
  • 1.11. Putting electrons in boxes
  • 2 The periodic table
  • 2.1 Chemical periodicity
  • 2.1.1 The alkali metals and the noble gases.
  • 2.2 Allotropes
  • 3 Electronic configurations revisited
  • 4 This session’s quiz
  • Summary of session 1
  • Acknowledgements
  • Session2Session 2: Chemical compounds
  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 From elements to compounds
  • 1.1 Introducing chemical compounds
  • 1.2 Molecular substances
  • 2 Molecular and empirical formulas
  • 2.1 Some further examples of molecular substances
  • 2.2 Non-molecular substances
  • 2.3 Comparing ‘dry ice’ with sand
  • 2.4 Extended structures
  • 2.5 Binding forces in molecular and non-molecular substances
  • 3 Another look at the language of chemistry
  • 3.1 Interpreting chemical formulas
  • 3.2 Valency – the combining power of an atom
  • 3.3 Valency and predicting formulas in ionic compounds
  • 4 This session’s quiz
  • Summary of session 2
  • Acknowledgements
  • Session3Session 3: Chemical bonding
  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 Fundamental ideas behind the chemical bond
  • 2 Lewis structures – a starting point
  • 2.1 Chlorine (Cl2)
  • 2.2 Sodium chloride
  • 2.3 Ionic and covalent compounds – a comparison of properties
  • 2.4 Sketching the Lewis structures for Cl2 and NaCl
  • 2.5 The hydrogen molecule
  • 2.6 Chemical bonding – a common theme
  • 3 Electronegativity
  • 3.1 Electronegativity and the periodic table
  • 3.2 Electronegativity and the chemical bond
  • 4 Bonding in metals
  • 4.1 Alloys
  • 5 Cataloguing chemical substances
  • 6 This session’s quiz
  • Summary of session 3
  • Acknowledgements
  • Session4Session 4: More about chemical bonding
  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 More about chemical bonding
  • 1.1 Valency and the chemical bond
  • 1.2 Lewis structures – the next step
  • 1.3 Multiple bonds
  • 1.4 Linking Lewis structures with valency
  • 1.5 Lewis structures of ions
  • 1.6 Noble gas configurations under stress
  • 1.7 Dative bonds
  • 1.8 Some more examples of dative bonding
  • 2 Resonance structures
  • 2.1 Bonding in benzene
  • 3 When Lewis structures don’t work
  • 4 This session’s quiz
  • Summary of session 4
  • Acknowledgements
  • Session5Session 5: Chemical reactions
  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 Chemical reactions
  • 1.1 Chemical reactions – a first-hand experience
  • 2 Chemical equations
  • 2.1 Balancing the equation
  • 2.2 Some further examples of chemical equations
  • 3 Gunpowder – the explosive reaction of charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate
  • 4 Chemical equations involving ions
  • 5 Reactivity of molecules
  • 5.1 Functional groups and reactivity
  • 6 The reaction of alcohols with nitric acid – more explosives
  • 7 A closer look at functional groups
  • 8 This session’s quiz
  • Summary of session 5
  • Acknowledgements
  • Session6Session 6: Exploring the shapes of molecules
  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 Molecular shape affects molecular reactivity
  • 1.1 Reactivity of R-Br
  • 2 Steric effects in enzymes
  • 3 The shapes of some molecules
  • 3.1 The shapes of some simple fluorides.
  • 3.2 Explaining molecular geometry?
  • 3.3 The geometry of the water and ammonia molecules
  • 4 This session’s quiz
  • Summary of session 6
  • Acknowledgements
  • Session7Session 7: Counting atoms and molecules
  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 Units of measurement
  • 1.1 Units of volume
  • 1.2 Units of mass
  • 2 Weighing and measuring volume in the laboratory
  • 2.1 Weighing solids and liquids in the laboratory
  • 2.2 Measuring volumes of liquids in the laboratory
  • 2.2.1 Where an approximate volume is required
  • 2.2.2 Where an accurate volume is required
  • 3 Introducing the mole
  • 3.1 Molar mass
  • 3.2 Moles and chemical equations
  • 3.3 Working with solutions: concentration
  • 3.4 Expressing concentration in moles
  • 4 How small is an atom?
  • 5 This session’s quiz
  • Summary of session 7
  • Acknowledgements
  • Session8Session 8. Chemical reactions and why they happen
  • Introduction
  • Learning outcomes
  • 1 Petrol engine emissions
  • 2 Chemical equilibrium
  • 2.1 Is the equilibrium position unfavourable?
  • 2.2 The equilibrium constant
  • 2.3 Is the rate of reaction very slow?
  • 2.4 The three-way catalytic converter
  • 3 Catalysts in action
  • 4 Equilibrium positions and rates of reaction – an overview
  • 5 This session’s quiz
  • Summary of session 8
  • Take the next step
  • Tell us what you think
  • Acknowledgements

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