Chemistry has its own language. Symbols for the elements (one or two letter abbreviation of its name) can be thought of as the letters of the chemical alphabet, the metals the consonants and the non-metals the vowels. The Periodic Table, the chemist’s dictionary, defines the physical properties and chemical behaviour of elements and their compounds. Combinations of the elements create chemical formula (words) that not only depict the atomic makeup of chemical compounds, but also allow them to be named (read) in a more-or-less systematic way. Chemical compounds undergo changes and these changes are represented by chemical equations (sentences) that convey lots of information (tell a story) about the conditions and the process of change in a clear and concise manner.
In addition to formula and equations, chemistry has an extensive vocabulary and language that categorizes compounds, their properties and the different ways they interact. The language of chemistry has evolved and consequently is not always logical, or unambiguous. A sound grasp of this vocabulary and language is essential to the understanding of chemistry. Many student problems arise from not knowing the basic language. As with learning French or German it takes time and practice to acquire a good appreciation and command of it, but once you can speak a little chemistry you will realize the simplicity and logical nature of the subject and consequently you will see a dramatic improvement in your grades.
Chemistry- A Textbook aims to provide learners with the basic vocabulary and language through the understanding of the fundamental chemical principles and concepts to speak chemistry with confidence. Once this has been achieved, I feel certain that like me you will find chemistry both fascinating and enjoyable and consequently be successful in your chemistry studies.
Chemistry – A Textbook is divided into six (6) highly readable and understandable chapters, covering the fundamental concepts and principles of chemistry. Visual Information Boxes provide simple visual summaries of the text. Great emphasis is placed on acquiring the 150 words required to have a basic knowledge and understanding of any new language. Vital Vocabulary is highlighted in bold and re-defined in the Vital Vocabulary Builder found at the end of each Chapter. The more words you know, the more you will be able to understand chemistry and the better you will be able to speak chemistry with confidence.
Chemistry- A Textbook was created by Dr Nigel P Freestone. Nigel earned a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Leicester (UK) in 1986 and has spent 30 years teaching chemistry. He has published numerous books, academic papers, and feature articles. In addition he has written the Applied Highlights feature for Chemistry & Industry, the trade magazine of the Chemical Industries Association since 1988 as well as the Chemical Calendar and On this Day in Chemistry for the Royal Society of Chemistry.