General Chemistry I

Spring 2006: Instructor: Ken Costello
Room PS2S: Tue/Thur 7:30-8:45am

Welcome to General Chemistry I. Chemistry is all around you and in you, so it makes a lot of sense to understand it. It's a subject that is practical, entertaining, awe-inspiring, and central to all sciences. However, the vast amount of concepts covered by chemistry can be overwhelming and disjointed. That is why I developed "Chemistry in a New Light." Just as three colors can blend to make all colors, these three areas of focus blend to explain all concepts of chemistry.

These focus areas are Building Blocks, Force & Energy, and Mathematics. The Building Block focus sees chemicals coming from simpler building blocks. Chemistry also involves Force and Energy. For example, the attraction and repulsion forces of + & - charges guide the assembly of atoms. Energy is involved to overcome forces or is created by forces. The third part of chemistry involves Mathematics. The Earth represents the Metric system. Behind it is a spreadsheet. You will reinforce this way of seeing chemistry as we go through the course competencies.

Your ability to see the Building Block aspect of chemistry will be assisted by your use of models, drawings, chemistry software, Internet research, and drill and practice.
Your ability to see the Force and Energy aspect of chemistry will be reinforced by hands-on activities (inside and outside class) and demonstrations. Your ability to be proficient with the Mathematics side will be helped by hands-on use of metrics, in-your-head estimation, calculator & spreadsheet proficiency, and heavy use of dimensional analysis.

My PowerPoint presentations are quite good at introducing the concepts to you. I use a lot of visuals and animations to help you see what is going on. I also use molecular modeling software to make molecules more real.
However, to really learn it, you have to follow-up with further reading, problem solving, Internet searches, and using chemistry software. So expect a fair amount of homework.

Below is the Maricopa College's Official course outline. The outline and the implied course competencies are correlated with the textbook, the lab, and my lectures. The order of the lectures will basically follow the order of the labs.

MCCCD Official Course Outline
CHM151 Lab
Lecture Titles
I. Definition of "chemistry" 
    A. History 
    B. Scientific method 
Chapter 1 Scientific method integrated in all labs.

Why is Chemistry a Science?(IA,B)

II. Measurement 
    A. Metric system 
    B. Significant figures 
    C. Exponential notation 
    D. Dimensional analysis 
Chapter 1 Measurement integrated in all labs.

Metrics & Dimensional Analysis (IIA,D)
Fuzzy Numbers (IIB,C)
Once There Was Nothing (IIA-D)

III. Matter 
    A. States of matter 
    B. Classification of matter 
    C. Properties of matter 
    D. Physical and chemical changes 
    E. Atomic theory 
    F. Formulas and nomenclature of substances 
    G. IUPAC nomenclature 
Chapter 2 Lab 2 covers formulas and nomenclature and chemical changes (IIID,F,G)

Matter of Fact (IIIA-D)

What's In a Name? (IIIF-G)

Polyatomic ion Nomenclature and Uses (IIIF,G)

IV. Chemical reactions 
    A. Balancing equations 
    B. Types of reactions 
    C. Net ionic equations 
Chapter 3, Chapter 4 Lab 3 covers types of reactions and balancing.
Lab 4 covers ionic equations.
Target of Chemistry (IVA,B)
V. Mole calculations with formulas & equations 
    A. Atomic and molecular weights 
    B. Mass-mole conversions 
    C. Percentage composition 
    D. Empirical and molecular formula 
    E. Stoichoimetry 
    F. Limiting reagents and percentage yields 
    G. Solution stoichiometry 
Chapter 3 Lab 5 involves finding the empirical formula of copper chloride. Most labs from 5 on will cover concepts from section V.

Art of Counting Without Counting (VA-F)

Molarity Requires Concentration (VC,G)

VI. Gases 
    A. Gas laws
    B. Stoichiometry with gases 
    C. Kinetic molecular theory 
Chapter 5 Lab 13 "Molar Mass of a Gas" requires knowledge of gas laws. Putting Gases to Work (VIA-C)
VII. Thermochemistry 
    A. Temperature/heat
    B. Energy and units 
    C. Calorimetry 
    D. Enthalpy and enthalpy changes 
    E. Hess's law 
Chapter 6 Lab 9 "Thermochemistry" covers all of these principles.

Turning on the Heat (VIIA-D)

Art of Measuring Energy (VIID,E)

VIII. Atomic theory and periodic table 
    A. Fundamental particles 
    B. Isotopes 
    C. Quantum theory and electronic structure 
    D. Periodic table and trends 
Chapter 7, Chapter 8 Lab 10 "Atomic Spectra & Electron Energy Levels"

Chaos to Order(VIIIA,D)
Where did Elements Form? (VA,B)
The Elegant Universe (VIIIC)

IX. Chemical bonding        
    A. Ionic and covalent bonds 
    B. Electron dot structures 
    C. Electronegativity 
    D. Shapes and polarities of molecules VSEPR 
E. Hybrid orbitals
Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11 Labs 11 & 12 "Lewis Structures and Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion (VSEPR).
Lab 2 (IXA)

Bonding and Representation of Bonds (IXA-C)
Molecular Geometries Explained with VSEPR (IXD,E)

X. Solids and liquids
    A. General properties  
    B. Changes of state      
    C. Intermolecular attractions   
    D. Types of solids     
    E. Phase diagrams 
Chapter 12 Lab 14 "Evaporation and Intermolecular Attractions and Heat of Fusion for Ice" (XB,C,E)
Chemistry Isn't Always Hard, Sometimes it's Liquid (XA-E)
XI. Solutions 
    A. Definitions 
    B. Terminology 
    C. Concentration and stoichiometry 
    D. Colligative properties          
Chapter 13

Labs 7 & 8 "Acid/Base Titrations" (XIA-C)
Lab 15 "Freezing Point Depression"

Molarity Requires Concentration (XIA-C)
Colligative Properties (XID)





Textbook: The Molecular Nature of Matter and Change by Martin Silberberg. Either the 3rd or 4th edition.   You will need a scientific calculator. It doesn't have to be expensive.   You will also need access to a computer, preferably one that you can download some free chemistry software.  

Below is a map that shows you how to get to my office.

Here is some contact information:

Office: MC185
Office Hours:  Tuesday and Thursday right after class (8:45am to 10:30am) and Wednesday 11:15am-12:15pm. Other times with appointment.

Office Phone: (480) 461-7666
Departmental Secretary: (480) 461-7015




My expectation is that everyone understands everything on the test and gets it 100% right. Everyone may not get it 100% the first time, but they should get it correct on the 2nd, or 3rd time. It makes no sense to go on when there is something critical missing. Much of chemistry builds off the previous material. Of course, a person who takes three tries to get a question right doesn’t deserve the same amount of credit of the person who got it right the first time. But getting it right the third time still deserves credit.
On problems you missed, you have the opportunity to be retested with a similar problem. You get 85% of the score you would have gotten if you got it right the first time. Each time you have to redo it will cost another 15%. For example, if you miss a 20 point question but get a similar one correct on the retest, you make 17 points, which is much better than losing all 20 points. You just have to make an extra effort to do it again. In short, I’m more interested in you learning the material than giving you low grades. I’m not eager to do extra grading, but I’m willing to do that if you are willing to put in the time to restudy and retest on what you missed. Grades are not based on a curve, so students who ace a test the first time shouldn’t worry about the students who retake the test to improve their scores

GRADING is not an exact science
I really hate to talk about points for two reasons. First it takes your attention away from the subject. Second, it implies that grading is accurate down to the last little point. It would be hard to prove that a person with 524 points actually knows more than someone with 523 points. Mathematically it seems accurate, but in actuality grading is approximate. When a teacher says one question is worth 15 points and another is worth 10 points, the choice is rather arbitrary.

With this said, we can use points because it is easy to work with, but it is only approximate.
People who focus only on learning the subject do better than those who worry about grades. That’s because when you worry about points and grades, you are not thinking about the subject. Listen and learn in class and do your homework and grades will take care of themselves. In case you are still interested, here is the breakdown of points that will serve as a guide to your grade

Attendance & Quizzes: 175 points

4 tests @ 100 points each totaling 400 points

Poster project: 100 points

Miscellaneous homework assignments: 175 points

Final test: 200 points

Total: 1000 points

Grades are 90-100%=A, 80-89%=B, 70-79%=C, 60-69%=D, Below 60%=F
If your points are close to a better grade, I will always give you the benefit of the doubt and give you the better grade because, like I said, grading is not that accurate.
Notice attendance is a big contributor to your grade. I figure that every time you come to class, you demonstrate a willingness to learn and will probably learn something that day, so you deserve credit. Perfect attendance will be like getting a perfect grade on a test.
I again apologize for this much attention drawn to tests and points. Being aware of them is good, but worrying or being fixated on them will actually take attention away from learning and hurt your grade. The best thing is to get interested in the subject and that motivation will help you do good on any tests that come your way.
Just like I expect everyone to learn the material well enough to get an A, I also expect everyone to finish the class. However, if you miss three classes in a row without contacting me, I will telephone you and send email to find out what’s going on. Note I can be pretty flexible when you have circumstances that warrant it. But if I can’t get a hold of you, I will have to withdraw you from class. If you disappear a week before class ends, I may just give you a grade based on your work up to that time, but lowered because you missed the final.