Did you know that everything is made out of chemicals? Chemistry is the study of matter: its composition, properties, and reactivity. This material roughly covers a first-year high school or college course, and a good understanding of algebra is helpful.
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Atoms, molecules, and ions

Chemistry is the study of matter, and all matter is made up of atoms. We will learn about elements, atomic number and mass, isotopes, moles (chemistry moles, not the animal), and compounds.

Chemical reactions and stoichiometry

We are now going to delve into the heart of chemistry. We learn ways of representing molecules and how molecules react. To do this, we'll even think about "how many" of a molecule we have using a quantity called a "mole".

Electronic structure of atoms

So we know that all matter is made up of atoms, but what is an atom made out of? Chemists describe the structure of atoms using models. This section will cover the Bohr model, photoelectric effect, absorption and emission spectra, quantum numbers, and electron configurations.

Periodic table

A little more than a century ago, the chemist Dmitri Mendeleev published an early form of the periodic table, which organizes the known elements of our world. His method of classifying the elements was so useful that we still use it even today. We will learn to apply this elegant table to an understanding of atomic structure and properties, including periodic table trends.

Chemical bonds

Chemical bonds are the glue that hold molecules together. We will learn about the different kinds of bonds, ways chemists draw bonds and molecules, and how the type of chemical bonding affects the bulk properties of a material. We will cover electronegativity, Lewis dot structures, VSEPR, bond hybridization, and ionic, covalent, and metallic bonds.

Gases and kinetic molecular theory

Properties of gases can be modeled using some relatively simple equations, which we can relate to the behavior of individual gas molecules. We will learn about the ideal gas law, vapor pressure, partial pressure, and the Maxwell Boltzmann distribution.

States of matter and intermolecular forces

Have you ever wondered how some insects are able to "skate" on the surface of water? We will learn about how intermolecular forces make this possible. We will also cover liquids, solids, mixtures, and phase changes.

Chemical equilibrium

Many chemical reactions are reversible, and the forward and backward reactions can occur at the same time. When the rate of the forward reaction is equal to the rate of the backward reaction, we call that a dynamic equilibrium. We will learn how equilibrium can be described by the equilibrium constant K, and how different factors than can affect the chemical equilibrium.

Acids and bases

In this section we will be talking about the basics of acids and bases and how acid-base chemistry is related to equilibria. We will cover acid and base definitions, pH, acid-base equilibria, acid-base properties of salts, and the pH of salt solutions.

Buffers, titrations, and solubility equilibria

We can combine our knowledge of acids and bases, equilibrium, and neutralization reactions to understand buffers and titrations. Solubility equilibria will build on concepts from solubility, precipitation, and equilibrium.


Thermodynamics is the study of heat, "thermo," and work, "dynamics." We will be learning about energy transfer during chemical and physical changes, and how we can predict what kind of changes will occur. Concepts covered in this tutorial include the laws of thermodynamics, internal energy, heat, work, PV diagrams, enthalpy, Hess's law, entropy, and Gibbs free energy.

Redox reactions and electrochemistry

Oxidation and reduction reactions power your phone and make it possible for your body to use the oxygen you inhale. We will learn about oxidation states (numbers), oxidation-reduction (redox) reactions, galvanic/voltaic cells, electrolytic cells, cell potentials, and how electrochemistry is related to thermodynamics and equilibrium.


Chemists are often interested in how fast a reaction will occur, and what we can do to control the rate. The study of reaction rates is called kinetics, and we will learn about average reaction rate, rate laws, the Arrhenius equation, reaction mechanisms, catalysts, and spectrophotometry.

Nuclear chemistry

Nuclear chemistry and radioactivity can treat cancer and make your watch glow in the dark. We will learn about radioactive decay, nuclear stability, carbon dating, half-life, and what is happening on a subatomic level during a nuclear reaction.

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