Chemical processes

Foundational Concept 5: The principles that govern chemical interactions and reactions form the basis for a broader understanding of the molecular dynamics of living systems.

Acid/base equilibria

Chill out! Characterizing solutions of acids and bases is easy when you use the simple ICE table technique. You will also learn how buffers regulate pH so well, a process essential to homeostasis.


Skrillex loved titrating solutions because he got to drop the base. Titrations are a technique that allow us to determine the concentration of an unknown by adding a known element to it until a specific change occurs. For instance, finding the acidity of a solution by adding standard base until the solution turns pink. Learn more about titrations and indicators by watching these examples.

Solubility equilibria

When fresh water runs over a rock a little bit of the rock dissolves. When this mineral rich water dries a little, the rock can be redeposited. Reactants and products are always in equilibrium with each other. Learn how to calculate equilibrium constants and by watching these videos!

Dot structures

5B: We can’t always see molecules, but we can always simplify and draw depictions of them with simply pen and paper. It is the language of chemistry that we want you to get acquainted with. You will learn to draw Lewis dot structures and resonance structures, assign formal charges, and analyze the geometry of molecules and ions.


5B: Even molecules with the same chemical formula can have different shapes even though they may be comprised of the same atoms. For instance, with one sheet of paper, you can make origami swans of so many different shapes - similarly molecules can come in different conformations. We will walk through the concepts of structural and conformational isomers as well as stereoisomers and diastereomers

Separations and purifications

5C: Did you know that digitalis, one of the oldest medicines used to increase cardiac contractility, is derived from the foxglove plant? When you are in the Amazon rainforest searching for a cure for cancer in a new exotic plant, your potential miracle drug of interest is not originally pure - it must be separated from the other contaminating components. Through these tutorials you will learn how to separate and purify chemical compounds using organic chemistry lab techniques such as extraction, distillation, chromatography, and gel electrophoresis.

Amino acids, peptides, proteins


Table sugar and corn syrup have the same chemical formula, so why do they taste different? The answer is in their stereochemistry. Learn how to assign chirality, interpret Fischer projections, and differentiate between different mono- and poly-saccharides in the following videos.

Aldehydes and ketones

5D: Have you ever dissected a preserved cadaver in anatomy class? That stench you remember is the smell of formaldehyde used to preserve it. Formaldehyde is an aldehyde a class of molecules we will discuss along with its cousin the ketone. We will discuss their formation as well as how they interact in various chemical reactions as we walk through some real-world examples.

Alcohols and phenols

5D: If you’ve ever walked through the wards of a hospital, you’ve probably noticed dozens of alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers, which quickly clean the hands of healthcare workers between seeing patients. Alcohols serve many other functions. You will gain a strong understanding of the nomenclature, properties and reactions of alcohols and phenols, along with the criteria for determining aromaticity in heterocyles. By the way, if you’re wondering where the term “aromaticity” comes from, many of the earliest aromatic compounds, like benzene and toluene, were noted to have pleasant odors, and the name for this structural class has stuck ever since.


Chemical reactions are like an assembly line. The right parts have to come together at the right time in order to make the right product. How fast this can occur depends on the slowest step of the process. These videos show how and why different reactions occur at different speeds, and how catalysts - like enzymes in the body - can make reactions happen faster.



When a gas gets heated it expands, and this expansion can be used to do work like moving a piston in an combustion engine. These videos cover related topics such as isothermal, isometric, and diabatic processes as well as the laws of thermodynamics.


Wouldn’t it be terrifying if our clothes, food, and houses spontaneously combusted? Molecular bonds store tremendous amounts of energy, but generally are very stable. In order to release the energy, you have to add more first - like applying a match to a firework. These videos will overview standard enthalpy, entropy, and how to find out if a reaction is spontaneous.