Chemistry 101 - Introduction & Index of Topics

Start Learning Chemistry 101

Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and the reactions that occur between them.
Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and the reactions that occur between them. Westend61 / Getty Images

Welcome to the world of Chemistry 101! Chemistry is the study of matter. Like physicists, chemists study the fundamental properties of matter and they also explore the interactions between matter and energy. Chemistry is a science, but it is also used in human communication and interaction, cooking, medicine, engineering, and a host of other disciplines. Although people use chemistry every day with no apparent problem, if the time comes to take a course in chemistry in high school or college, many students are filled with dread.

Don't be! Chemistry is manageable and even fun. I've compiled some study tips and resources to make your encounter with chemistry easier. Not sure where to start? Try Chemistry Basics.

Periodic Table of the Elements

You need a trusty periodic table for practically all aspects of chemistry! There are links to characteristics of elements groups, too.

Helpful Resources

Use these resources to look up unfamiliar terms, identify chemical structures, and recognize the elements.

Introduction to Chemistry 101

Learn about what chemistry is and how the science of chemistry is studied.

Math Basics

Math is used in all the sciences, including chemistry.

To learn chemistry, you need to understand algebra, geometry, and some trig, as well as be able to work in scientific notation and perform unit conversions.

Atoms and Molecules

Atoms are the basic building blocks of matter. Atoms join together to form compounds and molecules. Learn about the parts of the atom and how atoms form bonds with other atoms.


Stoichiometry describes the proportions between atoms in molecules and reactants/products in chemical reactions. Learn about how matter reacts in predictable ways so that you can balance chemical equations.

States of Matter

The states of matter are defined by the structure of matter as well as whether it has a fixed shape and volume. Learn about the different states and how matter transforms itself from one state to another.

Chemical Reactions

Once you have learned about atoms and molecules, you're ready to examine the type of chemical reactions that can occur.

Periodic Trends

The properties of the elements exhibit trends based on the structure of their electrons. The trends or periodicity can be used to make predictions about the nature of the elements.


It's important to understand how substance dissolve and how mixtures behave.


Gases exhibit special properties based on having no fixed size or shape.

Acids & Bases

Acids and bases are concerned with the actions of hydrogen ions or protons in aqueous solutions.

Thermochemistry & Physical Chemistry

Learn about the relationships between matter and energy.


Matter is always in motion! Learn about the motion of atoms and molecules, or kinetics.

Atomic & Electronic Structure

Much of the chemistry that you learn is associated with electronic structure, since electrons can move around much more easily than protons or neutrons.

Nuclear Chemistry

Nuclear chemistry is concerned with the behavior of protons and neutrons in the atomic nucleus.

Chemistry Practice Problems

No matter how well you understand the text or the lecture, sometimes you need to see examples of how to approach and solve chemistry problems.

Chemistry Quizzes

Test your understanding of key chemistry concepts.

Science Fair Projects

Doing a science fair project? Learn how to use the scientific method to design an experiment and test a hypothesis.

Other Useful Stuff