College Chemistry Topics

College Chemistry Topics

College chemistry is a comprehensive overview of general chemistry topics, plus usually a little organic chemistry and biochemistry. This is an index of college chemistry topics which you can use to help study college chemistry or to get an idea of what to expect if you're thinking about taking college chem.
Girl age 10-12 reads the meniscus level on a beaker.
Girl age 10-12 reads the meniscus level on a beaker. Stockbyte, Getty Images

Chemistry is a science that relies on experimentation, which often involves taking measurements and performing calculations based on those measurements. This means it is important to be familiar with the units of measurement and ways of converting between different units.

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This is a diagram of a helium atom, which has 2 protons, 2 neutrons, and 2 electrons.
This is a diagram of a helium atom, which has 2 protons, 2 neutrons, and 2 electrons. Svdmolen/Jeanot, Public Domain

Atoms are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons and neutrons form the nucleus of the atom, with electrons moving around this core. The study of atomic structure involves understanding the composition of atoms, isotopes, and ions.

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This is a closeup of the periodic table of the elements, in blue.
This is a closeup of the periodic table of the elements, in blue. Don Farrall, Getty Images

The periodic table is a systematic way of arranging the chemical elements. The elements exhibit periodic properties that can be used to predict their characteristics, including the likelihood they will form compounds and participate in chemical reactions.

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Ionic Bond
Ionic Bond. Wikipedia GNU Free Documentation License

Atoms and molecules join together through ionic and covalent bonding. Related topics include electronegativity, oxidation numbers, and Lewis electron dot structures.

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Battery
Battery. Eyup Salman, stock.xchng

Electrochemistry primarily is concerned with oxidation-reduction reactions or redox reactions. These reactions produce ions and may be harnessed to produce electrodes and batteries. Electrochemistry is used to predict whether or not a reaction will occur and in which direction electrons will flow.

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Chemistry calculations can be challenging.
Chemistry calculations can be challenging, but they are easier if you consult worked examples and if you practice working different types of problems. Jeffrey Coolidge, Getty Images

It's important to learn how to balance equations and about the factors that affect the rate and yield of chemical reactions.

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Chemistry Demonstration
Chemistry Demonstration. George Doyle, Getty Images

Part of General Chemistry is learning how to calculation concentration and about different types of solutions and mixtures. This category includes topics such as colloids, suspensions, and dilutions.

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Litmus paper is a type of pH paper that is used to test the acidity of water-based liquids.
Litmus paper is a type of pH paper that is used to test the acidity of water-based liquids. David Gould, Getty Images

Acids, bases and pH are concepts that apply to aqueous solutions (solutions in water). pH refers to the hydrogen ion concentration or ability of a species to donate/accept protons or electrons. Acids and bases reflect the relative availability of hydrogen ions or proton/electron donors or acceptors. Acid-base reactions are extremely important in living cells and industrial processes.

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A thermometer is used to measure temperature.
A thermometer is used to measure temperature. Menchi, Wikipedia Commons

Thermochemistry is the area of general chemistry that relates to thermodynamics. It is sometimes called Physical Chemistry. Thermochemistry involves the concepts of entropy, enthalpy, Gibbs free energy, standard state conditions, and energy diagrams. It also includes the study of temperature, calorimetry, endothermic reactions, and exothermic reactions.

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This is a space-filling model of DNA.
This is a space-filling model of DNA, the nucleic acid that stores genetic information. Ben Mills

Organic carbon compounds are especially important to study because these are the compounds associated with life. Biochemistry looks at different types of biomolecules and how organisms build and use them. Organic chemistry is a broader discipline which includes the study of chemicals that can be made from organic molecules.

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Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "College Chemistry Topics." ThoughtCo, Jun. 18, 2014, thoughtco.com/college-chemistry-topics-606162. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2014, June 18). College Chemistry Topics. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/college-chemistry-topics-606162 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "College Chemistry Topics." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/college-chemistry-topics-606162 (accessed December 12, 2017).