Class Notes

The class notes are summaries of the topics covered in a typical college level chemistry course. They are grouped into units according to seven unifying themes. Each item is linked to a brief summary of the topic with a sample problem or study question. Some of these topics are linked to pages that give a more detailed explanation. Use these outlines to help get organized, as a tutorial to review for exams, and to fill in the gaps in your class notes.

Click on one of the links to get started.

Unit 1: Chemistry Toolkit

These topics introduce the basic tools needed to be successful in any chemistry course.

  • Nomenclature
  • How to read a periodic table
  • The mole concept
  • Introduction to chemical reaction equations
  • Types of chemical reactions
  • Balancing reaction equations

Unit 2: Up Close and Personal

These topics explore matter on the smallest scale: atoms, molecules, and ions.

  • The nuclear atom
  • Atomic and molecular symbols
  • Nuclear stability
  • Nuclear reactions
  • Interaction of light and matter
  • Quantum theory
  • Electron configuration
  • Periodic Law
  • Ionic and Covalent bonding
  • Lewis structures
  • Molecular geometry
  • Polarity and intermolecular force

Unit 3: The Big Picture

These topics allow us to understand the bulk properties of matter, the behavior of large collections of atoms, molecules and ions

  • Behavior of gases
  • The gas laws
  • Kinetic molecular theory
  • Behavior of liquids
  • Behavior of solids
  • Phase changes
  • Solubility
  • Types of mixtures
  • Colligative properties

Unit 4: Too Hot to Handle

This set of lessons covers the transfer of heat, randomness, and energy that accompany chemical processes.

  • Thermochemistry
  • The four laws of thermodynamics
  • State functions
  • Enthalpy, entropy, and free energy
  • Hess’s Law
  • Hess’s law and summation of reaction equations
  • Hess’s law and bond energy
  • Hess’s law and formation reactions
  • Spontaneity

Unit 5: Need for Speed

This set of lessons discusses the rates of chemical changes.

  • Introduction to chemical kinetics
  • The rate equation
  • The integrated rate equation
  • Interpreting rate equations
  • The Arrhenius equation
  • Collision theory
  • Reaction energy diagrams
  • Mechanisms

Unit 6: Give and Take

These lessons explore the dynamic equilibrium of chemical changes.

    • Introduction to equilibria
    • Gas phase equilibria
    • The law of mass action
    • The ICE box method
  • LeChatelier’s Principle
  • Acid-base equilibria
  • pH
  • Solvolysis
  • Buffers
  • Titration curves
  • Solubility product
  • Complex ion equilibria

Unit 7: Changes

This set of lessons give an overview of descriptive chemistry and the types of chemical reactions.

  • Types of chemical reactions
  • Electrolytes
  • Aqueous reactions
  • Net ionic equations
  • Acid-base theories
  • Acid strength
  • Redox reactions
  • Oxidation numbers
  • Balancing redox reactions
  • Chemical activity
  • Introduction to electrochemistry
  • Voltaic and electrolytic cells
  • The Nernst equation
  • Faraday’s law
  • Introduction to organic chemistry