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Thread: New to chemistry

  1. #1 New to chemistry 
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    Hello I'm new to science, I have always been amazed with space and the idea of how big it truly is. Thats why I decided to now look into further study more then just a hobby, and I was lucky enough to find a course that I can do which is a postgraduate in master of science (astronomy) however to start that I need to begin the undergraduate Bachelor of science(applied science).
    I really do enjoy science yet I haven't done it since I've left school (8 years). and my job, at the present is working with difficult young people in custody, a job which does not relate to astronomy at all. My first unit is introduction to chemistry which I have never done, its a basic unit but I'm wonder if any one on this forum can get me started. What are the fundamental things to know? What level of math does it require on a undergraduate level? and other handy tips that will allow me to one day, have my master of astronomy.

    Thanks for your help.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Some good starting places is reviewing your math. You might want to solve some basic algebra problems just to brush up.

    For intro chemistry, I'm not sure what you'd be expected to know already. Likely how to read the periodic table, Avogadro's number, molecular weight, units of concentration like Molars, electron orbitals and Lewis diagrams.


    "I almost went to bed
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    the four white violets
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    and how i kissed you then
    and you kissed me
    shy as though I'd
    never been your lover "
    - Leonard Cohen
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  4. #3 Re: New to chemistry 
    Forum Freshman jsloan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr3w
    What are the fundamental things to know? What level of math does it require on a undergraduate level? and other handy tips that will allow me to one day, have my master of astronomy.
    Here is an online math test you can use to help assess your math skills. I'm almost finished with the 2nd semester of gen chem, and found it was necessary to know basic algebra, logarithms (natural and base 10), and significant figures. Also, get comfortable with scientific notation because you'll be using it throughout the course.

    http://math-site.athabascau.ca/mathtool/index.php

    The course should start at the very beginning, and everything mentioned by i_feel_tiredsleepy will be part of the curriculum. What you really need to do to prepare is just brush up on your basic math skills. For a beginning course you probably won't need calculus.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Freshman Sobek52's Avatar
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    I'd recommend buying a book to help you brush up on your chemistry. Review things like electron configuration, bonds, the various types of notation, isotopes, ions, etc.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Bachelors Degree x(x-y)'s Avatar
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    Hmmmm... Let me think, the topics you probably need to look at are:

    Periodicity, Electron configuration (shells and sub shells), Relative atomic and molecular masses, percentage compositions, calculations from chemical equations, enthalpy (energy) change of reactions, balancing equations.

    Topics like those would be useful to look over, hope I helped...
    "Nature doesn't care what we call it, she just does it anyway" - R. Feynman
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  7. #6  
    Forum Freshman Sobek52's Avatar
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    Here, this book I found to be very helpful. A few typos, but they're easy to work around.

    http://www.amazon.com/Homework-Helpe...3392559&sr=8-1
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  8. #7  
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    Hi dr3w!

    I have two suggestions for you, first, you would need Si Chemical data . That book is a must have on exams (at least those I had during my one semester of Chemistry). And second, Chemical Principles - A quest for insight . It has a imo good first section of stuff that is good to brush up on and/or get straight before going ahead with the rest of the book.

    I am no fan of chemistry, especially the organic kind (I prefer the inorganic kind, yes because rocks are dead things.. ) But it's a good book to have in the bookshelf in case you need to check something. A final remark; I have to admit I don't have any other chem book to compare it with so compare my suggestions with others you have received and don't take my word for it

    Lastly, I wish you the very best of luck with your studies and I hope you can inspire more people to at least try and follow their dream!

    Ps. Since it is Astronomy you are interested in, I suggest that you acquire Carl Sagan's series Cosmos. He and that series are legend....ary
    Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.

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