June 04, 2020, 11:39:31 AM
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Topic: In what order should I learn Chemistry?  (Read 367 times)

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Offline perniciousNeurasthenia

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In what order should I learn Chemistry?
« on: March 26, 2020, 05:48:48 PM »
I'm a student in a humanities-oriented school. We first had Chemistry in the first year of high school, after middle school. After that year, we didn't have Chemistry anymore. I decided to keep learning Chemistry by myself, and though there is a lot of material available both online and in local libraries I simply don't know where to start.
In my school, we learned atomic structure and models and chemical nomenclature before moving on to balancing equations, which is the topic I'm most interested in. If I recall correctly, we balanced equations for oxides, salts, hydroxides, and acids. I never had trouble understanding these topics, so I don't believe I need to relearn everything. However, I would definitely appreciate some advice on how to continue. Are there any specific textbooks you'd recommend? Or websites I could use? (I'm not very fond of Khan Academy; the narrator's voice gets on my nerves.) Even just an outline of what I should learn would be enough.
Thank you.

Offline Borek

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Re: In what order should I learn Chemistry?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2020, 07:09:42 PM »
Basically any general chemistry textbook is a good starting place.
ChemBuddy chemical calculators - stoichiometry, pH, concentration, buffer preparation, titrations.info, pH-meter.info

Offline cosmonaut

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Re: In what order should I learn Chemistry?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2020, 02:11:49 AM »
I agree, start with any gen chem book, possibly college level.  As a somewhat recent college grad, high school chem and college gen chem are similar but college gen chem goes more in depth.  One thing is the nuclear chem portion.  It is fun and interesting, but unless you're planning on working for Los Alamos or other industry/academic nuclear industry I'd lightly skim it.  It is fun though.

Next I'd go to O-chem.  This is where the magic is.  I'd say pKas are you're friend here.  I used Francis Carey Organic Chemistry 7th Ed. way back in the day(~ '08/09).

Good Luck  :)

Offline AWK

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Offline sgojja

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Re: In what order should I learn Chemistry?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2020, 08:15:44 AM »
I am a postgrad student in chemistry. Having read a lot of books, i believe, series of books by Horia Metiu is really nice. when i have trouble understanding anything i look for the reference in his books and 70% of the time it works. About the pattern, i think, it is useful to divide the syllabus in parts, if u are studying thermodynamics you need to couple it with Electrochemistry and kinetics to boost understanding. I am using the same practice myself!
If u have some original thought/problem in understanding and u want to compute things yourself instead of using the data given in the text, i would highly recommend you to use data from CRC handbook of thermophysical data and derive relations among quantities yourself using excel. it directly puts stuff in your permanent memory because u struggle finding a way out.

Offline MNIO

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Re: In what order should I learn Chemistry?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2020, 10:53:04 PM »
A good starting place would be to google an undergraduate chemistry curriculum at a university. Here's the current one for the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign
  (1) general chemistry I & II
  (2) general chemistry I & II labs
  (3) analytical chemistry
  (4) organic chemistry I & II
  (5) organic chemistry I & II labs
  (6) instrumental methods of analysis
  (7) physical chemistry I & II (includes quantum mechs., thermo., etc)
  ( 8 ) physical methods of analysis (p-chem I an II labs)
  (9) inorganic chemistry
  (10) inorganic chemistry lab
  + electives in chemistry such as biochemistry, organic systhesis, etc

AND you'll need some math and physics as a basis for some of those classes
  (11) Calculus I & II (algebra prerequisite)
  (12) differential equations
  (13) linear algebra
  (14) general physics I, II, III

in addition, for a degree you'll need
  foreign language
  social sciences
  English composition
  + other electives

you might want to google an undergrad chemical engineering curriculum as well.  We chemical engineers take the same chemistry classes, add our own classes in place of the electives and require a few more hours to graduate.  The additional ChE classes include
  (15) introduction to chemical engineering calculations
  (16) mass transport operations
  (17) fluid dynamics
  (18) thermodynamics
  (19) reactor design
  (20) kinetics
  (21) process controls systems
  (22) process design
  (23) unit operations
  + a few chemical engineering electives
  + additional 300/400 level math classes
  + the rest of the odds and ends

all that said, let me give you a few book references that might help
  general chemistry: Zumdahl chemistry.. or..  Brown chemistry central science
  analytical: you're on your own.. mostly lab handouts when I took it.
  organic: Morrison and Boyd is the standard, McMurry is an easier read
  instrumental / physical methods:  more handouts, independent research
  p-chem: McQuarrie quantum chemistry, atkins physical chemistry
  inorganic chem: Miessler inorganic chemistry

moving right along to the ChE books
  intro: Felder and Rousseau elementary principles of chemical processes
           this is a classic introductory book to ChE.  Highly recommend it!!!
  mass transport: Treybal, Mass Transfer operations
  fluid dynamics: Bennett, momentum heat mass transport was the standard
                         my opinion, Welty Wicks Wilson Rorrer fundamentals of
                         momentum heat mass transfer is better
  reactor design: Folger, elements of chemical reaction engineering
  kinetics:   J.M.Smith chemical engineering Kinetics
  thermo: Smith and Van Ness, introduction to chemical engineering thermo.
  process controls THEORY: Stephanopoulos chemical process control
  process design: Peters and timmerhaus plant design and economics
  unit operations was independent research, no single book

  and the granddaddy of all ChE books we all use in advanced fluid dynamics
      "transport phenomena" by Bird Stewart and Lightfoot.

start at the top and work your way down.. the books are all available online, at libraries, for e-loan, for sale on amazon and ebay in non-electronic form,.. etc.  If those don't click with you, there try a different book in those topics.  Once you get to the chemical engineering books, you will need to have a good understanding of calculus and differential equations.  You'll need to have drawing packages, mathcad (or mathlab) and chemcad available for some of the work.  All in all, that's about 3 years, 8 hrs per day of studying.  Find me in 3 years and I'll recommend some more.

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