What is General chemistry: Definition and 51 Discussions

General chemistry
(sometimes called "gen chem" for short) is a course often taught at the high school and introductory university level. It is intended to serve as a broad introduction to a variety of concepts in chemistry. At the university level, it is also sometimes used as a "weed out" course for disciplines (sometimes related, sometimes not) which are perceived to require a high level of intellectual rigor or large course loads. It is also one of the few chemistry courses in most universities that does not explicitly explore a particular discipline, such as organic chemistry or analytical chemistry, instead serving as an introduction to the broadly-applicable basic principles and therefore serving as a prerequisite course.
General chemistry courses typically introduce concepts such as stoichiometry, prediction of reaction products, thermodynamics, nuclear chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical kinetics, and many of the rudiments of physical chemistry. Though the list of subjects covered is typically broad, leading some to criticize both the class and the discipline as encouraging memorization, most general chemistry courses are firmly grounded in several fundamental physical rules for which the primary challenge is understanding when the rules are applicable.

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  1. astroman707

    Programs Should a physics major take general chemistry?

    I’ve already taken intro chemistry with a lab, and general chemistry 1. Unlike most universities, my college doesn’t require chemistry for physics majors. Should I take general chemistry 2? Would it really benefit me, or should I spend my time elsewhere? Edit: I’m referring to the standard...
  2. sams

    I Dimensions of Angular and Radial Nodes

    Radial and angular nodes are simply a region where the wavefunction is zero. But speaking about their dimensions, do they have any thickness or are they just an infinitesimal point in space without dimensions? Thanks a lot!
  3. A

    Thermochemistry & Gases in Electrical Engineering?

    I'm a first year electrical engineering student and in my General Chemistry class, every other week, we're required to write a paragraph about how each weeks material relates to your future career. As I am in electrical engineering, I don't see much relation to any topic. This week is...
  4. MidgetDwarf

    Courses Should I take general chemistry 1 and 2?

    So I have successfully transferred to a 4 year university from a community college. I am majoring in mathematics. I have completed: Calculus 1,2,3, Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations, Introduction to Linear Algebra, Introduction to Discrete Mathematics. I have also completed...
  5. R

    Courses Taking General Chemistry 1 and 2 at the same time

    I have already taken both General Chemistry 1 and 2 at my community colleges. I did not get a good grade, but that was because of I missed a lot of homeworks and projects, but did good on the tests and I understand some of the material that I learned. In general, can you take both of them again...
  6. J

    Advice on Taking a 6 week General Chemistry 1 Class

    Hello, I'm currently enrolled in a 6 week General Chemistry 1 class that starts in January. The class meets about 5 hours a day Monday - Friday. I took the introductory chemistry course offered at my college this fall, and I was able to keep an A+ without much trouble. What can I do between now...
  7. Zeeboozoo

    Tangibly Explaining HUP to General Chemistry Students

    I understand this topic has been brought up before, however there appears to be "truth" or "lies" and very little in between when it comes to explaining the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle (HUP) to students of freshman chemistry. I'm teaching university general chemistry to students who've had...
  8. A

    Chemistry Which Chemistry Textbook Is Best for Introductory Courses?

    What is the best chemistry textbook for high school/college/introductory course in university? There are lots of books, such as; Atkins, Peter, Loretta Jones and Leroy Laverman. Chemical Principles: The Quest for Insight. W. H. Freeman and Company Brady, James E., and Fred Senese...
  9. I

    Chemistry General Chemistry Moles Question

    This is using dimensional analysis, and I'm stuck on this question, but I'll show what I have so far. The questions is: If there is 3.34x1022 atoms in a CH3OH sample. What is the mass of this sample, how many moles are there of this sample, and how many molecules are in this sample? Initially...
  10. L

    Looking for rigorous General Chemistry textbook

    I'm going to be tutoring next semester and I need a good general chemistry book to review. I used an old copy of zumdahl during general chemistry(not assigned text but worked fine) but I want a fresh look at the subject that is a little more rigorous mathematically especially. After a year of...
  11. N

    What topics should I review before taking Gen Chem 2?

    I'm planning on taking a second semester general chemistry course in the spring, and I'm wondering what I should study before hand. Based on RateMyProfessor, my teacher is going to be super hard. I took the first semester general chemistry course and I got an A in it, but that was last fall...
  12. B

    Studying Organic Chemistry and General Chemistry

    Hello! Is it possible to study the organic chemistry without the firm knowledge of general chemistry? I took the general chemistry on last year and will take the organic chemistry on this Fall but I forgot the majority of topics from general chemistry...I heard that organic chemistry is quite...
  13. C

    Linus Pauling's General Chemistry

    Is anyone able to comment on the crystalline structures in the second chapter? Copper's cubic unit of structure is described as a face-centered cubic arrangement with atoms at coordinates 0,0,0; 0,1/2,1/2; 1/2,0,1/2; 1/2,1/2,0. The iron cubic unit of structure is described as a body-centered...
  14. C

    Chemistry A *great* general chemistry book for self study -

    In this post i want to discuss good chemistry textbooks vs. bad chemistry textbooks and I'd like some help finding a good General chemistry textbook for university - Undergraduate level. What Is a good introductory chemistry textbook? So i finally found a book in organic chemistry which...
  15. QuantumCurt

    Recommendations for General Chemistry text

    Hey everyone, I was hoping someone could point me towards a good General Chemistry textbook. I just finished General Chemistry I last semester, and I'm taking part II next semester. We didn't have a required text for the class (nor did we even really need one), but I want to get a good...
  16. R

    How hard is the ACS General Chemistry 1 Exam?

    Hi. Tomorrow I am taking the ACS General Chem 1 exam as a final. It's supposed to be 40 questions but I heard it is incredibly difficult. I currently have a 95% in my class and need to get at least 24 out of 40 to get an A for the semester. The problem is that my class was so easy (we got to use...
  17. PhizKid

    Best introductory general chemistry text?

    Our class doesn't use a textbook and our professor doesn't give out much notes. Just handouts with problems on it. So I wanted a textbook to accompany my studies but don't know which is the best/rigorious general chemistry textbook.
  18. M

    General Chemistry - Heat, Work, Enthelpy, Entropy Question

    1. Assume that one mole of H2O(g) condenses to H2O(l) at 1.00atm and 95 Celcius. Calculate q, w, ΔH, ΔS of the system, ΔS of surroundings. BUT I AM NOT ASKING HOW TO CALCULATE THESE VALUES, SEE LAST SENTENCE OF POST. Homework Equations q = nCΔT ΔH = n(Cp)ΔT W = -PΔV ΔS = [q_reversible] / T Cp...
  19. E

    Most Rigorous General Chemistry Textbook

    I am seeking the most challenging and rigorous gen. chem. textbook to learn from. I have it pretty well narrowed to Oxtoby vs. Atkins. Caltech appears to use Oxtoby. Furthermore, the description for the Oxtoby book touts itself as "the most modern, rigorous, and chemically and mathematically...
  20. A

    General Chemistry Book Recommendations

    Hi! I wonder if you could give me some general chemistry book recommendations. I have a modest background in Chemistry (I've read introductions equivalent to "Chemistry, the central science", "Chemistry" by Chang, "Concise inorganic chemistry" by Lee and "Organic chemstry" by Clayden - I've...
  21. M

    A book of general chemistry problems?

    Our chemistry book is a good textbook. It explains things well and in depth. The problem I have with it, however, is the exercise problems. Enough of the answers in the back of the book are wrong that it causes confusion with the proper way to solve certain problems (professor agrees and has...
  22. T

    How to Calculate Mass from Density and Volume?

    Calculate the number of grams of sulfuric acid in 1 gallon of battery acid if the solution has a density of 1.26 and is 38.5 sulfuric acid by mass.
  23. C

    General Chemistry problem with conversion factors

    One cubic mile of sea water, with a density of 1.13 g/cm3 contains how many gallons and how many tons of sea water? 1 cm3/.001 L 3.785 L/1 gal 1 kg/2.2046 lb 5280 ft3=1 mi3 1.13g/1cm3 X 2.2046 lb/1000 X 1 cm3/.001 L X 3.785/gal After this point I get a bit confused...
  24. E

    Working towards BS General Chemistry, having second thoughts x:

    Hi guys- I hope this is the right place to put this... I kind of want objective feedback, even if I don't like it c: I am currently in my 3rd year, 1st semester of college, and since high school, I have been stuck in the mindset that I will major in chemistry. I really wanted and still...
  25. L

    Is My Procedure for Calculating Water Density in a Chemistry Lab Correct?

    I'm curious if I'm doing this chemistry lab correctly or not. If you open the link below, you can see the lab. Basically, my job right now is to write a well formulated procedure on how to perform this lab. So, for this lab, am I supposed to be calculating the mass of the substance (h2o in...
  26. F

    Honors-level textbook on general chemistry

    Would someone please recommend an introductory textbook on general chemistry? I would like a well-motivated text that makes use of calculus, preferably one written for honors level general chemistry courses (such as the one at the University of Chicago). Thanks for your help!
  27. QuarkCharmer

    Programs General Chemistry 2 for physics major?

    Did any of you take General Chemistry 2 as part of a physics degree? Most of my fellow students are engineers and they are only required to take Chem 1, but the physics degree lists Chem 2 as a recommended course. Either way, is this something that would prevent me from taking any third year...
  28. nukeman

    General Chemistry (career) questions.

    Hey all, Sorry in advance if these are silly questions, but ill try my best to explain my self. Lets say my goal for a career is working in medicine, and doing research in finding cures for diseases and illnesses. What are my educational goals... Is this mainly a BSc in chemistry...
  29. Y

    Qualitative Anion Analysis in General Chemistry Course

    Hi guys and gals. I'm new to the site and have been reading and learning a lot from here. I can't believe I didn't know about this place before. Anyway I'm having a pretty difficult time with a certain reaction that I had to do in my General Chemistry lab. Any help would be appreciated! We were...
  30. E

    General Chemistry II - What to Know?

    So I've changed my major back to Physics and will now need to go back and complete General Chemisty II. It's been about three years so as you can imagine I've forgotten most of what I learned. I still have my book and notebooks from class though. I know this will vary tremendously between...
  31. M

    Seeking recommendation for rigorous general chemistry textbook

    Title says it all. But to further elaborate... it's been about 12 years since I had general chemistry, I don't remember any of it, and would like to pick up a textbook to refresh my knowledge. I majored in math and physics, so I would prefer the book not to dodge the use of, say, calculus...
  32. C

    General chemistry exercises online?

    I took a year-long regular chemistry class at my high school last year (should have done AP then...), and it was extremely slow-paced and boring. That pretty much crushed my enthusiasm for the subject until I started reading Linus Pauling's textbook...
  33. J

    Combustion analysis problem? - General Chemistry

    Homework Statement When a sample that is .91 grams is burned in oxygen, it produces 2.073 grams of carbon dioxide, .304 grams of water, and .0944 grams of nitrogen. What is the empirical formula of the compound? The Attempt at a Solution I converted all of the products to moles: CO2: .0471...
  34. S

    Solving General Chemistry Homework: Determining Substance Identity & Thermocline

    Homework Statement a) In general, can we determine the identity of a pure substance based only on its density? b) During the summer the temperature of water is warmer at the surface of a lake than in depth. Disregarding the fact that the lake is heated by the sun light, explain this...
  35. N

    Why Is MgF2 the Hardest Among NaF, NaI, MgI2, and CaI2?

    Homework Statement Which of the following is expected to have the greatest hardness? NaF NaI MgF2 MgI2 CaI2 The Attempt at a Solution I can not seem to find what affects the hardness of them, only how to calculate it after you have the data from experiments via google. I know the...
  36. C

    Chemistry General Chemistry - Intermolecular Forces

    1. Predict which two interactions are stronger than the other two. Check all that apply. [ ] Forces on the picture (a). [ ] Forces on the picture (b). [ ] Forces on the picture (c). [ ] Forces on the picture (d). http://i41.tinypic.com/3wwug.jpg 2. Which member of the following...
  37. D

    General Chemistry: by Linus Paulings?

    I've been promulgating my knowledge of chemistry from this book. I'm 16 and am wondering if this book will give me a high school level understandings of chemistry.
  38. B

    How much of General Chemistry is covered in Organic Chem?

    Hi everyone (me again), I am currently in my first year Chemistry course, s its really general in the sense that we are covering broadly about every topic in Chemistry (except for the specialized ones). Now we just started organic chemistry and I noticed not a lot of math is involved, so I...
  39. R

    General Chemistry - Chemical Equilibria

    General Chemistry -- Chemical Equilibria Suppose 1.22 atm of CH4(g), 2.57 atm of C2H6(g), and 15.00 atm of O2(g) are placed in a flask at a given temperature. The reactions are given below. CH4(g) + 2 O2(g) CO2(g) + 2 H2O(g) KP = 1.0x10^4 2 C2H6(g) + 7 O2(g) 4 CO2(g) + 6 H2O(g) KP = 1.0x10^8...
  40. L

    General Chemistry for Beginners

    Hello everyone. I'm looking to get into Chemistry. I took a general chemistry course in high school which I apprecciated very much but that was years ago. I would like to start off with the basics and then advance into different fields of chemistry. Are there any exquisite books on chemistry...
  41. K

    How Does First-Order Kinetics Affect Reactant Concentration Over Time?

    Homework Statement The initial concentration of reactant in a first-order reaction is 0.75M. The rate constant for the reaction is 2.75/s. What is the concentration (mol/L) of reactant after 6.5s? Homework Equations -kt=[A]initial/[A]anytime The Attempt at a Solution...
  42. K

    Chemistry General Chemistry - Solutions & Intermolecular Forces (HW Help)

    Hi, I need some help with my homework. I have three questions which I'm not quite sure which answer it is, though I give it my best try. If anyone can help, it'll be much appreciated. Thanks in advance... Question One: Which of the following substances will have hydrogen bonds between...
  43. E

    General Chemistry Pressure and Rate laws

    Homework Statement The kinetics of the decomposition of phosphine at 950 K 4PH3 (g) -> P4 (g) + 6H2 (g) was studied by injecting PH3(g) into a reaction vessel and measuring the total pressure at constant volume. P total (Torr) Time (s) 100 0 150 40...
  44. F

    General Chemistry - gibbs free energy

    I don't know where to start with this problem. I must be missing an equation or something... Q: Pb(s)+2H^{+}(aq)\rightarrow Pb^{2+}(aq)+H_2(g) \,\,\,\,\,\,\,\,E^{\degree}_{cell}=+0.126V What is the \Delta G^{\degree} in \frac{kJ}{mol} for this reaction. a) -24 b) 24 c) -12 d) 12 e) 50...
  45. L

    What is the Cation to Anion Ratio for Ionic Compounds?

    Hey everyone, Im pretty terrible in Chemistry, and I am stuck on something that's probably easy and obvious: Determine the ratio of cations to anions for the following ionic compounds. a. Potassium chloride. b. Calcium Fluoride. c. Aluminum oxide d. calcium oxide. e. Strontium...
  46. D

    General Chemistry Questions (Solubility)

    Please help me with the following problems. 1.)(85) A 55-g sample of a geseous fuel mixture contains 0.51 fraction propane C3H8; the remainder is butane. What are masses of propane and butane in sample? Using the formula: Ax = n(solute)/n(total), i initially solved for total moles. I went...
  47. P

    The Archimedes Principle and Volume Change in Water

    1. [1pt] What is the volume in milliliters of 124.5 g of ethanol ? 2. [1pt] A piece of zinc having a mass of 141.5 g is placed in an empty graduated cylinder. 32.0 mL of water is then poured slowly and carefully into the same cylinder. The final water level would...
  48. H

    A Comprehensive Guide to General Chemistry Topics

    Hi all,, I am having a course on general chemistry next semester and the following topics are included into the course ,,so i need if you guys can pls advice me for some good book to cover the following topics: Chemistry, man and matter, Experimental methods of structure determination...
  49. P

    Solve Water Displacement: General Chemistry Question

    I have another chem question, this time about water displacement. All i need is how to start it...the steps...not the ACTUAL WORK FOR THE PROBLEM The density of Solid A is 2.70 g/cm3 and that of Solid B is 1.79 g/cm3. A 6.86-g sample of Solid A is transferred to a graduated cylinder...
  50. P

    Quick Question: Effects of Air Bubble on Solid Density

    I have a quick question. An air bubble adheres to the surface of the solid when it is submerged in the water. Explain how this phenomenon affects the reported density of the solid.