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Chemistry for engineers

  1. Jun 12, 2014 #1
    In the chemical engineering curriculum I saw "general chemistry for engineers." How different is it from regular general chemistry which everyone else takes? We are currently using Burdge chemistry. Besides regular problems and additional exercises it does have biological and engineering problems. They are pretty intriguing. Is that the only difference?

    After all the general chemistry will remain the same, right?
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  3. Jun 13, 2014 #2


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    Chemistry is the same, but it is not uncommon to elaborate on things that can be more important for the addressed group and to ignore those of the lesser importance. Plus, there are often methods of solving problems that are based on different simplifying assumptions and can be better suited for different situations, that's where the course "for engineers" can differ.
  4. Jul 13, 2014 #3
    So, the "for engineers" courses aren't dumbed down for us practical-minded engineers like I always thought? :smile:
  5. Jul 13, 2014 #4


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    It's marketing hype. All those books with titles like "... for Dummies" aren't written for actual dummies. They are often introductory texts on various topics with a catchy title so you notice them.
  6. Jul 13, 2014 #5
    Contents between the typical "general chemistry" and "chemistry for engineers" will be the same for the most parts. I can see that "chemistry for engineers" type of textbooks will elaborate more on the chemical kinetics, physical states of matter, and electrochemistry. By the way, I thought the For Dummies books on science and mathematics are not good introductory texts due to missing out many essential topics...
  7. Jul 13, 2014 #6
    We offer this course in our department. Typically, like it's already been stated, it's a course that covers selected topics over the normal two semesters of chemistry that are usually more oriented towards engineering disciplines in one course. However, in our school, there's a exception for chemical engineers where they must take both courses.
  8. Jul 13, 2014 #7


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    Perhaps that's why the catchier title is desired to sell these books.
  9. Jul 14, 2014 #8
    Yeah, I agree with you. I never liked For Dummies and Demystified series...did you find anything goof about those brands? I remember picking up the Calculus and Molecular Biology ones, and they are not worth for their standard price.

    Anyway, I think it is good to take the formal, two-semesters general chemistry than the one geared for the engineers. Perhaps the upper-division engineering courses, especially ones that focuses on chemical and fluid mechanics, might require the formal general chemistry.
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