What is Chemistry? It is the study of the matter around us, what it is composed of, its properties and how it behaves to changes in its environment. To have a better understanding of how our universe really works, it is essential for every person to have a better understanding of chemistry. Here are a few simple topics of chemistry which are substantial if we wish to have a better understanding of the world around us.
- Atoms: Atoms are the smallest component of matter which show properties of the constituent chemical element. It is when multiple atoms combine forming an electrically neutral group, they are called molecules.
- Subatomic particles: These are the particles which are responsible for the elements atomic structure. Basically an atom has 3 subatomic particles, namely protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons being positively charged, electrons being negatively charged and neutrons being neutral in charge.
- Elements: A species of atoms having the same atomic number, which is the number of protons in the atomic nucleus. There are 118 known elements of which 94 are naturally occurring and the rest 24 are synthesized by man.
- Atomic number and Mass number: Number of protons found in the nucleus of an atom is the atomic number represented by Z. Whereas, mass number is the number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom represented by A.
- Periodic Table: It is an arrangement of every element known to man in the order of their atomic numbers, formed into groups with similar properties on the basis of their similar electronic configurations. Metals being arranged on the left side of the table and nonmetals on the right
- Isotopes: Different forms of the same element having the same atomic number but different mass numbers. Different isotopes of the same element occupy the same position on the periodic table.
- Chemical Bonding: Atoms combining together to form molecules and compounds is said to be bonding. Chemical Bonding can be expressed as the cumulative balance of the positive charge in the nucleus with the negative charge around it so as to keep the substances chemical nature intact. There are different types of bonding found in different elements which vary in their bonding strengths and properties. A few of the different types of bonding found in elements are covalent bonds, ionic bonds, hydrogen bonds and bonding by Van der Waals forces.
- Chemical Reactions: When one chemical substance reacts with another under certain environmental conditions giving out certain products, we term it as a chemical reaction. Represented with a chemical equation, chemical reactions indicates some energy exchange between the constituents of the reaction and the environment.
- Acids and Bases: An acid can be said to be a substance that produces a hydronium ion when dissolved in water. A base is a substance that produces hydroxide ions when dissolved in water. Acids and bases are measured on a pH scale in reference to the amount of hydronium ion concentration in the solution.
- Ions and Salts: An ion is a charged atom or molecule which has essentially gained or lost one or more electrons. A positively charged ion is one which has lost an electron thus having an overall positive charge called a cation. Whereas an ion with an extra electron from its steady state giving an overall negative charge is called an anion. When cations and anions react they form a neutral Salt.
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