Introductory Chemistry

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9780130325174: Introductory Chemistry

Focus on Chemistry develops a systematic approach to problem solving that will guide students through the process of solving chemical problems. Problem solving skills are emphasized throughout each chapter, developed through many in-chapter examples, reviewed in unique chapter summaries, and practiced and synthesized in end-of-chapter exercises. This book focuses on the development of basic chemical principles including chemical bonding, atomic structure, and gas laws. For anyone who wants a clear, concise guide to solving problems in Chemistry.

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About the Author:

Nivaldo J. Tro Professor Tro has been a faculty member at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California, since 1990. He received his B.A. degree in chemistry from Westmont College in 1985 and his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1989. He performed postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley. He was honored as Westmont's outstanding teacher of the year in 1994 and again in 2001. He was also honored as Westmont's outstanding researcher of the year in 1996.

Professor Tro lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Ann, and their three children, Michael, Alicia, and Kyle. For leisure, he enjoys snowboarding, camping, biking, and wakeboarding with his family.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The design and features of this book represent a conscious, deliberate, and sustained effort to achieve, in our students, the goals of the book—teaching chemical principles, and building chemical skills in the context of relevance. Students must understand chemical concepts, solve chemical problems, and understand why they are important.

Chemical Principles

The understanding of basic chemical principles and concepts in topics such as atomic structure, chemical bonding, chemical reactions, and gas laws is critical to the success of the introductory chemistry student. Students should understand the principles they need to succeed in the normal general chemistry sequence. The book integrates qualitative and quantitative material and proceeds from concrete concepts to more abstract ones.

The main divergence in topic ordering among instructors teaching preparatory chemistry courses is the placement of electronic structure and chemical bonding. Should these topics come early, at the point where models for the atom are being discussed? Or should they come later, after the student is exposed to chemical compounds and chemical reactions? Early placement gives the student a theoretical framework out of which they can understand compounds and reactions. However, it might also present students with abstract models before they understand why they are necessary. I have chosen a later placement for the following reasons:

  1. A later placement seems more flexible. An instructor who wants to cover atomic theory and bonding earlier can simply cover Chapters 9 and 10 after Chapter 4. However, if atomic theory and bonding were placed earlier, it would be more difficult for the instructor to skip these chapters and come back to them later.
  2. A later placement allows earlier coverage of topics that students can more easily visualize. Coverage of abstract topics too early in a course can lose some students. Chemical compounds and chemical reactions can be more tangible than atomic orbitals, and the relevance of these is easier to demonstrate to the beginning student.
  3. A later placement gives students a reason to learn an abstract theory. Once students learn about compounds and reactions, they are more easily motivated to learn a theory that explains the underlying causes behind them.
  4. A later placement follows the scientific method. In science, we normally make observations, form laws, and then build models or theories that explain our observations and laws. A later placement reflects this ordering.

Nonetheless, I know that every course is unique and that each instructor chooses to cover topics in his or her own way. Consequently, I have written each chapter for maximum flexibility in topic ordering. In addition, the book is offered in two formats. Introductory Chemistry, the full version, contains 19 chapters and includes organic chemistry and biochemistry. Since some courses do not cover these two topics, we offer Introductory Chemistry Essentials, which contains 17 chapters and omits these topics.

Problem-Solving Skills

The development of problem-solving skills is the other main goal of this text; it is often the primary reason that students take introductory/preparatory chemistry. To this end, Introductory Chemistry develops a systematic approach to problem solving. Problem-solving skills are emphasized throughout each chapter, developed through many in-chapter examples, reinforced with skillbuilder exercises immediately following each example, reviewed in unique chapter summaries, and practiced and synthesized in end-of-chapter exercises.

Solution Maps

Many problems in this course can be solved using dimensional analysis, so this is an emphasis of the early chapters. The text presents students with a basic procedure for solving most chemical problems. Part of this procedure uses a unique visual approach in which students draw a solution map to the problem. In this map, students outline the steps-using conversion factors and equations—that are required to get from the information they are given to the information they are trying to find. They can follow their map to solve the problem. The map is a good way for students to get an overview of how the problem is solved.

Multi-Column Examples

Unique to this book are the mufti-column examples, where students learn a problem-solving procedure as they see it applied to two different examples simultaneously. The student can then use the same procedure to solve the two accompanying skillbuilder exercises.

Molecular Art

Many chemical principles involve making a connection between atoms and molecules and the properties of the substances they compose. For example, electronic structure shows how the reactivity of elements is related to the electron configuration of their atoms. The gas laws show how pressure, volume, and temperature are related to gas particles and their motions and collisions. The art program helps students visualize this connection between the molecular world and the macroscopic world. Many concepts are portrayed using a two-part visual image. One part of the image is a photograph of a real world object or process, such as an inflated balloon, for example. The second part, either superimposed on the photograph or shown as a magnification window, shows what the molecules magnified by many orders of magnification are doing in the photograph. For the balloon, molecules are superimposed on the photograph to show how their collisions with the balloon's walls keep it distended. Many molecular formulas will be portrayed, not only with structural formulas, but also with space-filling drawings of the molecule; the idea is to portray the beauty and form of the molecular world.

Generating Interest in Chemistry

Interest in the field of chemistry and in the topic under study is generated using two recurring features: the chapter openers and interest boxes.

Chapter Openers

The first feature in the opening section of every chapter presents a description of something practical and applied that clearly demonstrates the need for the material covered in that chapter. These openers often involve consumer, environmental, or societal issues. For example, the chapter on stoichiometry opens by making the connection between how much gasoline is burned each year and how much carbon dioxide, the most significant greenhouse gas, is emitted into the atmosphere. The chapter on chemical bonding begins with a description of how bonding theories helped scientists develop AIDS drugs. These narrative chapter introductions are accompanied by a striking piece of art by Quade Paul that portrays visually the chemistry underlying an everyday event. Chapter openings such as these give students a clear reason for why they are learning the current topic. The topics in preparatory chemistry are foundational to so many important things—we simply need to show students examples so that they can make a connection between the principles and skills they are learning and the real world.

Interest Boxes

The second feature is the frequent use of interest boxes. Introductory Chemistry has four types of interest boxes:

  • Everyday Chemistry
  • Chemistry in the Media
  • Chemistry in the Environment
  • Chemistry and Health

The Everyday Chemistry boxes describe what is happening with molecules and atoms in common, everyday processes. For example, a number of recent children's toys and clothing will change color based on temperature changes. A bowl changes from green to yellow when filled with warm oatmeal, or a shirt becomes two-toned because of body warmth. The Everyday Chemistry box describes, in chemical terms, what molecules do that explain these phenomena. Chemistry in the Media boxes describe chemical topics that have gained recent media attention. For example, a discussion on limiting reagent has a Chemistry in the Media box discussing the controversy over oxygenated fuels and MTBE. Chemistry in the Environment boxes describe environmental issues relevant to the subject under study. Chemistry and Health boxes describe chemistry and health related topics. Often interest boxes such as these are contrived, or they show little relevance to the topic under study. The interest boxes in Introductory Chemistry all contain questions that relate directly to the chapter material. The students benefit from reading the box because they can apply what they have just learned to something that is clearly relevant.

End-of-Chapter Review and Assessment

Chapter in Review

Each chapter ends with a review consisting of two sections. The first section reviews chemical principles and the second one reviews chemical skills. Each section is itself divided into two columns. In the chemical principles review section, one column summarizes the principle, and the other column tells why it is important.

In the chemical skills section, one column describes the skill, while the other column shows a worked example. The last Chapter in Review section has a list of key terms whose definitions can be found in the chapter.

Student Exercises

All chapters contain exercises divided into four types: Questions, Problems, Cumulative Problems, and Highlight Problems. The Questions are qualitative and require the student to summarize important chapter concepts. The Problems section is the longest, containing quantitative problems arranged in pairs and divided with subheadings into the major categories of the chapter.

Cumulative Problems, also arranged in pairs, require students to synthesize several of the skills they have learned in the chapter and in previous chapters to solve the problem.

All paired Problems and Cumulative Problems have one problem answered in the back of the b...

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