Basic Chemistry Concepts and Exercises: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Basic Chemistry Concepts and Exercises

1st Edition

By John Kenkel

CRC Press

468 pages | 198 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2010-10-04
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Chemistry can be a daunting subject for the uninitiated, and all too often, introductory textbooks do little to make students feel at ease with the complex subject matter. Basic Chemistry Concepts and Exercises brings the wisdom of John Kenkel’s more than 35 years of teaching experience to communicate the fundamentals of chemistry in a practical, down-to-earth manner.

Using conversational language and logically assembled graphics, the book concisely introduces each topic without overwhelming students with unnecessary detail. Example problems and end-of-chapter questions emphasize repetition of concepts, preparing students to become adept at the basics before they progress to an advanced general chemistry course. Enhanced with visualization techniques such as the first chapter’s mythical microscope, the book clarifies challenging, abstract ideas and stimulates curiosity into what can otherwise be an overwhelming topic.

Topics discussed in this reader-friendly text include:

  • Properties and structure of matter
  • Atoms, molecules, and compounds
  • The Periodic Table
  • Atomic weight, formula weights, and moles
  • Gases and solutions
  • Chemical equilibrium
  • Acids, bases, and pH
  • Organic chemicals

The appendix contains answers to the homework exercises so students can check their work and receive instant feedback as to whether they have adequately grasped the concepts before moving on to the next section. Designed to help students embrace chemistry not with trepidation, but with confidence, this solid preparatory text forms a firm foundation for more advanced chemistry training.


Table of Contents

Properties and Structure of Matter

What Chemists Do

Properties and Change

Classification of Matter

Structure and Composition of Material Substances

A Quick Look Inside the Atom

The Number of Subatomic Particles

Homework Exercises

Significant Figures, the Metric System, and Dimensional Analysis


Reading a Measuring Device

Significant Figures

Dimensional Analysis

The Metric System



Homework Exercises

Names and Formulas of Compounds

Subclassifications of Elements

Formation of Ions

Formulas of Ionic Compounds

Naming Ionic Compounds

Other Metal Ions

Other Negative Ions

Binary Covalent Compounds

Identifying and Naming Acids

Bases and Salts

Homework Exercises

Atomic Structure


History of Theories and Experiments

The Modern Theory of Light

The Bohr Model

The Schrodinger Model

Orbital Diagrams

Electron Configuration

Homework Exercises

The Periodic Table


Mendeleev and Meyer

Descriptive Chemistry of Selected Elements

Periodicity and Trends: Atomic Size, Ionization Energy, and Electron Affinity

Homework Exercises

Molecular Structure

Chemical Bonding

Outermost Electrons

Simple Ionic Compounds

Simple Covalent Compounds: Slot Filling

More Complicated Covalent Compounds

Coordinate Covalent Bonds

More Complicated Ionic Compounds

Structure of Ionic Compounds

Polar Bonds and Molecules

Valence-Shell Electron-Pair Repulsion Theory

Molecular Orbitals

Homework Exercises

Atomic Weight, Formula Weight, and Moles


Atomic Weight Revisited

Molecular Weight and Formula Weight

The Mole

Percent Composition of Compounds

Derivation of Empirical Formulas

Homework Exercises

Chemical Equations and Stoichiometry

Introduction to Chemical Equations

Balancing Chemical Equations

Optional Symbols

Calculations Based on Equations

Limiting Reactant

Theoretical Yield, Actual Yield, and Percent Yield

Homework Exercises

Gases and the Gas Laws


Properties of Gases

The Kinetic-Molecular Theory of Gases

Gas Pressure

Boyle’s Law

Charles’ Law

Combined Gas Law

Standard Temperature and Pressure

Correction of a Gas Volume to STP

The Ideal Gas Law

Avogadro’s Law

Dalton’s Law

Vapor Pressure

Homework Exercises




Expressing Concentration

Preparing Solutions

More Terminology

Increasing Dissolution Rate

Mechanism of Dissolving

Homework Exercises

Chemical Equilibrium


Chemical Equilibrium

Important Examples of Chemical Equilibrium

The Equilibrium Constant

The Position of the Equilibrium

The Magnitude of the Equilibrium Constant

Le Chatelier’s Principle

Effect of Concentration Change

Effect of Temperature Change

Effect of Pressure Change

Effect of Catalysts

Homework Exercises

Acids, Bases, and pH


Formulas and Strengths of Acids and Bases

General Properties of Acids and Bases

Acidity Level: pH

Measurement of pH

Theories of Acids and Bases

Reactions Involving Acids and Bases

"Add Acid to Water" Rule

Homework Exercises

Oxidation–Reduction Reactions

Oxidation–Reduction Reactions

The Ion-Electron Method for Balancing Equations

Homework Exercises

Organic Chemicals


The Chemistry of Carbon and its Compounds

Hybridization of Orbitals

Geometry Around Bonded Carbon Atoms

Physical Properties


Organic Compounds Containing Oxygen

Summaries of Hydrocarbon and Oxygen Classifications


Homework Exercises

Appendix: Answers to Homework Exercises


About the Author

John Kenkel is a chemistry instructor at Southeast Community College (SCC) in Lincoln, Nebraska. Throughout his 33-year career at SCC, he has been directly involved in the education of chemistry-based laboratory technicians in a vocational program presently named Laboratory Science Technology. He has also been heavily involved in chemistry-based laboratory technician education on a national scale, having served on a number of American Chemical Society (ACS) committees, including the Committee on Technician Activities and the Coordinating Committee for the Voluntary Industry Standards project. Kenkel has been the Principal Investigator for a series of curriculum development project grants funded by the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education Program, from which three of his seven books evolved.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Chemistry / General
SCIENCE / Chemistry / Analytic