Chapter 1Chemistry: Matter and Measurement
ability to harness the energy in petroleum. Many goods are now made of poly-mers and ceramics instead of wood and metal because of our ability to manufac-ture materials with properties unlike any found in nature.In one way or another, all these changes involve
, the study of thecomposition, properties, and transformations of matter. Chemistry is deeplyinvolved in both the changes that take place in nature and the profound socialchanges of the past two centuries. In addition, chemistry is central to the currentrevolution in molecular biology that is now exploring the details of how life isgenetically controlled. No educated person today can understand the modernworld without a basic knowledge of chemistry.
1.1Approaching Chemistry: Experimentation
By opening this book, you have already decided that you need to know moreabout chemistry. Perhaps you want to learn how medicines are made, how fertil-izers and pesticides work, how living organisms function, how new high-temperature ceramics are used in space vehicles, or how microelectronic circuitsare etched onto silicon chips. How do you approach chemistry?
Chemistry is an experimentalscience. Challenge studentsto sharpen their skills of observation and measurement,relating laboratory work to con-cepts discussed in lecture.
Gold, one of the most valu-able of elements, has beenprized since antiquity for its beauty and resistance tocorrosion.Modern computer chips
aremade by chemical etchingof silicon wafers, using“masks” to produce the tinycircuitry.Iron, though widely used
as a structural material,corrodes easily.
One way to approach chemistry is to look around you and try to think of logi-cal explanations for what you see. You would certainly observe, for instance, thatdifferent substances have different forms and appearances: Some substances aregases, some are liquids, and some are solids; some are hard and shiny, but othersare soft and dull. You’d also observe that different substances behave differently: