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Importance of Chemistry; Nature of Matter; Properties of Matter

and their Measurement; Uncertainty in Measurement; Laws of
Chemical Combinations; Daltons Atomic Theory; Atomic and
Molecular Masses; Mole concept and Molar Masses; Percentage
Composition; Stoichiometry and Stoichiometric Calculations

Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry



Chemistry is the science of molecules and their transformations that deals with the study of matter, its composition
the changes that matter undergoes and the relation between
changes in composition and changes in energy. Chemistry
plays a vital and centralized role in Science. It has a vital
role in ful-filling human needs for food, health care products, life saving drugs etc. Cancer treatment may become
curable by using cis-platin taxol etc. AZT (Aziodothymidine) is a boon for AIDS victims. There is no substitude
of Antiseptics like Detol, insecticides like D.D.T, B.H.C,
Antipyretic like Paracetamol etc., in our life even today.


In order to describe and interpret the behaviour of chemical species, we require not only chemical properties but
also few physical properties. Physical properties are mass,
length, temperature time electric current etc.
Further, to express the measurement of any physical
quantity we require its numerical value as well as its unit.
Hence, the magnitude of a physical quantity can be given as
Magnitude of physical quantity  Its numerical value  Unit.
Table 1.1


Kelvin (K)


Ampere (A)


Candela (Cd)

Amount of Substance

Mole (mol)

Table 1.2




Metre (m)


Kilogram (kg)


Second (s)

Mass of solute
Mass of solution
 3  mol m3
 Length  Height  Breadth

Concentration (C or S) 

Volume (V)
Density (d)
Velocity (v)
Acceleration (a)

Force (F)

SI Units


Derived Units

Pressure (P)
Work (W)

zm  m  m zm3

 kg m3

Volume m3
Distance ___

 sec  m sec1
Change in velocity
 sec  m sec2
 Mass  Acceleration  m  a
 kg m sec1  Newton (N)
m sec2
Force kg
 kg m1 sec2  Pascal (Pa)

 Force  Displacement  F  d
 kg m2 sec2  Joule


Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry

Plane angle (Radian, that is, rad)
Solid angle (Steradian, that is, str)
Few Prefixes Used for Subsidiary Units
Sub multiples

1 micro
1 nano
1 femto
1 atto



1 zepto
I yocta
1 Giga
1 Tetra
1 Exa
1 Zetta
1 Yotta



1 litre  103 m3  1 dm3

1 atmosphere  760 mm or torr
 101.325 Pa or Nm2
1 bar  10 Nm2  105 Pa
1 calorie  4.184 joule
1 eV (electron volt)  1.602  1019 joule
1 joule  107 erg
So, 1 eV  1.602  1012 erg
1 cal  1 J  1 erg  1 eV
Barn is a unit of area to measure the cross section of
1 Barn  1028 m2 1024 cm2

Precision and Accuracy

The measurements are considered accurate when the
average value of different measurements is closer to the
actual value. An individual measurement is considered
more accurate when it differs slightly from the actual
When the values of different measurements are close
to each other as well as to the average value, such
measurements are called precise.
In fact, precision is simply the measurement of reproductability of an experiment.

Uncertainty in measurement and significant figures

There are some uncertainties in values during measurement
of matter. In order to make accurate measurements, we use
significant figures
The total number of digits in a number including the
last digit with uncertain value is known as the number of
significant figures, for example, 14.3256  0.0001 has six
significant figures.
Rules to determine significant numbers
All non-zero digits as well as the zeros present between
the non-zero digits are significant, for example, 6003 has
four significant figures.
Zeros to the LHS of the first non-zero digit in a given
number are not significant figures, for example, 0.00336
has only three significant figures.
In a number ending with zeros, if the zeros are present at
right of the decimal point then these zeros are also significant figures, for example, 33.600 has five significant
Zeros at the end of a number without a decimal are not
counted as significant figures, for example, 12600 has
just three significant figures.
The result of division or multiplication must be reported
to the same number of significant figures as possessed
by the least precise term, for example, 3.331  0.011 
0.036641 0.037.
The result of subtraction or addition must be reported to
the same number of significant figures as possessed by
the least precise term, for example, 5.1  7.21  8.008
z20.318 20.32.

Rounding-off non-significant figures Roundingoff non-significant figures means dropping of the uncertain or non-significant digits in a number. It is possible as
If the rightmost digit to be rounded-off is 5, then the
preceding number is increased by one, for example, 3.17
is rounded off to 3.2
If the rightmost digit to be rounded-off is 5, then the
preceding number is kept unchanged, for example, 5.12
is rounded off to 5.1
If the rightmost digit to be rounded-off is equal to 5,
the preceding number is kept as such in case of an even
value. However, in case of an odd value it is increased
by one, for example, 4.45 is rounded-off to 4.4; 5.35 is
rounded off to 5.4

Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry

In case
a number ends in zeros that are not to the right of decimal point it is not essential that zeros are significant. For
example, 290 has 2 or 3 significant figures and 19500 has
3, 4 or 5 significant figures.

Exponential notation or scientific notation

This confusion can be removed when the values are

expressed in terms of scientific notations, for example,
19500 can be written as 1.95zz104 (3 significant figures),
1.950  104 (4 significant figures), 1.9500zz104 (5 significant figures). In this kind of notation, every number can be
written as


A mixture is further classified into two categories

homogeneous and heterogeneous.
In a homogeneous mixture, all the components undergo complete mixing forming a uniform composition as,
air or sugar solution.
In a heterogeneous mixture, the composition formed due
to the mixing of components is not entirely uniform like
in the case of grains mixed with dust etc.

Pure Substance
Pure substances have fixed compositions and their constituents cannot be separated by using simple physical methods
of separation.

N  10n
n  Integer,
N  Number with non-zero digit
to the left of the decimal point.
For example, 0.00069 can be expressed as 6.9  104
(2 significant figures).

Any species having mass and occupying space is known

as matter. It can exist in the three physical states, namely,
solid, liquid and gas.
Pencil, air, water, justify the physical states and are all
composed of matter.
At the bulk level or macroscopic level, we can further
classify matter as mixtures or pure substances.

A pure substance can be further classified into an element or a compound.

An element is composed of one type of particle which
could either be atoms or molecules. Na, Cu, Ag have
only one type of atoms.
A compound is formed by the combination of two or more
atoms or different elements. For example, H2O, CO2.

Daltons Atomic Theory

An atom is the smallest particle of an element which is neutral in nature, retains all the properties of the element and
takes part in a chemical reaction. The word atom was introduced by Dalton (alamos means undivided).
The Daltons atomic theory was proposed by Dalton on
the basis of laws of chemical combination.
Main assumptions

Pure substances






Figure 1.1 Classification of Matter

A mixture is composed of two or more substances which
are known as its components or constituents (in any ratio).
The components of the mixture can be separated with the
help of physical separation methods like filtration, crystallization, distillation.

Matter (of any type) is composed of atoms.

An atom is the smallest, fundamental, undivided particle.
(Building block of any species)
An atom can neither be created nor destroyed.
Atoms of an element have similar size, energy and properties while atoms of different element differ in these
Atoms combine in whole number ratios to form a molecule, therefore, a molecule is the smallest identity that
exists individually.

Modern view about atom According to modern view:

An atom is divisible into other smaller particles which
are known as subatomic particles. It can also combine in non-whole number ratio as in the case of nonstoichiometric compounds (Berthollide compounds) like


Some Basic Concepts of Chemistry

Atoms of same element also differ in mass and mass

related properties as in the case of isotopes.
A chemical reaction involves rearrangement of atoms.

The term molecule was introduced by Avogadro. It is the
smallest particle (identity) of matter that can exist independently and retains all the properties of the substance.
Normally the diameter of the molecules is in the range of
420 and the molecular mass is between 21000.
In case of macromolecules, the diameter is in the range
of 50250 and the molecular weight may be in lakhs.

Berzelius Hypothesis
According to the Berzelius hypothesis, Equal volumes of
all the gases contain same number of atoms under the similar conditions of temperature and pressure.
This hypothesis on application to law of combining volume confirms that atoms are divisible which is in contrary
to Daltons theory.


Law of Conservation of Mass

Law of conservation of mass was proposed by Lavoisier
in 1774.
It was verified by Landolt.
According to this law, In a chemical change the total mass
of the products is equal to the total mass of the reactants,
that is, mass is neither created nor destroyed. For example, when a solution with calculated weight of AgNO3
and NaCl is mixed, white precipitates of AgCl are formed
while NaNO3 remains in solution. The weight of the solution remains the same before and after this experiment.
It is not applicable to nuclear reactions.

Law of Constant Composition or

Law of Definite Proportion
Law of constant composition was proposed by Proust
in 1779.
It was verified by Star and Richards.
According to this law, A chemical compound always
contains same elements combined together in same proportion by mass. For example, NaCl extracted from
sea water or achieved from deposits will have 23 g
Na and 35.5 g of chlorine in its one mole.
It is not applicable to non-stoichiometric compounds
like Fe0.93 O.

Law of Multiple Proportion

Law of multiple proportion was proposed by Dalton
in 1804.
It was verified by Berzilius.
According to this law, Different weights of an element
that combine with a fixed weight of another element
bear a simple whole number ratio. For example, in case
of CO, and CO2 weight of oxygen which combines with
12 g of carbon is in 1 : 2 ratio.
It is applicable when same compound is prepared from
different isotopes of an element. For example, H2O, D2O.

Law of Reciprocal Proportion

Law of reciprocal proportion was proposed by Richter in
It was verified by Star.
According to this law, When two different elements
undergo combination with same weight of a third
element, the ratio in which they combine will either be
same or some simple multiple of the ratio in which they
combine with each other.
It is also known as Law of equivalent proportion
which states Elements always combine in terms of their
equivalent weight.

Law of Combining Volume

Law of combining volume was proposed by GayLussac.
It applies to gases.
According to this law, When gases react with each other
they bear a simple whole number ratio with one another
as well as the product under conditions of same temperature and pressure.


Avogadros law explains law of combining volumes.

According to this law Under similar conditions of
temperature and pressure equal volume of gases contain
equal number of molecules.
It is used in:
1. Deriving molecular formula of a gas
2. Determining atomicity of a gas
3. Deriving a relation
Molecular mass  2zzVapour Density
(M  2zzV.D.)
4. Deriving the gram molecular volume
Avogadro number (N0 or NA)  6.023zz1023.