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Author Topic: Chemistry help, por favor
never_ask_why333
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Icon 1 posted December 08, 2006 20:33      Profile for never_ask_why333     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In chemistry class, we are learning about naming different types of compounds (binary, ionic, molecular, terninary, etc). And I just do not get it. I've gone into tutorials, and tried to have my teacher re-explain it to me. But for what ever reason, its still not clicking. Would someone mind explaining it in the simplest way possible?

Here is some examples of what we are doing:

(2) = subscript

H(2)PO(4)- = Dihydrogen phosphate

Also, I cannot tell the difference between types of compounds. Well, I can tell the difference between ionic and molecular (molecular made of two nonmetals, ionic made of one nonmetal and one metal). But what about polyatomic,etc? I really don't get it.

Thanks for any help.

Please explain as *simply* as possible (chemistry is not my strong point).

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zesovietrussian
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Icon 1 posted December 08, 2006 22:03      Profile for zesovietrussian     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't have a slightest clue about any of the above, but we all know that dihydrogen monoxide causes cancer and should be banned.
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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted December 08, 2006 22:07      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A polyatomic ion is an ion composed of more than one atom.

I'm really not sure what your issue with dihydrogen phosphate is as you haven't asked a question.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 02:26      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
An atom is the smallest bit of stuff that retains a chemical signature - it is often represented as a coloured ball.
Stick these together in various ways, and you get different stuff.
If an arrangement of atoms is stable, it will hang around, and most things you will encounter are therefore stable. There are a number of ways of sticking atoms together, depending on what they are. If a small number of atoms stick together by sharing their electronic charge to form a covalent bond, a molecule is formed. This can then be named according to the number of atoms - monoatomic (1 - noble gases) diatomic (2- most pure gases, such as oxygen, nitrogen) triatomic (3- water, carbon dioxide etc.) Polyatomic just means a few atoms.

If the atoms are charged (they've formed ions), then an ionic material (crystal) is formed.

To get more specific answers, post more specfic questions.

Chemical nomenclature is a complicated game. iupac are the authority on what gets named what, and they're still arguing!

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 10:24      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
a side question someone might be able to answer me while the topic is on chemistry is that my chem. teacher said that water can disolve into itself. But shouldn't that mean it should get a label of (aq) and not (l) and shouldn't it also mean that it would dissolve into its ions ?

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 13:25      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The (aq) label gets stuck on things that are in solution with water. So, if you really want to be prim and proper, the hydronium ions and hydroxide ions in water would get the (aq), but the water molecules themselves stay (l).

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 14:39      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
yes that is why H2O = H3O (+) + OH (-)

I just can't picture a reaction happening when water gets mixed with water.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 15:07      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, H3O(+) and OH(-) are in equilibrium with H2O. If you take the ions out, water molecules will dissolve to restore that equilibrium.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
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never_ask_why333
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 16:43      Profile for never_ask_why333     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry, I really should have been more clear on the question [ohwell]

littlefish: wow, that really really helped. seriously. i wish my chem teacher could put things that simply.
~now I understand the whole 'triatomic, etc' stuff. whew. now i just have to memorize it. thanks!
~ ok, this is something I should know, but don't. what happens to electrons in a covalent bond? I know in ionic bonds, they are lost or gained. but what happens in covalent bonds? i guess, rather, how are covalent bonds made?
~I'm still confused on the polyatomic. I get that it means more than one atom, but wouldn't that mean that its a compound? I don't think so, which is why I'm asking. Or wait...ok, to get water you need two Hydrogens and one Oxygen...so the Hydrogens would be polyatomic, and the oxygen would be monoatomic? Is that what it means?
~Yeah, I remember hearing something about ions making crystals. lattices or something, right? but why does that happen?

again, thank you so much! that really helped ALOT.

Ok, for the more specific question.
Like on the test I took, there was a whole section (that I'm pretty sure I failed) that had questions like:

Li + Cl
yields:___________
name:___________
is it diatomic?: _____________

i now understand the diatomic part, I think. Like Lithium would not be, because it is an alkalai metal, but Chlorine would because it is in the nonmetal group with Oxygen and Nitrogen, right?

I guess I just cannot figure out how to name them.
I know that Li= Lithium, and Cl= Chlorine, but the answer is not 'Lithium Chlorine'. There has to be some special ending on Chrlorine, i think. Like -ate, -ite, -ide, etc. And I do not know which one to put.

also, I do not understand binary and terinary. Ok, well I don't even know what they are, or when to use them, or how they apply to names.

So those are just a few questions to start with. Again, thanks for the help, and the patience!

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I haven't forgotten
and I won't forget
I just haven't gotten
around to it yet

You can call me Eternity :)

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 17:11      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hooooooly, I'll choose the easy one to answer.

quote:
Originally posted by never_ask_why333:

~I'm still confused on the polyatomic. I get that it means more than one atom, but wouldn't that mean that its a compound? I don't think so, which is why I'm asking. Or wait...ok, to get water you need two Hydrogens and one Oxygen...so the Hydrogens would be polyatomic, and the oxygen would be monoatomic? Is that what it means?

polyatomic ions are compounds. The ion part just means you're looking at a charge on your molecule.

lets look at the easiest (IMO) polyatomic ion: hydroxide or OH. its a compound made of oxygen and hydrogen and the whole molecule has a charge of -1, instead of "normal" ions that are one atom (monoatomic) with a charge.

The most important thing to grasp in early chemistry is that your polyatomic ions are never going to dissolve or break up. Using your exaple of H2PO4, in water that would break into H with a positive one charge and phosphate -- PO4 with a negative two charge -- you'll never ever ever see it break into H and P and O4.

water is made of covalent bonds, not ionic bonds, so there are no ions involved. covalent bonds are formed when two electron orbitals of two atoms entwine and the two atoms share their electrons with each other.

HTH, let me know if you need any clarification, I tend to be a crappy tutor.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 17:44      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
-ate, -ite, -ide are all endings placed on negatively charged ions (aka anions). -ates and -ites are anions that polyatomic and contain oxygen. -ides are anions that are monoatomic. So sulfide is simply a sulfur atom with a -2 charge, while sulfate is a sulfur atom with four oxgens attached and a -2 charge.

Your Li+Cl question:

Li+Cl=LiCl. LiCl is a diatomic compound. It is also ionic. And the proper name is lithium chloride.

You're right though, elemental chlorine is diatomic. However, to make LiCl the chlorine needs to get charged up as an anion and chlorine ions are singletons.

Mono-, di-, tr-, and polyatomic are all words used to describe a molecule. Anytime you have more than one atom linked together you have a molecule. If any of those atoms are different from the other, you have a compound. If they're all the same, it's an element. CO is a molecule. It is also a diatomic compound. O2 is also a molecule, and it is also a diatomic element. H2O is a molecule and a triatomic (or, if you want to be vague, polyatomic) compound. The hydrogens and the oxygen in water are just part of the molecule - you can't describe them as monoatomic or diatomic.

I have no idea what this binary and terinary that you speak of is. Care to ask a specific question?

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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never_ask_why333
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 18:48      Profile for never_ask_why333     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
polyatomic ions are compounds. The ion part just means you're looking at a charge on your molecule.

lets look at the easiest (IMO) polyatomic ion: hydroxide or OH. its a compound made of oxygen and hydrogen and the whole molecule has a charge of -1, instead of "normal" ions that are one atom (monoatomic) with a charge.

so, just making sure I understand what you have said:

so are you saying that 'polyatomic' is just a fancy way of saying 'compound'? (basically)

ions: I'm pretty sure I get that. its just any atom that has gained or lost an electron, right?

and the charge of OH would be -1 because Oxygen has a charge of -2, and Hydrogen is +1, so you add them together and thats how you get the charge?

and an ion is jus any atom that has gained or lost an electron?

cation= postive ion, anion= negative.

ok, so I think it get it. recap: any compund that does not have a charge of 0 (aka an ion, whether it be anion or cation) is considered polyatomic (not monotomic, because that would just be a single atom.)


quote:
The most important thing to grasp in early chemistry is that your polyatomic ions are never going to dissolve or break up. Using your exaple of H2PO4, in water that would break into H with a positive one charge and phosphate -- PO4 with a negative two charge -- you'll never ever ever see it break into H and P and O4.
ok, I think I get that. but why wouldn't it break? and what kind of ions would dissolve, monoatomic?
and PO4 wouldn't break because it would no longer be phosphate...if it could separate, though, it would be into one phosphorus and 4 oxygens?

quote:
water is made of covalent bonds, not ionic bonds, so there are no ions involved. covalent bonds are formed when two electron orbitals of two atoms entwine and the two atoms share their electrons with each other.
ahh, ok. I see where i was messing up. I had covalent bonds and ionic bonds confused. thanks for clearing that up!

and i think you make a great tutor. You really helped out alot, thanks.

I wish my teacher would explain for example that 1 + 1 = 2, then why. not just why 1 + 1 = 2, but never actually tells us that it does, just leave us to figure it out.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

quote:
-ate, -ite, -ide are all endings placed on negatively charged ions (aka anions). -ates and -ites are anions that polyatomic and contain oxygen. -ides are anions that are monoatomic. So sulfide is simply a sulfur atom with a -2 charge, while sulfate is a sulfur atom with four oxgens attached and a -2 charge.
recap (to make sure I understand correctly)
-ite and -ate = any anion (negative ion) that has Oxygen + something else (which would, of course, make it polyatomic). And that makes sulfur = sulfide because it is monatomic (and therefore has no Oxygen attatched). And the reason it is an ion is because its charge is not 0. and that makes it charge -2 because it is in group 6A. but then, would that make everything on the periodic table an ion then (except for noble gases)?

hmm, but how do you know if it is -ite or -ate then?

quote:
Li+Cl=LiCl. LiCl is a diatomic compound. It is also ionic. And the proper name is lithium chloride.
diatomic because it is made of two atoms. ionic because the charge does not = 0. and chlor*ide* because chlorine, in this case, is monoatomic. correct?

quote:
Mono-, di-, tr-, and polyatomic are all words used to describe a molecule. Anytime you have more than one atom linked together you have a molecule. If any of those atoms are different from the other, you have a compound. If they're all the same, it's an element. CO is a molecule. It is also a diatomic compound. O2 is also a molecule, and it is also a diatomic element. H2O is a molecule and a triatomic (or, if you want to be vague, polyatomic) compound. The hydrogens and the oxygen in water are just part of the molecule - you can't describe them as monoatomic or diatomic.
wow, I actually got all of that and now completly understand, i think. let me doublecheck:
CO= diatomic compound because it is made of two different elements.
H2O is triatomic because the molecule is comprised of three atoms, two Hydrogen and one Oxygen.

however, I do not understand why you could not call Hydrogen in H20, 'diatomic'. Why not? I mean, there are two to a molecule, right? or is it because you cannot take it apart and say 'well this is diatomic and this is monoatomic', the molecule has to be looked at as a whole? just trying to make sure I'm 100% clear, sorry if it sounds like I'm just repeating you [ohwell]

quote:
I have no idea what this binary and terinary that you speak of is. Care to ask a specific question?
ok, I just opened my book and found the definition of a binary compund: compounds composed of two elements. ok, so does this mean that besically its just saying how many elements, not molecules, are in a compound, that all the subscripts and soefficients do not matter (to decide if its binary, etc)? Like that say, H2O is a binary compound? thats what ternary is too, just with three. right?

Wow, this really helped alot too! I'm going to actually write this down in my notes and use it to study off of.

Thanks everyone for the help. Its really appreciated. And I think I'm starting to get it! Infact, I'm going to go take notes on what everyone said right now!!!

--------------------
I haven't forgotten
and I won't forget
I just haven't gotten
around to it yet

You can call me Eternity :)

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Highlie
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 19:13      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll cover my part, and let Xan handle her own!

quote:
Originally posted by never_ask_why333:
so are you saying that 'polyatomic' is just a fancy way of saying 'compound'? (basically)

yep, pretty much. poly = many, atomic = atoms, polyatomic = many atoms.

quote:
ions: I'm pretty sure I get that. its just any atom that has gained or lost an electron, right?
yeah, you're getting the hang of it now!

quote:
and the charge of OH would be -1 because Oxygen has a charge of -2, and Hydrogen is +1, so you add them together and thats how you get the charge?
I think its less to do with formal charge and more to do with the fact the entire molecule has an extra electron that it shares between the atoms. someone correct me if I'm wrong.

quote:
ok, so I think it get it. recap: any compund that does not have a charge of 0 (aka an ion, whether it be anion or cation) is considered polyatomic (not monotomic, because that would just be a single atom.)
no, the term 'polyatomic' has NOTHING to do with being an ion or not. water is polyatomic. the proteins that make up your skin are polyatomic. the compounds that give roses their smell are polyatomic. ANYTHING with more than one atom is polyatomic! it doesn't matter if its an ion or not. BUT a polyatomic ion is a compound of more than one atom (hence, polyatomic) that has a charge (hence, ion)

quote:
but why wouldn't it break? and what kind of ions would dissolve, monoatomic?
and PO4 wouldn't break because it would no longer be phosphate...if it could separate, though, it would be into one phosphorus and 4 oxygens?

That is way beyond my chem knowledge. Most ions will dissolve into a polar solvent (water is your best example), but polyatomic ions do not break down further. thats the point of your chem teacher making you memorize that table: so when he asks you what ions XYZ breaks down into, he can count on the fact that you know that NO2 is going to stick together! I can't tell you why they don't break up though.
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never_ask_why333
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 19:25      Profile for never_ask_why333     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I ran into another problem while I was writing all this down.

I thought that Lithium is diatomic because it is an alkalai metal. I didn't realize that it is because it is made up of two atoms. So, how do you know how many atoms each element has (in one molecule)?
Or is that just how they are grouped on the periodic table?
And how does this affect the charge?

--------------------
I haven't forgotten
and I won't forget
I just haven't gotten
around to it yet

You can call me Eternity :)

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Highlie
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Icon 1 posted December 09, 2006 19:49      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
most metals are made up of hundreds of thousands of atoms, which all share their electrons. its often describes as "sea of electrons flowing around the nuclei"

to remember which atoms are diatomic most people think of "HOFBrINCl" (say it out loud like "hoffbrinkle", and you'll never forget it)

the rest of your nonmetals are usually monoatomic.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted December 10, 2006 12:54      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Chemical bonding is all about electrons. Hopefully you know all about electrons and their shells.

Elements at the end of the peiodic table tend to form ions. They lose/gain electrons to attain a stable outer shell of eight electrons (at least at high school).

Atoms in the middle also want toget a stable outer shell. However if they were to ionise to from a stable shell, they would have to lose or gain too many electrons. Instead, they "share" electrons, and from covalent bonds.

Ionic materials from large crystal lattices. As such, they can not be labelled as monatomic, triatomic, or polyatomic. They form crystal lattices, which are of indeterminate size. Covalently bonded materials are usually of a certain size, CO is diatomic (has 2 atoms - one C, one O), O2 is diatomic - two oxygen atoms.

Compounds are labelled binary, terniary etc. by the number of elements in them. CO2 is a binary complex triatomic, HOCl is a terniary triatomic.

quote:
I thought that Lithium is diatomic because it is an alkalai metal. I didn't realize that it is because it is made up of two atoms. So, how do you know how many atoms each element has (in one molecule)?
Lithium is not diatomic. It forms a 1+ ion by losing an electron. You can't know how many atoms are in an element just by looking. Noble gases (group 8) are monatomic. All the other gases are diatomic elements. Metals have metallic lattices, they're their own structure.
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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted December 10, 2006 14:13      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Biz, NAW, polyatomic ions don't break up in water because the ion is held together by covalent bonds, and covalent bonds are too strong for water to break (yes, that is over-simplified, please littlefish, don't hurt me...). A polyatomic ion is basically, when you get down to it, a charged molecule (which is why it's an ion).

Lithium chloride is diatomic becuase it contains two atoms. Lithium, by itself, is not diatomic. It's not monoatomic either. It is, as business attire and littlefish have already said, a metal, and business attire described that pretty damn well. Lithium ions, however, are charged with a +1 charge and these are monoatomic. Chloride is the ionized form of chlorine. It has a -1 charge and it too is monoatomic (whereas chorine, which is uncharged, is a diatomic gas that the Germans used to poison people in WWI). When lithium ions and chloride ions meets, they bond (opposites attract). The net charge on a lithium chloride molecule is zero. The compound itself is called ionic because the atoms in the molecule are in their ionic form.

You can't call H2O diatomic because there are more than two atoms in it. Di-, tri- and so on only refer to the absolute number of atoms. Not the types of atoms. This is why, even though an O2 molecule consists of two identical atoms, it is called diatomic. If you want to talk about how many types of atoms you have in a molecule, then you start using words like binary and ternary.

THe words used in science are very precise. They have to be. Otherwise it would get too confusing.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted December 11, 2006 01:50      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Xanthine said:
quote:
Lithium chloride is diatomic becuase it contains two atoms.
Sorry X, but this isn't right. Ionic solids form lattices. You will never get a molecule of LiCl where there is one Li atom and one Cl atom. You will get lots of each (in a 1:1 ratio) forming a crystal.

Covalent solids are held together by intermolecular forces. When they melt, the intermolecular forces are broken, but the molecules remain intact. Ionic solids are held together by the forces between the ions. When ionic solids melt they overcome the forces between the ions, and the separate Li+ and Cl- are no longer rigidly held in a crystal.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted December 11, 2006 07:48      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dude, this is high school chemistry. Chill.

I don't need a lecture on crystal lattices...I grow the damn things for a living. [Wink]

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted December 11, 2006 11:20      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I know. I just don't want the kids to get bad ideas.
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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted December 11, 2006 11:31      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dang! Here I thought it was all done with smoke 'n' mirrors...

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted December 11, 2006 11:34      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
gg, that would be optics...

Unfortunately, that's the way HS chem goes, at least at first. It gets sorted out as students move on.

Really, the only thing I remember about high school chemistry was doing conversions in and out of the metric system and also conversion within the metric system and so on. This got further pounded into my head my freshman year of college.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted December 11, 2006 11:44      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
gg, that would be optics...

Unfortunately, that's the way HS chem goes, at least at first. It gets sorted out as students move on.

Really, the only thing I remember about high school chemistry was doing conversions in and out of the metric system and also conversion within the metric system and so on. This got further pounded into my head my freshman year of college.

Really? We did more than that, but then again I had an exceptional high school chem teacher (the kids I graduated with still go back to her for help on their chem homework).

I remember doing gas laws, mole ratios, and limiting reactants a bunch. The problem that sticks out most in my mind is, 'If you have so many litres of nitrogen and this many litres of hydrogen and they are in a sealed reactor at this temp and this pressure, and half the nitrogen reacts to form ammonia, how much ammonia is made? What is the total pressure of system after the reaction, provided temperature is constant?'

If there's one thing we didn't get enough of, it was doing dimensional analysis. I picked it up fairly early on in my physics class, but many kids didn't have that opportunity so solving 'complicated' problems was difficult for them.


But then again, I never plan on taking another semester of chemistry in my life. Ever.

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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business attire
Highlie
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Icon 1 posted December 11, 2006 11:56      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nerdwithnofriends:
But then again, I never plan on taking another semester of chemistry in my life. Ever.

Assuming I pass Orgo2 (I will) I have yay happy fun biochem next semester and then never again will I have to take chemistry either! yay AND sadness!
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garlicguy

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Icon 1 posted December 11, 2006 12:07      Profile for garlicguy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by business attire:
Assuming I pass Orgo2 ...

How odd. You claim to be a 'skanky-looking college aged chick', but then you deliberately misspelt 'Orgy'. [Confused] [Eek!] [Roll Eyes]

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I don't know what I was thinking... it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Posts: 3752 | From: Pluto, no matter what you call it, is still my home. | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged


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