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For centuries, people have been trying to understand and manipulate the world around them. Through experimentation, many poisons and cures have been made or discovered. Long was the pursuit of the local town alchemist concocting potions and cures to the ails of his town folk. Most of what would have been considered witchcraft centuries ago were more likely than not a chemist experimenting with different elements such as trying to turn lead into gold.
As humanity was continually digging for new information and understanding, more elements were discovered. Finding more items in the natural world that, having certain essential properties, could not be simplified or broken down further became, what is known today, as an element.
First published in 1869, Dmitri Mendeleev designed the Periodic table to illustrate all the elements known to humanity including some yet to be discovered elements. It would be realized that these elements are the building blocks for everything in the known universe. Everything on our very large planet can be broken down into a collection of these singular elements.
Mendeleev structured the periodic table of elements in such a way that there are 6 groups ordered into a rectangular area. Each column specifying a group of elements in order of fewer to greater numbers of elements. The most generalized groups are used to categorize the elements as metals, metalloids and nonmetals. The subgroups consist of Alkali metal, Alkaline earth metal, Lanthanide, Actinide, Transitional Metal, Post-transitional metal, Metalloid, Reactive nonmetal and Noble gas. The elements themselves are then assigned to one of the subgroups.
In chemistry, the periodic table has since become the standard for reference in regard to the number of protons, neutrons, electrons as well as atomic weight.
Chemistry involves math and a lot of it! Sorry if this scares you, but whether you are learning organic or inorganic chemistry there will be math involved always.
If you have a basic understanding of chemistry, then you know that generally organic compounds will contain a carbon molecule while inorganic compounds usually do not. As elements are put in proximity of each other, chemical reactions will combine in definite ratios of chemicals causing the amount of each element to be the same at the end of the reaction. If that seemed a bit of gibberish, then simply put Stoichiometry measures the amounts of elements in a reaction of multiple compounds. After measuring the reactions then it predicts the resulting compounds based on the structures and shapes of the elements involved.
Later down the line, you will learn how to convert standards of measurement and be able to determine the resultant, the ratios, and the amounts of each component involved in the reaction. Yet, if you still need a small push to learn the basics or continue onto more complex chemistry then I would recommend looking up a SuperProf Tutor.
Stoichiometry is an essential part of understanding chemistry and being able to understand how different elements attract and repel each other is key. The math involved in chemistry is a fascinating field because understanding this will allow you to predict the results of chemicals being put together.
Advanced mathematics and the basis of chemistry is the first step in being able to manipulate the elements as you want the insight to know what could and will happen after. While this is a complex subject, there are myriad websites and videos across the internet that will walk you step by step through the calculations and help you on your way to better understanding.
Once you have mastered stoichiometry and feel comfortable calculating the results of different element combinations, home chemistry kits are where you can see if your predictions were correct. This is where you can bring your theories from paper into the real world.
Most kits, whether for adults or children, will include items such as beakers, flasks, glass tubes, a type of burner or heater, and a collection of separated elements. From the manuals and the tools provided in these kits, there are usually a series of experiments that you can conduct to explore whether you made the right calculations or if you made a mistake by omitting something. Yet, a challenge many home chemists face is that most kits will only have enough supplies for 2-3 experiments.
All over the country, chemistry is taught as a foundational science. Majoring in chemistry can lead to careers as a chemical technician, toxicologist, analytical, and or synthetic chemist just to name a few.
Where can you start learning chemistry? Ranked the best chemistry degree in the United States is the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Located in La Jolla, this coastal university offers Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctoral Degrees in chemistry. Second to UCSD is the University of Wisconsin – Madison. This, too, is a large public school that offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral Degrees but the projected salary of a chemistry graduate is fairly higher than that of UCSD.
Getting a formal degree in Chemistry is a long, time-intensive, and expensive road. Not for the faint of heart. Yet, the rewards are there along with other options in the science field and beyond.
Nowadays there is so much information on the internet that it’s hard to filter through it all. How do you find a trustworthy website? How can you answer the specific questions you have when so many videos and articles are horribly general and broad?
Education services are another option, but they are incredibly expensive which becomes a barrier for most people. How many people can afford to spend the time and money for another decade in school? This is really unfortunate as everyone should have equal access to inexpensive education.
Chemistry is one of the foundational studies that help you understand the world that surrounds us. SuperProf is a fantastic platform with that goal in mind. Here you will be able to find and choose tutors from all across the United States. Both locally and remote, you can read through their professional instructor bios and choose the tutor that is best suited to your needs. Whether you need a basic intro into chemistry, or you have an advanced understanding and want to learn more about a specific aspect, Superprof will have the tutors you need to help you learn and grow.