Chemistry is one of the most vital subjects as we can see its applications in day-to-day activities. Yet, few feel Chemistry is a challenging subject due to its wide range of topics such as elements, chemical formulas, reactions, equations, structure and synthesis. In order to understand and make the subject easy, one has to be thorough with the basic fundamentals of the subject. In this article, we will focus on what are the basic concepts of chemistry.
We know that scientifically a chemical element can be defined as a species of atoms with the same number of protons in the atomic nucleus. Chemical Elements are basic and primary components of all matter. Each chemical element is different from another. Each has its own unique properties that distinguish it from the rest of other chemical elements. One element cannot be chemically or physically interconverted to another. Elements can also not be broken down into smaller substances as elements are the primary constituent of matter. One must know the basic elements of the periodic table to understand the chemistry subject.
We know that the periodic table in chemistry is the table of elements that depict all the elements that are known to date. The elements in this table are arranged in a specific arrangement wherein a row represents a period and a column is a group. The elements are arranged in increasing atomic number and recurring chemical properties. For instance, the element carbon atomic number is 6 and is placed in the 6th position in the periodic table. To date, 118 elements are known to man and all are placed in the periodic table based on their properties. When a student understands the periodic table then he will be able to understand the major concepts in chemistry.
Atoms and molecules
The chemistry subject relies on chemical compounds which are made up of atoms and molecules. To know about chemical compounds one must know the number of atoms present in the molecule or compound. An atom is the smallest indivisible unit of an element. A molecule is described as the smallest part of a chemical compound that comprises the chemical properties of the compound. One must know the basic molecules such as water, ammonia, ozone, salt etc.
In general, electronic configuration is defined as the distribution of electrons in multiple molecular orbitals in a molecule. The arrangement of electrons at energy levels around the nucleus of an atom is an electronic configuration. The electronic configuration is determined by the atomic number of the element. For instance, the electronic configuration of Beryllium (Be) is [He] 2s2 as the atomic number of Beryllium is 4. The chromium electron configuration Cr is [Ar] 3d 5 4s1 not [Ar] 3d4 4s2 as the d orbital is half-filled and obtains stability. Likewise to make the chemistry subject easier one has to at least the electron configuration of the first 30 elements.
Stoichiometry is described as the calculation of products and reactants in a chemical reaction. It is fundamentally concerned with numbers to balance the chemical equation. This concept helps to calculate the amounts of reactants and products and measure the quantity of the reactants and products involved in the chemical reaction. This also helps to determine the molecular weight, chemical equations and formulas of the compounds concerned with the particular reaction that is taking place. Stoichiometry in chemical analysis involves two methods in the calculation process namely gravimetric analysis and volumetric analysis. It is one of the vital concepts in studying chemical reactions.
Chemistry is a subject that needs a lot of practice and dedication. One has to definitely have a pure understanding of the basic fundamentals concepts mentioned above. By knowing these things one can easily read the equation, names of compounds, formulas thoroughly and score well. Each student can adapt his own study techniques to learn these concepts. Chemistry becomes easier when studied with a better understanding of the concept. By learning these basic fundamentals of chemistry one can easily grasp the other extended concepts of the subjects and aim for good grades. A thorough understanding of basic concepts helps in making the subject easier and interesting.