Unit 1 - Chapter 1

Unit 1 - Chapter 1 - Zumbahl: Chemistry 6th Edition Chapter...

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th Edition Chapter 1: Chemical Foundation 1.1 Chemistry: An Overview ·Scanning tunneling microscope (STM) enables us to see atoms. ·STM uses an electron current from a tiny needle to probe the surface of a substance. ·Macroscopic world - objects we see in the world of our experience. ·Microscopic world - a world of atoms and molecules. ·One of the main challenges of chemistry is to understand the connection between the macroscopic world that we experience and the microscopic world of atoms and molecules. ·The way the atoms are organized in a given substance determines the properties of that substance. 1.2 The Scientific Method ·Science is the framework for gaining and organizing knowledge. ·Science is the not simply a set of facts, but also a plan of action - a procedure for processing and understanding certain types of information. · Scientific method - the process of studying natural phenomena, involving observations, forming laws and theories, and testing of theories by experimentation. ·The general framework of the scientific method: 1. Making observation: may be qualitative or quantitative. Qualitative observation does not involve a number. A quantitative observation (called a measurement) involves both a number and unit. 2. Formulating hypotheses: a hypothesis is a possible explanation for an observation. 3. Performing experiments: experiment is carried out to test the hypothesis; involves gathering new information that enables a scientist to decide whether the hypothesis is valid - that is, whether it is supported by the new information learned from the experiment; experiments always produce new observations, and this brings the process back to the beginning again. ·Once a set of hypotheses that agrees with the various observations is obtained, the hypotheses are assembled into a theory. · Theory/model - a set of tested hypotheses that gives an overall explanation of some natural phenomenon. ·Theories inevitably change as more information becomes available. ·It is important to distinguish between observation and theories. ·An observation is something that is witnessed and can be recorded. ·A theory is an interpretation - a possible explanation of why nature behaves in a particular way. · Natural law - a statement that expresses generally observed behavior. ·Example: Law of conservation of mass - mass is neither created nor destroyed. ·There is a difference between a natural law and a theory. ·A natural law is a summary of observed (measurable) behavior, whereas a theory is an explanation of behavior. ·A law summaries what happens; a theory (model) is an attempt to explain why it happens. ·It is also important to keep in mind that scientists are human. ·They have personal bias and adds subjectivity.
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This note was uploaded on 03/05/2008 for the course CHEM 1A taught by Professor Goddard during the Spring '06 term at Irvine Valley College.

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Unit 1 - Chapter 1 - Zumbahl: Chemistry 6th Edition Chapter...

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