General Chemistry

The Dry-Ice-in-Water Cloud

Have you ever wondered where the cloud comes from when dry ice is placed in water? If you think the answer is “atmospheric water vapor”, be sure to read this post because experimental evidence suggests that this explanation is wrong.

“The Candle Experiment” – an Opening Exercise for General (or introductory) chemistry

This exercise is intended as an ice-breaker for a first or second class meeting. It also serves as an introduction to physical & chemical properties and application of the macro/micro/symbolic representations of chemical phenomena. Finally, it also provides a framework to mention many of the topics to be covered in a general chem first semester course.

How do you Incorporate Equilibrium Into Your Curriculum?

Throughout the last ten years teaching both chemistry and Advanced Placement Chemistry I have realized that the concept of equilibrium does not receive enough attention in my first-year chemistry course. Sure, the concept of equilibrium is a topic mentioned and identified throughout the course however the dialogue in regards to conditions that would shift the chemical system is minimal at best.

Game On! IChO is back

Many of you familiar with me will know I have a great affinity for academic competition and was more than a little bit upset when the International Chemistry Olympiad was scheduled for Karachi Pakistan in 2016.

The Search for the Final Element

Have you ever wondered what is the theoretically largest possible value for the atomic number of an element? Using some introductory physics and algebra, you can get your students thinking about this idea.