Chemistry – High school textbook UEN OER

Utah’s first OER project was science. USBE has been working with science for over several years, and would like to recognize the support of the Hewlett Foundation, the CK12 Foundation, and Brigham Young University in development of these materials. Visit the Science Activities webpage to view all of the Online Interactive Activities that are included in each textbook.

This book is licensed CC-BY-NC, the majority of content was created from CK-12 flexbooks, – Thanks!

Sample from Chemistry – Chemistry UEN OER

. 1 Introduction to Chemistry? ( 0. 1)
Give a brief history of how chemistry began.
List some new materials produced by chemists.

During medieval times, a group of people known as alchemists began looking for ways to transform common metals, such as lead, copper, and iron, into gold. Can you imagine how much money you would make if you could go to the store, buy some iron nails, and turn them into gold? You’d be rich in no time!

The Origin and Evolution of Chemistry

Alchemists experimented with many different kinds of chemicals, searching for what they termed the “philosopher’s stone” a legendary substance necessary for transforming common metals into gold ( see Figure below). We now know that there is no such thing as a philosopher’s stone, nor is there any chemical reaction that creates gold from another metal. We know this because we now have a much better understanding of how the matter in our universe behaves. Nevertheless, those early alchemists kindled interest in chemical transformations and inspired the development of modern chemistry.

It’ s no coincidence that the word Chemistry ” (the scientific study of matter and the changes that it undergoes) looks a lot like the word “ alchemy”. Early alchemists were commonly known as “chemists”, and over time, people started referring to their work, particularly the more legitimate forms of it, as chemistry. While it may seem strange, in many ways it is appropriate that our word for the present day study of matter comes from the early practice of alchemy. A lot of the techniques and equipment fundamental to modern chemistry were actually developed by early alchemists.

Early chemistry, or alchemy, was not very systematic or well reviewed. In fact, in many areas alchemy was considered to be form of magic or sorcery. It wasn’t until the late 17th 14 century that European chemists began applying methodical scientific processes. Robert Boyle (1627 1691) was the first European chemist to do so, using quantitative experiments to measure the relationship between the  pressure and the volume of a gas.

His use of scientific methods paved the way for other European chemists and helped to establish the modern science of chemistry.

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