An Introduction to Chemistry

This book is designed as a brief introduction to chemistry. Our primary objective is to give you enough understanding of the fundamental concepts and language of chemistry to allow you to read and understand articles written in newspapers such as the New York Times or in magazines such as Scientific American. Of particular importance is the concept of structure. An understanding of the shapes and motions of molecules and ions and the structure of matter in bulk is crucial to the form of the world in which we live. It is also important to know something of the language of chemistry: the meaning of words such as isotope, isomer, structural formula, the mole, the rate and extent of a reaction, equilibrium, and energy.

The approach to the topics will be informal and, we hope, not intimidating. There will be, however, the occasional problem to solve. We will also provide numerous illustrations and photographs to provide you with examples of different ways to view concepts.