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   to Chemistry, Matter and the Universe

The first ten chapters are devoted to a qualitative and descriptive look at the chemical elements, the periodic table, molecular structure and bonding, and the chemical nature of our world. These chapters provide suitable material for a ten- or twelve-week course in chemistry for liberal arts or humanities students, and should leave the reader with at least an appreciation of the chemical nature of our universe. Chapters 11 through 17 introduce chemistry as a quantitative science, with discussions of mass, energy, entropy, chemical equilibrium, and the rates and mechanisms of reaction. Together, these seventeen chapters can be used as a half-year or two term chemistry course for non-majors.

After a shift in perspective in Chapter 18, the final eight chapters lead the reader into the world of carbon compounds, macromolecules and living organisms. Blaise Pascale described the universe as extending between two infinities, the infinitely large and the infinitely small; or in the language of science, from galaxies to nuclei. To these limits Teilhard de Chardin added a third; the infinitely complex. Life would be impossible without complex networks of reactions involving macromolecules, and of all the elements known, only carbon appears to be capable of building such molecules. Chemical systems complicated enough to show the properties of life must be organized both in space and in time; they must possess both a structure and a metabolism.



'Although this internet-based course is currently incomplete, the comprehensive list of chapters that are available for study, can be found on the contents page.'

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