• Chem 121: Chemistry and Society

Chemistry 121IN: Chemistry and Society

These files are provided for students in Chemistry 121IN, an integrated lecture and laboratory course at Pima Community College for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Lecture and Class Information:

CHM 121IN Syllabus for Spring 2011 (the syllabus for Spring 2012 is under contruction)

Short report information

Notes on metric system, chemical symbols, formulas, nomenclature, chemical equations, and more will be found in the General Chem Survival Manual section.

Course Notes and Reference Material:

The Periodic Table If you are looking for information on any chemical element, its properties, or its uses, use this link to the Web Elements Periodic Table by Mark Winter, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Sheffield. Probably the best periodic table on the Internet, it provides a wealth of information about the elements.

ChemSpider If you are searching for information on chemical compounds, their structure or other information, ChemSpider links together compound information across the web, providing free text and structure search access of millions of chemical structures. With an abundance of additional property information, tools to curate and use the data, and integration to a multitude of other online services, ChemSpider is the richest single source of structure-based chemistry information available online.  ChemSpider is provided free by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Many of the references listed below are links to other web sites. These links, or the information referred to, may change when web sites are updated. Some web sites may be deleted by sponsoring organizations over time. Please advise your instructor if a web site is no longer accessible.

The origins of chemistry

An Illustrated History of Alchemy and Chemistry from ancient times to 1800

Math Review includes significant figures and scientific notation

Math Review Algebraic operations you should be able to do before starting a general chemistry course

Math Answers Answers to the Math Review problems

Significant Figures, Exponents, and Scientific Notation A tutorial

A Summary of Significant Figures Rules

Answers for Significant Figures, Exponents, and Scientific Notation

Measurement, and Temperature

Metric System The SI system with a short history of measurement

Powers of Ten Written and directed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1977, this video shows the relative scale of the universe, both macroscopic and microscopic by first zooming out from a picnic in Chicago and then zooming into the subatomic world.

Temperature Temperature measurement with a short historical background

Absolute Zero This is a program from NOVA (split into 10 chapters). The program presents a history of temperature measurement up to the modern methods of trying to reach absolute zero. This is a link to the YouTube video. (53 minutes)

The Elements and the Periodic Table

Element Symbols A historical approach to modern element symbols

Forging the Elements How were the elements formed? This is a segement from the NOVA program Origins: Back to the Beginning. Watch the entire program (55 minutes) or just select the Forging the Elements chapter about 34 minutes into the video). There is also an excerpt titled The Elements: Forged in Stars (about 4 minutes long).

The Periodic Table This is a link to the Web Elements Periodic Table by Mark Winter, Dept. of Chemistry, University of Sheffield. Probably the best periodic table on the Internet, it provides a wealth of information about the elements. This is the place to look for information about the chemical elements.

Electron configurations This is an applet for electron configurations from The ChemCollective at Carnegie Mellon

Prospects for Further Considerable Extension of the Periodic Table, a paper by Glenn T. Seaborg, Journal of Chemical Education, 46, Number 10, October 1969, p626

Island of Stability A video from NOVA explaining how heavy elements are made. This is a link to the NOVA website

Chemical Formulas and Nomenclature

Formula Writing Includes nomenclature of inorganic compounds.

Answers for Formula Writing

Additional Tables for Formula Writng These tables were supplied by Matthew Medeiros of Pima Community College.

Flowcharts for Naming Compounds and Common Acids

Chemical Formulas and Formula Weight Calculations

Organic Chemistry

Nomenclature of Organic Compounds

Notes on Organic Chemistry This is a PDF file of the PowerPoint presentation used in class

The Athabasca Tar Sands This is a PDF file of the PowerPoint presentation used in class

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline This is a PDF file of the PowerPoint presentation used in class

Product Safety and Toxicology

Product safety standards This is a link to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision

Toxicology basics This is a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation Principles of Toxicology by Elizabeth Casarez of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.

Notes on Toxicology basics These are a PDF file of the Principles of Toxicology (BIOC 597c) by Elizabeth Casarez of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.

Nuclear Radiation

The following are links to web sites for natural radiation decay series.

Some Radioactive Decay Series showing half-lives. From the Uranium Information Center in Australia. Note: This is a pdf file and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Natural Decay Series: Uranium, Radium and Thorium. From the Argonne National Laboratory Environmental Science Division.

Natural Radioactive Series by Yevgeniy Miretskiy. Select the decay series and the time step, then animate. This uses a bar graph to show the concentrations of the major isotopes formed in the decay series change over time. Additional data on half-lives and numbers of atoms are given on the right of the graph. Note: For long half-lives, select a longer time step.

The following are links to information on the Biological Effects of Radiation

Nuclear Radiation and Its Biological Effects. This is a link to an excerpt from the book No Immediate Danger, Prognosis for a Radioactive Earth, by Dr Rosalie Bertell

Biological Effects of Exposure to a Single Dose of Ionizing Radiation. A table summarizing the effects.

Radiation we are exposed to every day

The following are articles from The American Heritage Magazine of Invention and Technology

Inside the Atomic Kitchen: Irradiated food

The Atomic Cannon: The largest and heaviest artillery piece ever ordered by the Army helped to end a war.

The Beauty of the Bomb: An essay examining one person’s fascination with the bomb.

The Plan to Nuke Panama: The plan to construct a new Panama canal

We Knew That if we Succeeded: An interview with Edward Teller.

Albert Einstein's Letters to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Leo Szilard, a Hungarian physicist who left Germany after Hitler's rise to Power, feared that Germany's nuclear scientist might be able to make a "nuclear Bomb". He had Albert Einstein sign a letter to President Roosevelt which explained the possibility of a nuclear bomb and urged that the United States not allow a potential enemy to develop it first.

How Nuclear Bombs Work. This is a link to the howstuffworks web site.

The Story of the Atomic Bomb, 1934-1945, by James Richard Fromm. This is a link to the web site. This article is well illustrated with photos of most of the people involved.

US Nuclear Tests: Nuclear tests from July 1945 to September 1992 – with web links.

Let's Make a Thermonuclear Device. In November 2001, British reporters searching through an abandoned "al-Qaida safe house" in Kabul, Afghanistan, found this document, and reported that they'd stumbled upon the terrorists' nuclear intentions. This information was published in a Nov. 15 article in the Times of London. In the article, journalist Anthony Loyd wrote that next to "physics and chemistry manuals devoted to molecular matter," he discovered this document on how to make a thermonuclear device. Marc Abrahams, a former editor of the Journal of Irreproducible Results, where the article originally appeared, said "Either there's one guy in the Taliban who had a sense of humor, or everyone was downloading everything on the Net that had the word 'thermonuclear' in it."

NOTE: My class presentation on nuclear chemistry includes a discussion on the atomic bomb and some of its applications (or misapplications), along with schematics of the two bombs used by the United States at the end of World War II. I will not use this web site as a forum to discuss whether it was right or wrong to unleash nuclear weapons on the world - that's history, and it's up to each individual to research the reasons for that ultimate decision. Much of the destruction and injury caused by the atomic bombs was suppressed by the U.S. government and classified until 1968, but still, only a small amount of material is publicly available in bits and pieces on the Internet. Remenber, only one country has ever used nuclear weapons in warfare. Few people, alive today, have witnessed the potential destruction that a single atomic bomb can produce. It is my belief that nuclear weapons must never be used again, for any reason, and that there should be a world-wide ban on all nuclear weapons.

What follows are links to three films about Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

A Tale of Two Cities, presented by the U.S. War Department is a Government film using Hiroshima and Nagasaki Stock Footage. It is presented as a newsreel-type of film.  (To play, click on the balloon on the play bar on the bottom of the screen.)

Hiroshima, Hirohito, & the Rising Sun, Part 1.  Hiroshima is a film by Rhawn Joseph, PhD.  Assembled from pre-bombing footage, atomic testing footage, and post-bombing footage. 

Hiroshima-Nagasaki, August , 1945. Part 1and Part 2  is a compilation of silent black-and-white film footage of the ruins of Hiroshima and Nagasaki shot by Japanese cameramen of the Nippon Eiga She documentary unit before the U.S. occupation forces arrived in Japan.  This halted by the occupation, then ordered resumed under its supervisions. Later all footage was impounded, classified SECRET, and moved to the United States.

In 1968, Columbia University, learning about this material, applied to the U.S. Department of Defense for access to it. Apparently a declassification had recently taken place, and Columbia was permitted to duplicate the surviving 2 hours and 45 minutes of footage. The result was Hiroshima-Nagasaki, August 1945, the most widely shown film of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki holocaust, documenting the meaning of nuclear war. Hirishoma-Nagasaki, August 1945 (16 minutes, black and white) was produced by Erik Barnouw for the Columbia University Press and is available for purchase at The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar http://www.flahertyseminar.org/?sb=5&mb=4 . The complete 30-minute film is titled  "The Case of the A-Bomb Footage," and includes an introduction by Erik Barnouw, which traces the history of long-suppressed footage.

The Atmosphere and Weather

Our Atmosphere Notes on the atmosphere

El Nino and Climate Prediction: What is El Niño and how does it affect our weather?

Our Changing Climate: The Earth’s Climate, what causes changes and where do we go from here?

Our Ozone Shield: What is the ozone layer and what factors affect it?

Weather on Demand : Can cloud-seeding really control the weather?

Warmer Oceans, Stronger Hurricanes. An article by Kevin E. Trenberth about how global warming affects hurricanes. From Scientific American, July 2007.

Science Fiction materials will be distributed in class on a CD-ROM. The CD-ROM contains bibliographies, short stories, and related science articles. The science fiction bibliographies are on this web site under Science Fiction


Nanotechnology Takes Off A QUEST video, Part of A KQED Multimedia Series Exploring Northern California Science, Environment and Nature

What is Nanotechnology This is a link to the web site of CRN, the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology

Introduction to Nanotechnology This is a link to the nanowerk website. This is a good multipage article on nanotechnology (An outline of the article's contents is on the left-hand side of the page.)

How Nanotechnology Works This is a link to the HowStuffWorks web site



Oxidation-Reduction and Electrochemistry. This is the PDF version of the PowerPoint presentation used in Class

How Batteries Work This is a link to the howstuffworks web site

Energizer Learning Center has a site that tells about batteries, history, battery care, battery comparison, and some battery experiments.

Battery University is a site sponsored by Cadex Electronics Inc., in Vancouver BC. The site contains information about battery chemistries, best battery choices and ways to make your battery last longer.

Fuel Cells

How Fuel Cells Work This is a link to the HowStuffWorks web site on Fuel Cells

Fuel Cells This is a link to the NOVA site that has a 14 minute video on fuel cell cars and a number of discussion points on fuel cells

The Online Fuel Cell Information Resource This is a link to a web site from the Breakthrough Technologies Institute (BTI), a non-profit [501(c)(3)] independent, educational organization that identifies and promotes environmental and energy technologies that can improve the human condition.


Laboratory Experiments and Activities:

The laboratory safety and procedures book, The General Chemistry Laboratory Survival Manual, is available in the college bookstore. The laboratory experiments are available here for downloading. (These are PDF files and require acrobat reader.)

Safety in the Academic Laboratory

Safety in Academic Chemistry Laboratories (SACL), 8th Ed. This is a link to the publication by the American Chemical Society Joint Board-council Committee on Chemical Safety

Safety Test Questions These questions are similar, but not exactly the same, as those asked on the safety test. The safety test contains 35 questions.

Build a Spectroscope

Emission spectra of elements: These are links to web sites for emission spectra of elements. Note: Academic websites may only be available for limited time periods.

A periodic table from University of Oregon. Click on an element to see the spectrum. Choose between absorption and emission spectra.

Quicktime movies from Beloit College. Click on the absorption, emission, or combination spectrum shown to initiate spectra. Move the slide on the bottom of the spectrum to select elements. Note: Apple Quicktime needed (a free download)

Spectroscopy: Element Identification and Emission Spectra. Contains an explanation of spectra with both selected flame spectra and element spectra following the explanation. This material was prepared by Dr. Walt Volland, Bellvue Community College.

Spectra of Gas Discharges by Joachim Koppen, University Strasbourg, France.

Table of Flame Colorant by Element from the Mineralogy Database.

A periodic table from Ivan Noels. Click on an element to see its spectrum.

An Experiment in Alchemy: Copper to Silver to Gold

Preparation of Synthetic Rubber

Properties of Unknown Substances

Nuclear Chemistry Experiments

How do we Affect the Quality of Our Atmosphere

Acids, Bases, and pH Using Red Cabbage Paper

Sunscreens: Preparation and Evaluation

Testing the Waters

Earth Science

Preparation of Malachite

Properties of Iron - The Heat treatment of Iron

Extracting a Metal From Its Ore

Recycling a Metal into a Chemical Compound: The Preparation of Alum

The Aluminum Beverage Can. An article by William F. Hosford and John L. Duncan, from Scientific American, September 1994, describing the design and manufacture of aluminum beverage cans.

Growing Alum Crystals

Build a Wind Turbine This is a link to The Pembina Institute Re-energy.ca site. Download the Vertical Axis Wind Turbine instructions. There will be some modifications made in class.

Build a Solar Oven This is a link to The Pembina Institute Re-energy.ca site. Download the Building a Solar Oven Cooking With the Sun then click on the Build It link on that page for the construction directions. There will be some modifications made in class.


Construction of a Microscale Fuel Cell

Nanotechnology experiments are located at the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Click on this link to go to the entire Video Lab Manual of experiments for Nanoscale Science and Technology. The links below will take you directly to the experiments or will open a modified experiment..

Nanotechnology: Synthesis of Aqueous Ferrofluid Nanoparticles

Nanotechnology: Synthesis of Cholesteryl Ester Liquid Crystals

Nanotechnology: Nitinol wire

Nanotechnology: Titanium Dioxide Raspberry Solar Cell

In addition to the above experiments, there is a section of Nanoscale Science and Technology Demonstrations, a series of short movies that demonstrate aspects of nanotechnology. Click on this link to go to the movie page. (Requires Quicktime which can be downloaded at no cost from the link on the movie page.)

Forensics materials will be distributed in class on a CD-ROM. Forensics activities will include identification of a suspect, fingerprinting, ink analysis, handwriting analysis, fibers and fiber analysis, hair analysis, blood drop studies, drug testing, DNA isolation, and DNA testing. The forensics experiments are on this web site under Forensics