General Chemistry: Principles, Patterns, and Applications

(2 reviews)


Bruce Averill, Strategic Energy Security Solutions
Patricia Eldredge, R.H. Hand, LLC

Pub Date: 2011

ISBN 13: 978-1-4533223-0-7

Publisher: Saylor Foundation

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Reviewed by D.K. Philbin, Professor, Allan Hancock College, on 7/16/2014.

The text is designed to serve science and engineering majors requiring a one year course in general chemistry and the text contains all of the … read more



Reviewed by Jeffrey Bodwin, Professor of Chemistry, Minnesota State University Moorhead, on 8/22/2016.

There does not appear to be an index or glossary in the .pdf version of the textbook. The textbook does cover all the major topics typical of a first … read more


Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Chemistry
  • Chapter 2: Molecules, Ions, and Chemical Formulas
  • Chapter 3: Chemical Reactions
  • Chapter 4: Reactions in Aqueous Solution
  • Chapter 5: Energy Changes in Chemical Reactions
  • Chapter 6: The Structure of Atoms
  • Chapter 7: The Periodic Table and Periodic Trends
  • Chapter 8: Ionic versus Covalent Bonding
  • Chapter 9: Molecular Geometry and Covalent Bonding Models
  • Chapter 10: Gases
  • Chapter 11: Liquids
  • Chapter 12: Solids
  • Chapter 13: Solutions
  • Chapter 14: Chemical Kinetics
  • Chapter 15: Chemical Equilibrium
  • Chapter 16: Aqueous Acid–Base Equilibriums
  • Chapter 17: Solubility and Complexation Equilibriums
  • Chapter 18: Chemical Thermodynamics
  • Chapter 19: Electrochemistry
  • Chapter 20: Nuclear Chemistry
  • Chapter 21: Periodic Trends and the s-Block Elements
  • Chapter 22: The p-Block Elements
  • Chapter 23: The d-Block Elements
  • Chapter 24: Organic Compounds

About the Book

The overall goal of the authors with General Chemistry: Principles, Patterns, and Applications was to produce a text that introduces the students to the relevance and excitement of chemistry.

Although much of first-year chemistry is taught as a service course, Bruce and Patricia feel there is no reason that the intrinsic excitement and potential of chemistry cannot be the focal point of the text and the course. So, they emphasize the positive aspects of chemistry and its relationship to students’ lives, which requires bringing in applications early and often. In addition, the authors feel that many first year chemistry students have an enthusiasm for biologically and medically relevant topics, so they use an integrated approach in their text that includes explicit discussions of biological and environmental applications of chemistry.

Topics relevant to materials science are also introduced to meet the more specific needs of engineering students. To facilitate integration of such material, simple organic structures, nomenclature, and reactions are introduced very early in the text, and both organic and inorganic examples are used wherever possible. This approach emphasizes the distinctions between ionic and covalent bonding, thus enhancing the students’ chance of success in the organic chemistry course that traditionally follows general chemistry. Finally, the authors made a conscious effort to treat material that has traditionally been relegated to boxes, and thus perhaps perceived as peripheral by the students, by incorporating it into the text to serve as a learning tool.

To begin the discussion of chemistry rapidly, the traditional first chapter introducing units, significant figures, conversion factors, dimensional analysis, and so on, has been reorganized. The material has been placed in the chapters where the relevant concepts are first introduced, thus providing three advantages:

  1. Eliminates the tedium of the traditional approach, which introduces mathematical operations at the outset, and thus avoids the perception that chemistry is a mathematics course;
  2. Avoids the early introduction of operations such as logarithms and exponents, which are typically not encountered again for several chapters and may easily be forgotten when they are needed; and
  3. Provides a review for those students who have already had relatively sophisticated high school chemistry and math courses, although the sections are designed primarily for students unfamiliar with the topic.

Consider this text for your course if you are interested in In summary, a text that represents a step in the evolution of general chemistry texts toward one that reflects the increasing overlap between chemistry and other disciplines. Most importantly, if you want a text that discusses exciting and relevant aspects of biological, environmental, and materials science that are usually relegated to the last few chapters, in a format that allows the you to tailor the emphasis to the needs of the class. Request your desk copy today.

About the Contributors


Bruce A. Averill grew up in New England. He then received his B.S. with high honors in chemistry at Michigan State University in 1969, and his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at MIT in 1973. After three years as an NIH and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at Brandeis University and the University of Wisconsin, he began his independent academic career at Michigan State University in 1976.

He was promoted in 1982, after which he moved to the University of Virginia, where he was promoted to Professor in 1988. In 1994, Dr. Averill moved to the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands as Professor of Biochemistry. He then returned to the United States to the University of Toledo in 2001, where he was a Distinguished University Professor. He was then named a Jefferson Science Policy Fellow at the U.S. State Department, where he remained for several years as a senior energy consultant. He is currently the founder and senior partner of Strategic Energy Security Solutions, which creates public/private partnerships to ensure global energy security. Dr. Averill’s academic research interests are centered on the role of metal ions in biology. He is also an expert on cyber-security.

In his European position, Dr. Averill headed a European Union research network comprised of seven research groups from seven different European countries and a staff of approximately fifty research personnel. In addition, he was responsible for the research theme on Biocatalysis within the E. C. Slater Institute of the University of Amsterdam, which consisted of himself as head and a team of 21 professionals, ranging from associate professors to masters students at any given time.

Dr. Averill’s research has attracted a great deal of attention in the scientific community. His published work is frequently cited by other researchers, and he has been invited to give more than 100 presentations at educational and research institutions and at national and international scientific meetings. Among his numerous awards, Dr. Averill has been an Honorary Woodrow Wilson Fellow, an NSF Predoctoral Fellow, an NIH and NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, and an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow; he has also received an NSF Special Creativity Award.

Over the years, Dr. Averill has published more than 135 articles dealing with chemical, physical, and biological subjects in refereed journals, and he has also published 15 chapters in books and more than 80 abstracts from national and international meetings. In addition, he has co-edited a graduate text on catalysis, and he has taught courses at all levels, including general chemistry, biochemistry, advanced inorganic, and physical methods.

Patricia Eldredge was raised in the U.S. diplomatic service, and has traveled and lived around the world. She has degrees from the Ohio State University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Virginia, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she obtained her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry following several years as an analytical research chemist in industry. In addition, she has advanced offshore sailing qualifications from both the Royal Yachting Association in Britain and the American Sailing Association.

In 1989, Dr. Eldredge was named the Science Policy Fellow for the American Chemical Society. While in Washington, D.C., she examined the impact of changes in federal funding priorities on academic research funding. She was awarded a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship with Oak Ridge Associated Universities, working with the U.S. Department of Energy on heterogeneous catalysis and coal liquefaction. Subsequently, she returned to the University of Virginia as a Research Scientist and a member of the General Faculty.

In 1992, Dr. Eldredge relocated to Europe for several years. While there, she studied advanced Maritime Engineering, Materials, and Oceanography at the University of Southampton in England, arising from her keen interest in naval architecture.

Upon her return to the United States in 2002, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor and a Senior Research Scientist at the University of Toledo. Her research interests included the use of protein scaffolds to synthesize biologically relevant clusters. Dr. Eldredge has published more than a dozen articles dealing with synthetic inorganic chemistry and catalysis, including several seminal studies describing new synthetic approaches to metal-sulfur clusters. She has also been awarded a patent for her work on catalytic coal liquefaction.