General Chemistry: Principles, Patterns, and Applications
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
Conditions of Use
The text is designed to serve biological and biomedical students, engineering students, general education students, health sciences students, read more
The text is designed to serve biological and biomedical students, engineering students, general education students, health sciences students, pre-medical science students, and science majors requiring at least one year course in general chemistry and the text contains all of the required material and topics to accomplish this task. This textbook is a precursor to students who will be studying organic I chemistry and those students who may have to study advanced inorganic chemistry after the freshman and sophomore years, even the former section is too short in nature. There are many stimulus materials in the form of cartoons/figures, but some of their quality is not up to standard. The text lacks a table of contents, index or a glossary and the lack of these entities is a serious deficiency. There are some very serious formatting issues which may have been the result of converting from a .doc or .docx format to a .pdf format and these the errors make sections of this text illegible. The online version has a warning in some places, i.e., “Sorry! The image is permanently unavailable.” The instructor will have to spend significant time correcting these format errors and very little time would be left for teaching the material. There are also formatting problems with subscripts in chemical formulas NOT appearing as subscripts, again a formatting issue. This issue is more predominant in the pdf version, where fractions are not shown. It would have been wise for the authors to use Equation Editor to write mathematical equations and use ChemDraw for the structures and major equations (followed by saving the files in the .tiff format). The pdf version is way too long (2.365 pages in total). This is very expensive ($$$) for printing and very difficult for reading.
The textbook has some errors in conjunction with the formatting mentioned in question 1 from above. One case is where the electronic configurations of Cr and Cu are not correct. In another case, the magnitude and the units are not separated by a space, e.g., 25°C should be written as 25 °C. The history of chemistry is NOT accurate as this began in Africa/Egypt, where khemica is an ancient Egyptian word for chemistry. The history of chemistry should have been researched as the history of chemistry is very biased towards Europeans versus other races who really have been practicing chemistry for many years.
The text and its examples are both relevant and timeless; the classic Haber-Bosch Process for the production of ammonia is an example. Topics such as thermochemistry, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry are some of the topics that I learned as a high school student at The Lodge School in Barbados in the 1980s. Such topics will be around for many years to come. One thing to note, If instructors adopting this textbook had access to the original document as a MS Word document; then required updates would be simple and straightforward; as editing the textbook in converting a .pdf file to a MS Word document would create many problems, all due to the points made in question 1 above.
The textbook is more than adequate in terms of clarity, however some of the example calculations would benefit from additional formatting as soon as possible. It is best to use Equation Editor to write the answers, and show the answers and equations, line by line, where dimensional analysis would be easier to understand. A good example is in the use of this problem: Ethanol has an enthalpy of vaporization of 42.3 kJ/mol. The compound has a vapor pressure of 1.00 atm at 78.3 °C. At what temperature is the vapor pressure equal to 0.500 atm? (R = 8.314 J/K mol). Also, the calculations involving percentage abundances should be rewritten. Note that calculations involving moles, molar masses, the use of Avogadro’s constant should have been organized in a better fashion. The oxidation number of a proton and a hydride wasn’t clear. The textbook needs some overhaul in some areas, especially the topic involving transition metal chemistry.
The textbook is very consistent in terminology and presentation, even with all of the errors and formatting within.
The lack of a table of contents prevents the textbook from being easily reorganized and/or realigned. All of the typical topics for a year-long general chemistry course are present, but having a table of contents the textbook would be very modular. Personally, chapter 8 should have been merged with chapter 2. All thermochemical topics and problems should have been in one chapter. A chapter with covalent and ionic bonds should have presented along with Lewis dot structures. A more definitive chapter on mathematical concepts should have been the first chapter, inclusive of logarithms, indices, standard notation, and significant figures, and some brief statistical analysis.
It seems as if the authors have preferred their own organization/structure/flow preferences for the general chemistry course they have taught in the past! This text should have been written in such a manner that it would be fairly easy to customize the content to fit a particular instructor’s preferences. See my answer for question 6. Some of the topics could have been reorganized and be combined as some appear to be segregated. The last chapter involving organic chemistry was tacked on and appeared to be rushed to make a comprehensive textbook.
Simply put; there are just too many errors in equation (both chemical and mathematical) formatting to make this text useable. See my answer to question 1.
The textbook contains one grammatical error, where consistently, the authors began sentences with the word “because”. It would be wise for the authors to have an English proof reader read this online textbook and correct this and all grammatical errors. We need to have future STEM scientists write manuscripts and textbooks that are free of grammatical errors.
This is a chemistry textbook that will be very useful for all races as chemistry is a universal science.
As an instructor at an extensive research and teaching institution with a significant minority population (34%) and a large number of first generation students and military veterans, the costs of a college education is a significant issue. As such, we at ODU, are always looking for ways to lower the cost of their education without a compromise in quality. I am very excited to learn of the Open Textbook Library as a method of reducing textbook costs, and was hopeful that this textbook would have met the needs of such students. Unfortunately, at this moment in time, because of the significant formatting issues and the way the content is presented, I am unable to recommend this text to the instructors who teach at the freshman level. If in the future the problems I have highlighted in this review are corrected, I would be willing to recommend this textbook to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Old Dominion University.
There are two versions of this text, an online version and a pdf version, with a significant difference in quality between them. The pdf version read more
There are two versions of this text, an online version and a pdf version, with a significant difference in quality between them. The pdf version does not have a table of contents, glossary, appendix or index, making it extremely difficult to navigate, and leaving out the reference aspect of a textbook. The online version, on the other hand, contains all of these things, and follows the table of contents accordingly. The online controls allow you to click to the previous chapter/section, the next chapter/section or back to the table of contents, making it quite easy to navigate.
Again, there is a difference between the online version and the pdf one. The online version is formatted correctly, so that mathematical equations and calculations line up appropriately and all symbols, superscripts, etc. are displayed correctly. This formatting is lost in the pdf version, making it difficult to follow the examples even as a professor in the subject. These accuracy issues apply only due to formatting in the pdf version. I found no inaccurate information, calculations or equations when reading through the online version.
As general chemistry concepts are not changing, I find no longevity issues. The examples given are relevant to the real world, and tie in nicely with things that the students are better able to understand. The only issue would be those formatting ones that would be necessary updates for the pdf version.
The text itself is clear and well written, but again, the formatting within the pdf version makes it hard to understand and follow. Again, the online version is much better, but I cannot expect all of my students to remain online to read their textbook.
Terminology and framework is consistent. I did not find any significant changes in how the material was presented or the terms used.
The online version is easy to parse into small sections or pieces, enabling you to assign different sections at different points in time. The pdf version would be impossible, as there is no table of contents, and it is trial and error with a lot of scrolling to find out where you are. There are no additional indicators or labels of section numbers or chapters except at the beginning of each chapter or section. If the examples or exercises in the sections and chapters were numbered with the chapter and section, that'd make it a lot easier.
The topics are presented in a logical order for a typical science major oriented curriculum. The flow is good.
Navigation and the interface on the online version is good. It allows the reader to click to skip back to the previous chapter/section or ahead to the next, as well as back to the table of contents, all in one click from a menu that stays at the top of the window. Occasionally, when you are scrolling through worked examples with equations or calculations, that top navigation menu is visible, but you cannot click on it. This issue stops when you scroll away from those areas. There are also images and figures within the online version that show up as "permanently unavailable". The pdf version is very difficult to navigate, and the lack of formatting makes the text blend together and is difficult and monotonous to read. The images that are "permanently unavailable" in the online version do show up in the pdf version, but all of the equation and calculation formatting make them show up in a long string of characters, with the loss of any LaTeX or html formatting.
I did not find any significant grammatical errors.
While I did not find anything that was culturally insensitive or offensive, I also did not find much that showed human culture at all.
While the overall text and content of the textbook are the same in both versions, the online version is a much better textbook than the pdf version. The online version has a few issues, such as the missing images/figures, but the formatting and ease of navigation make up for those few instances. The pdf version's lack of formatting, table of contents, glossary, index and appendices make it an unusable textbook. Not everyone is connected to the internet 24/7, so until the pdf version catches up to the online one, I would not use this with my students.
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
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 year General Chemistry course, as well as some of the more popular additional topics that are sometimes covered if there is sufficient time. Although the text can be searched for keywords quite easily, the lack of an index or glossary would make it difficult for a student to use this textbook if they were not familiar enough with the subject to be able to choose appropriate keywords to search.
The content appears to be accurate in its intent; however, the errors and omissions in the .pdf version of the textbook lead to things being wrong (or very difficult for an entry-level student to interpret) in a number of chapters.
The examples in the textbook are both timeless and current, providing a good mixture of “How was this discovered?” and “How do we use this now?” application for the student. Implementing updates could be a challenge given the static nature of the .pdf format, but should be manageable.
The text of this textbook is clearly written and should be quite accessible to entry-level students.
The terminology and voice of the textbook is consistent, although many of the formatting and technical errors can cause problems in this consistency. See for example cases where “delta” is used or subscripts and superscripts are used.
The textbook should be reliably modular, although the errors make it difficult to use in any manner. In addition to the page numbers, the authors and/or publisher should consider putting headers on each page denoting the specific chapter (and topic) of the material.
The organization is appropriate. Structure and flow are significantly disrupted by the formatting and technical errors.
This is a disappointing example of an online open textbook. The formatting is quite simply horrible with many missing figures, repeated sections of the text, poorly or incorrectly formatted figures or equations and other (presumably technical) problems that make the text essentially unusable. Any even cursory review of the text by the authors and/or the publisher would have caught many of these problems before publication.
There are occasional grammatical and typographical errors throughout, but they do not significantly impact the readability of the text.
The figures used in the .pdf version of this textbook are virtually devoid of any humans. While this prevents over- or under-representation on any group, it is disappointing that the authors do not choose to feature the human side of chemistry more prominently, as would be consistent with their stated objectives to make chemistry more relatable to the student. This would also be an opportunity to proactively feature chemists and other scientists from traditionally under-represented groups to serve as aspirational role models for the students using the textbook.
This open textbook is disappointing. Averil has authored some quality texts in the past, so I am unsure if the problems lie with the author, or the publisher, or just the randomness of software interpretation when uploading and downloading large files. I suspect that all parties involved in the publication of this open textbook bear responsibility for the poor quality product they have provided. Contributions of this poor quality do an extreme disservice to the open textbook community by giving naysayers an example of what appears to be shoddily pieced together content. I downloaded the .pdf file of this textbook and opened it offline. (This is the only format available directly from the University of Minnesota open textbook webpage.) If that mode of access is the root of some of the technical problems/errors I observe, then I suspect the same problems will be ubiquitous with students attempting to use this open textbook. I went to the publisher’s website and found the .html version of the book to be better (it has a table of contents/index, and many of the problems with figures are resolved), but it only took until the middle of Chapter 1 to find the message “Sorry this image is permanently unavailable” in place of what should have been Figure 1.6 through 1.9. The .docx version is consistent with the .pdf version with many (perhaps all) of the same errors. The stated philosophy of the textbook is sound, and I appreciate its intent. My approach to general chemistry is similar and I would welcome a reliable textbook (especially an open textbook) that aligns well with my preferences. The technical errors in this textbook are glaring and should be unacceptable. I would not consider using this open textbook for my classes, and furthermore, I would encourage the authors, the publisher, and the University of Minnesota to remove this content from the web unless and until it can be presented in a more responsible fashion
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
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 required material and topics to accomplish this task. In the preface, the authors list eight specific objectives they wish to accomplish with this text and I feel that they do indeed accomplish their goal. The text contains numerous interesting "real world" examples of applied chemistry (fireworks and their composition being one of my favorite) which will act as effective "hooks" to capture student interest. These examples coupled with classroom demonstrations (various salts dissolved in methanol and ignited, to explore the colors of fireworks) have proven effective in capturing student interest. The text lacks a table of contents, index or a glossary and the lack of these is a serious impediment to students. There are some very serious formatting issues which may have been the result of converting from a .doc or .docx format to a .PDF and these the errors make sections of this text unusable. This is strikingly apparent in chapter 14, Chemical Kinetics where many operators (e, superscript, etc) have been replaced with blank squares. The instructor would need to spend significant time correcting these format errors and very little time would be left for teaching! There are also formatting problems with subscripts in chemical formulas NOT appearing as subscripts, again a formatting issue.
If one were to ignore all of the formatting errors present in the text (see question #1 above) then the accuracy would be more than adequate. In assigning the accuracy score I am NOT including the formatting issues.
The text and it's examples are both relevant and timeless; the classic Haber-Bosch Process for the production of ammonia is but one example. I appreciated the example of the existence high levels of iridium in 66 million year old sediments being major evidence for the asteroid impact that may have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs, something my students can appreciate and relate to. The author uses the above iridium example in a very nice discussion of the scientific method. If instructor's adopting this text had access to the original document (.doc or .docx) then required updates would be easy and straightforward; editing the text as a .pdf file would be to burdensome.
The text has more than adequate clarity, however some of the example calculations would benefit from additional formatting. An example is determining the empirical formula of Penicillin; the calculations are written in a linear fashion such that the average general chemistry student would be lost trying to follow the example given. Also the formatting problems discussed in question #1 make many equations so confusing as to be incomprehensible to a general chemistry student
The text is quite consistent in terminology and presentation.
The lack of a table of contents prevents the text from being easily reorganized and/or realigned. / / All of the typical topics for a year long general chemistry course are present and with an adequate table of contents the text would be very modular.
It seems like every instructor has their preferred organization/structure/flow preferences for the general chemistry course they teach! This text is written in such a manner that it would be fairly easy to customize the content to fit the particular instructors preferences.
Simply put; there are just to many errors in equation (both chemical and mathematical) formatting to make this text useable.
I see no grammatical issues.
Not applicable. This is a chemistry text.
Teaching at a community college with a significant minority population and a large number of first generation students where the costs of a college education is a significant issue, I am always looking for ways to lower the cost of their education without compromising quality. I was excited to learn of the Open Textbook Library as a method of reducing textbook costs and since a major part of my teaching load is teaching the year long general chemistry sequence I was hopeful that this text would meet my needs. Unfortunately, because of the significant formatting issues present I will be unable to utilize this text. If in the future the problems I have highlighted in this review are corrected, I would be willing to adopt this text and I would be eager to hear my students reaction to an Open Textbook Library product.
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:
- 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;
- 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
- 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.