Chemistry for Idiots, Humans and Rebels/Mole Concept


Need a textbook like introduction here.

Chemistry can be a daunting subject for even the best students, and let's face it, statistically, most of us are not the best students. Fortunately for us, there is hope! Chemistry does not have to be a giant confusing pit of pain and despair if we take just a few minutes to break down and understand what the Chemist's mumbo-jumbo ACTUALLY means. "Chemistry for Idiots, Humans and Rebels" is here to provide a resource that explains Chemistry plainly, nicely, and with application.

Here are the topics that have to be included (not an exhaustive list!):

(Please note that the pages on the following topics have been copied from wikipedia. See the talk page for more details!)

Themes and OutlineEdit

Atomic Mass UnitEdit

Outline : -

  • What is mass? What is atomic mass? (Preferably with a "duh" style) (for idiots)
  • Mass Number and atomic mass, the subtle difference. Introduce weighted average. Need a sample problem.
    • An "investigatory" text - asking the students to look at a table and figure out why Carbon does not have exact 12 as its atomic mass number, but C12 HAS! Introduce C14!
    • A good reference here can be to carbon 14 - how it matters in carbon dating. Plus more on isotopes and add "see also" links.
  • Definition of the AMU
  • Make the reader "feel" the difference between amu and grams!
  • Sample problems making clear the following facts :
    • relation between amu and C12 isotope
    • Mass Number and atomic mass
    • ...

Molecular MassEdit

  • Molecular mass = mass of the molecule! (Duh statement again!)
    • Maybe a nice way to introduce this would be to question the reader!
  • What about stuff that is not molecule? Formula mass!
  • Sample problems on molecular mass.
    • Need to have a good decription, with an analogy to packages and possibly pop references.
    • For example a combo meal, or a gadget combo, anything. This is for:
      • Keeping the students awake!
      • Making them think about the introduced topics rather than just serve it to them on a platter!
    • Note : If anyone someday starts collaborating on this project, we will have to figure out a way for streamlining inputs on text boxes, main text, sample problems, illustrations etc.


A lot of people might not agree with what I have said. A lot of them might counter argue by saying that this is too much, that formula mass/molecular mass is pretty straightforward! Yes it is and yet there is a problem. People fail to imagine it properly. People fail to realiza that it is nothing but elementary calculation that they have already been doing since ages, only difference being that the things in the word problem have different names now!

This in itself might be a good text box!

Sample ProblemsEdit

Molecular masses of water, liquid bromine, sugar, salt and other such relevant and "exotic compounds!

Note : Someone actually needs to start typing these problem sets! That might be me, that might be someone else who comes in at a later stage in the preparation of this book!

The MoleEdit

  • The mole is the standard unit of measurement, under the International System of Units (SI), for amount of substance. It is defined as the amount of chemical substance that contains as many representative particles as in 12 grams of Carbon-12.
  • Tell them bluntly in simpler English.
  • Ask questions to the reader, that force him to think about the simple terms in the definition.
    • question 1
    • question 2
    • question 3
  • Add a few introductory questions to exercise their brains, avoiding TMI/Too Much Information!
  • Difference between number of atoms and moles of atoms.
  • Avagadro's number and dozen, scores, tens, hundreds, lacs. Possibly a good place for a cartoon.


Introductory QuestionsEdit

  • How big Avagadro's number is!
  • How small atoms are!
  • Conversions!

Concentration and amountEdit

  • Expand on the case of hot chocolate. More chocolatey and more chocolate powder needed. Good way to introduce concentration and relate it with molalities. (for idiots)
    • Keep this a recurring theme throughout the intro text and in a few problems.
      • More acid (can react with more base) and more acidic is a good example.
      • More base and more basic.
      • More colour required vs. more strongly coloured solution
  • Need some sample problems! (for humans)
  • A box text can be to introduce and relate to density, specific gravity, cost and extrapolating to intrinsic and extrinsic properties. (for rebels)
  • Molarity Vs. Molality : The whole deal about thermal expansion. (for humans) and their implications in thermodynamics and a few interesting examples (for rebels)