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Learning chemistry from scratch.

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by I Adore Vic, May 18, 2008.

  1. Hey all. Just wondering if anyone here knows of any good courses that teach the basics of chemistry.

    Looking at enrolling in Melb Uni's Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation in a few years time and would like to build up my very limited knowledge of chemistry beforehand. Melb Uni run an intensive 2wk chemistry bridging course which I'll be doing when the time comes and is particularly useful for those enrolling in the CCMC, but I think I need to start right at the start, with the basics.

    So does anyone know of any courses relevant to what I'm after?

  2. This should explain everything.
  3. i know some basics :-w
  4. Wow thanks guys. You've both been a great help. :p Ktulu - I risked an epileptic fit to watch that! :LOL:
  5. i really do hope i'm not the only person who gets the joke about the single atom in a box...

    To the OP, just go to a book store and look at the high school science books, pick out one that you can understand and start from there :)
  6. Some of these might be helpful - and I'm sure there are enough of us here who can answer any questions you might have.
  7. Depending on your academic background, you may benefit from a bridging course offered by most Universities.
  8. I must admit to some uncertainty. :?

    To the OP - there are two courses on the Short Courses Victoria website, one is a chemistry bridging course run by LaTrobe Uni, the other is Chemistry for Life Sciences run by Open Universities Australia.
  9. Thanks pro-pilot. As I said in my original post, Melb Uni offer the chemistry bridging course. It's an intensive 2wk course which is focused on Materials conservation. I'd like to utilise my time before then by building up my knowledge on chemistry. There's a bit to do before I can enrol at the centre and I will be spending a few yrs doing a Bachelor of Arts (Art History) before then, but now is the perfect time to study the basics of chemistry.

    Hey ginji - that thought crossed my mind. I've got a daughter in Yr 12 this year and another in Yr 9 and another in Yr 7, so plenty of Science texts lying around. Best thing to do is put aside some time a night or two a week to go through them. Will be beneficial to the girls too cos I can ask them questions about stuff I don't know and they (hopefully!) do. :)

    And nope- don't get the atom in a box thing. Totally didn't get any of that vid. haha. Will come back and tell you all about it when I finally do.

    Thanks for the link Bravus. Wil have a look through it - already got 'The complete idiots guide to chemistry' on hold at my local lib. :)

    Cheers guys.
  10. Coz I like ya Rosie, I've changed my mind about being completely useless but at least entertaining...

    Introduction to Chemistry - This site is an introduction to chemistry that would be covered in a first year chemistry course.

    ^I have no idea of the accuracy of the content, but it seems comprehensive and complete for free online info.

    An online introduction to Chemistry

    General Chemistry online

    ^found from General Chemistry for Students ... which appears to go from introduction to slightly more advanced stuff.

    Good luck!
    I did Chem in yrs 11 and 12... great fun and I can make gunpowder. Stuffed if I can remember how to balance equations with moles etc :)
  11. Rosie if you PM me an email address I can send you some of the notes I developed for training plant operators which covers the very basics of chemistry, as well as some of the more advanced stuff (it's a 5 day course).
    You just have to promise not to go making copies or using it to train people yourself ;).
  12. Last year I did chemistry at night school through a pre-tertiary course offered through TAFE (CIT). One semester's worth of chemistry starting from the basics covering everything from structures to bonding, pracs, everything you did in Yr11-12. You might be able just to attend the chemistry component of that or another Yr12 course. I learnt heaps through mine.
  13. Good work with the interest in chemistry. I love our nation's pointy headed boffins and I raise my burette skyward in an act of respect. Now before I get too jaded and claim that all chemistry boils down to is what does it cost, do you have it in stock, is it NICNAS registered and can you sell it cheaper I will try to give some good advice.

    I would do a quick run thru of your daughters text books from high school and do the two week bridging course offered by the Uni. Try to concentrate on just one thing every night such as acids and bases, bonding and organic chemistry. It's really not very hard, and I actually enjoy learning this kind of stuff myself.

    I am aware that there are some current chemists and even some ex-chemists here and they may also reccomend something different. If you don't understand anything at the bridgeing course, ASK them to explain it. Most of them are pretty good and will take the extra time with you if you put in a little effort yourself as well.

    Good luck with it Rosie, and may your indicators tell of chemical equilibrium...
  14. (probably not that helpful, but just something I was thinking about)

    Big Ideas of Chemistry:

    1. Everything is made out of chemicals - it's not just pure coloured liquids with funny names in bottles, everything in the universe that has substance is a chemical substance, so chemistry is about everything.

    2. Structures at the atomic and molecular levels explain properties at the observable level - the point of the science of chemistry is to explain what we can see in terms of what we can't see.

    3. It's all about the electrons - who has them? who wants them? who wants them more? what kind of deals are struck to donate, receive or share them?

    4. A bond is a debt - when a bond is formed, energy is given off. In order to break that bond, energy must be supplied.
  15. Gold isn't made of chemicals :p.
  16. scchlapp!! That's the version for lay people and Year 8 students, not for chemists... the chemists' version would probably say something like 'All substances are chemical substances'. (Just quietly I think there are probably a few chemistry lecturers who would be well served by thinking about these Big Ideas in simple terms - it would help them explain better.)
  17. Yes but it's confusing to explain something one way, if you have to then re-explain it the correct way later on. Problem is most of what people see/feel/use in the real world (wood, rocks, metals, etc.) are not "chemicals" - because they lack a definite composition. So not all substances are chemical substances.
    Chemistry is in fact the study of "matter" - so that's the better term to use if you're chasing something fairly broad/generic. Also makes it clear that it's not just about the stereotypical liquid chemicals in a flask.
  18. Oh and Rosie before you go tackling chem textbooks I'd recommend reading a copy of Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything". It gives a really good, interesting overview of Science, including chemistry, in a very non-scientific way (since most of his other works are actually on language and travel).
  19. Hey JD - funny you should mention Bryson's book cos it was on the weeding table the other day and I ummed and aahed about taking it and decided not to cos I had enough books in my bag. Will grab it next tiem I"m in.

    Thanks for the suggestions and links etc guys. Heaps of info there to keep me busy. I figure I'll do the basic learning now and then, like VTRElmarco said, when it's time, do the bridging course.

    I'll also come back and reread this thread cos there are two levels to it and I'm only getting one at the moment. :LOL:
  20. Great another philosopher claiming to know everything about science :roll:
    These are the guys that they recruit into the IPCC.
    Unfortunately by translating science into ‘layman’s’ terms, these dudes intrinsically get things wrong, plenty wrong.
    But what’s facts in the way of a good story.