Well, this brings us to the end of this lesson. We covered quite a bit of material that is fundamental to an understanding of chemistry.
One of the first concepts we looked at is that there are different types of knowledge. You should, of course, be able to distinguish between observations and inferences. You should also be able to describe the differences between such things as scientific laws and theories.
Another concept was that theories have to be evaluated and not just accepted as fact. With that in mind, how does Dalton's theory check out? First, did it explain established observations? Yes, it explained why elements combined in fixed ratios to form compounds (Law of Constant Composition). Did it explain new observations? Yes, with some modifications, it was able to explain the Law of Combining Volumes. Did it predict new observations? Yes, it led Dalton to formulate the Law of Simple Multiple Proportions. What it simple? Yes, but as more was discovered about atoms, it was found to be too simple.
We talked about Dalton's concept of atoms and Avogadro's concept of molecules, about elements, atomic weights, compounds, symbols and formulas. All of these are fundamental aspects of chemistry that will be used throughout this course.
We also dealt with different kinds of formulas and a host of calculations. These are not complex calculations, but you need to be proficient at them. Before long they will be taken for granted. If you have taken a chemistry course before this, you may already have been proficient at them.
As you finish studying this lesson, go back through the objectives and make sure that you can do all of them and then take the self-quiz for the lesson. Remember that you have a problem set and a lab report to be turned in for this lesson.
Distance Learning questions
Clackamas Community College