Learn Chemistry Fast
(from someone who can actually explain it)
Chris is a Stanford-educated tutor with over 10 years experience tutoring Chemistry to students of all abilities, from students struggling to get from a C to a B, to go-getters trying to move an A- up to an A, to struggling students just hoping to pass. In that time he got a lot of experience learning how to explain this stuff in a way it actually makes sense to normal people. Through his videos he has helped countless students, and he can do the same for you.
I. Units, Sig Figs & General Science Stuff
This chapter covers the basics of scientific notation, both converting it to regular numbers and back again. Decimals, huge numbers, multiplying scientific notation numbers together, positive exponents, negative exponents, "base 10", etc. it's all covered.
Sig figs. This chapter will teach them to you, but it's your job to remember to use them in every answer for the rest of the year or you'll lose half your points. Seriously.
The process of converting units, often called Dimensional Analysis, is one of the most important skills in science, and like sig figs you'll need it for the rest of the year.
This chapter covers the general concepts of density and buoyancy, as well as how to calculate density and flotation forces on submerged and floating objects.
Converting between degrees Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin. Also covered: absolute zero, and why you always want to use Kelvin for gas problems.
This chapter introduces standard deviation, tells you what the heck it is and how to calculate it, and relates it to the normal distribution.
Not a long chapter, but one which explains something that's probably on your next lab report.
II. Elements & Compounds
These videos are an intro to chemistry. First we'll explain what the heck atoms, molecules and compounds are, then we'll explain how temperature makes a bunch of molecules decide to go from being a solid, to liquid, to gas.
This chapter shows you what everything on the periodic table means, including the families such as Alkalai Metals, Alkaline Earth Metals, Halogens, Transition Metals, and Noble Gases. It also explains how to tell which ions atoms form.
These two topics don't have much in common except that students tend to confuse them, so that's why they're together.
An explanation of the two types of bonds which can hold atoms together: ionic and molecular (covalent).
Formulas and names of covalent compounds, names and balancing formulas of ionic compounds, names of acids, and common compounds you should know like Mother Eats Peanut Butter.
How to find an empirical formula, how to derive a molecular formula from the empirical formula, and how to find molecular formula from percent composition.
This chapter covers Lewis dot structures of atoms, ions, molecules, and polyatomic ions.
In this chapter we use Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion, or "VSEPR", to figure out what shape molecules will have based on their Lewis Structures.
This chapter covers how to find the formal charge on the atoms in a molecule. If this isn't on your syllabus, don't bother.
This chapter outlines electronegativity, and explains how to use it to determine if individual covalent bonds are polar or nonpolar, as well as whether whole molecules are polar.
This chapter covers everything about why particular elements and compounds form solids, liquids, or gases, from the forces that make them want to "stick together" to the kinetic heat/rattling which makes them want to break apart.
Just a bunch of vocab: combustion, redox, synthesis, oxidation, decomposition, exothermic, endothermic, rust, acid-base.
Also covered: translating chemical names into balanced reactions.
This chapter covers all these problems, from basic mole ratios and mole-mole types to the more advanced mass-mass (gram-gram).
Once you know stoichiometry, there's all kinds of exciting and complicated questions your teacher can ask you on tests and lab reports!
This chapter explains Kinetic Molecular Theory (KMT), defines pressure & density, and explains how molar volume and molar density at STP (22.4 liters) can make problems really short.
This topic almost always comes in the form of questions about the rate of effusion and rate of diffusion.
Ideal Gas Law, Combined Gas Law, Boyle's Law, Charles' Law, Gay-Lussac's Law, and how to tell them apart.
This chapter explains partial pressures, and works the most common types of problems.
This chapter covers a molar volume shortcut you can use for stoichiometry when your reactants are all gases.
The history of how scientists figured out that these things called "atoms" consist of a clump of protons with electrons orbiting: Rutherford's Gold Foil Experiment, "plum pudding" model, and Bohr.
This chapter explains isotopes, the most common problem types, and percent composition.
This chapter shows you how to tell if one atom or ion is bigger than another using the periodic table.
Also covered are Hund's Rule, the Pauli Exclusion Principle, and shortcuts you can use to streamline electronic configurations.
Sort of like the quantum version of x-y coordinates for electrons, these four coordinates give the shell, orbital type, sub-orbital and spin of every electron in an atom (Pauli Exclusion Principle).
This chapter covers wavelength, frequency, electromagnetic spectrum (E&M), Planck's constant, energy of photons, and electron volts (eV, keV).
This chapter explains how to calculate the energy, wavelength and frequency of photons which can be absorbed or emitted by electrons in hydrogen, using orbital energies or Rydberg's equation.
This chapter explains what ionization energy and electron affinity are, how to predict them based on the periodic table, and how to calculate them using Rydberg's equation.
Also covered: parts per million (ppm), parts per billion (ppb), mass ratio (wt/wt), mole ratio (X), mass percent, and those dilution problems where you have to calculate the concentration of a solution after it's been combined with another.
This chapter covers the definition of electrolytes, how they dissolve or dissociate in water, and what the heck "strong" and "weak" mean when dealing with acids and bases.
This chapter explains how to use solubility charts to determine if ionic solids are soluble or insoluble, whether they precipitate, and how to write net ionic equations.
Freezing point depression, boiling point elevation. That's about it.
Osmotic pressure caused by semi-permeable membranes: what is it, why does it happen, and how to do osmosis calculations with ideal gas law.
Specific heat, bomb calorimeters, coffee cup calorimeters, heat of fusion, heat of vaporization, boiling, condensation... This chapter is packed!
This chapter introduces equilibrium and explains how it applies to a couple common situations everyone is familiar with: dissolving sugar in water, and water evaporating to its vapor pressure in a closed container. The rest of the videos explain common questions involving Le Chatalier's Principle with respect to concentration, pressure and temperature.
This chapter introduces equilibrium laws, then shows you how to plug in numbers, calculate equilibrium constants, and use quotients to figure out if a system is at equilibrium.
ICE tables (initial, change, equilibrium) allow us to use a bit of algebra to determine the concentrations at equilibrium when we aren't given the equilibrium constant. Solubility products allow us to calculate the solubility of compounds which would have been considered "insoluble" in the solubility rules chapter.
This chapter covers everything about reaction rates. An introductory video covers the factors you'll need to know for multiple choice and essay questions, then three more videos explain the three ways you'll need to be able to calculate reaction rate: graphs, stoichiometry, and rate laws.
VIII. Acids & Bases
Arrhenius vs Bronsted-Lowry vs Lewis definitions of acids & bases. The hydronium ion. Conjugate acid-base pairs.
This chapter covers how to calculate pH and pOH from molarity, as well as how to calculate molarity from pH. Also covered is how to convert between pH and pOH, and why water auto-ionizes to pH 7.
This chapter explains what is meant by a weak vs strong acid or base (it's not about concentration). It also explains how to use ICE tables to solve problems involving Ka and Kb.
Neutralization refers to a reaction where acid and base cancel each other out, usually by forming water. Titration refers to performing a neutralization experiment in the laboratory under controlled conditions, and calculating stuff based on the outcome.
IV. Redox Reactions
This chapter covers what redox and oxidation numbers are, and it shows you how to calculate the oxidation numbers for each atom on a compound. Also covered are oxidation numbers of monoatomic and polyatomic ions.
This video covers a very specific type of problem which most chemistry students find confusing: labeling the oxidizing and reducing agents.
This chapter covers one of the most complicated types of problems you'll find in your first year of chemistry: balancing reduction oxidation equations using the ion-electron method.