Chemists design and produce a vast range of materials for many purposes, including for fuels, cosmetics, building materials and pharmaceuticals. As the science of chemistry has developed over time, there has been an increasing realisation that the properties of a material depend on, and can be explained by, the material’s structure. A range of mode...ls at the atomic and molecular scale enable explanation and prediction of the structure of materials and how this structure influences properties and reactions. In this unit, students relate matter and energy in chemical reactions, as they consider the breaking and reforming of bonds as new substances are produced. Students can use materials that they encounter in their lives as a context for investigating the relationships between structure and properties.
    Through the investigation of appropriate contexts, students explore how evidence from multiple disciplines and individuals and the development of ICT and other technologies have contributed to developing understanding of atomic structure and chemical bonding. They explore how scientific knowledge is used to offer reliable explanations and predictions, and the ways in which it interacts with social, economic, cultural and ethical factors.
    Students use science inquiry skills to develop their understanding of patterns in the properties and composition of materials. They investigate the structure of materials by describing physical and chemical properties at the macroscopic scale, and use models of structure and primary bonding at the atomic and sub-atomic scale to explain these properties. They are introduced to the mole concept as a means of quantifying matter in chemical reactions.
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    Chemistry Articles, Chemistry Demonstrations

    IN SEARCH OF MORE SOLUTIONS 2000

    J Taylor The Royal Society of Chemistry The following three problems have been reproduced (with permission from The Royal Society of Chemistry) from 'In Search of More Solutions, More Ideas from Problem Solving Activities' published and distributed by the Royal Society of Chemistry. ANY GLUCOSE? Design a biosensor to detect glucose. Glucose can be ...
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    IN SEARCH OF MORE SOLUTIONS 99

    J Taylor The Royal Society of Chemistry The following three problems have been reproduced (with permission from The Royal Society of Chemistry) from 'In Search of More Solutions, More Ideas from Problem Solving Activities' published and distributed by the Royal Society of Chemistry. 6. FROM MILK TO CURDS AND WHEY. WHICH ENZYME? Find out which of th...
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    MICROSCALE CHEMISTRY 2000

    J Skinner The Royal Society of Chemistry The following four experiments have been reproduced (with permission from The Royal Society of Chemistry) from "Microscale Chemistry" published and distributed by the Royal Society of Chemistry. 4. THE REACTION OF METALS WITH ACIDS In this experiment you will be looking at the reactions between various metal...
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    MICROSCALE CHEMISTRY

    J Skinner The Royal Society of Chemistry The following four experiments have been reproduced (with permission from The Royal Society of Chemistry) from "Microscale Chemistry" published and distributed by the Royal Society of Chemistry. 3. OBSERVING CHEMTCAL CHANGES In this experiment you will be observing the changes that occur when you mix solutio...
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    Light Scattering by a Colloid (The Tyndall Effect) - "The Thiosulfate Sunset"

    Description A beam of white light is shone through a solution of sodium thiosulfate and onto a screen. Dilute hydrochloric acid is added to the thiosulfate and colloidal sulfur is formed. The light beam becomes visible in the solution as a bluish 'Tyndall cone' due to light scattered from the colloidal particles. Blue light is scattered more effect...
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    The Thermal Decomposition of Nitrates - "Magic Writing"

    Description A message is written on filter paper with a solution of sodium nitrate and is then dried. Applying a glowing taper to the start of the message makes the treated paper smoulder and the message is revealed as the glow spreads its way through the treated paper only. Apparatus ​ Filter or blotting paper sheets - as large as possible. Wooden...
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    Red, White and Blue

    ​Description A solution of ammonia is poured into each of three beakers which contain (unknown to the audience) a little phenolphthalein, a little lead nitrate solution and a little copper sulfate solution. The beakers' contents turn red, milky white and deep blue respectively. Pouring the contents of the beakers into acid reverses the changes to g...
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    Allotropes of Sulfur

    Apparatus ​ Boiling tubes, 2 Test tube holders Conical flask, 250mL Cork, to fit conical flask Beaker, 250mL Beaker, 1L Petri dish or watch glass. Microscope - ideally a projection or video microscope. Bunsen burner, tripod and gauze, or electric hotplate Heat resistant mat. Filter paper - about 18cm in diameter. Access to a fume cupboard. Chemical...
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    The "Breathalyser" Reaction

    Description A U-tube is packed with orange crystals of potassium dichromate moistened with dilute sulfuric acid. Air saturated with ethanol vapour is blown or sucked over these crystals which turn from brown to green as the alcohol reduces the chromium (VI) to chromium(III). Apparatus ​ One U-tube (length of arm about 10cm). Each arm should have a ...
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    Movement of Ions During Electrolysis

    Description A petri dish containing sodium sulfate solution and bromocresolpurple indicator (yellow in acid, blue in alkali) is placed on an overhead projector. The solution is electrolysed and a blue colour streaming from the cathode shows the movement of hydroxide ions. These can be deflected by a magnetic field and shown to obey the left hand mo...
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    DISCOVERY OF THE STRUCTURE OF THE DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID (DNA) MOLECULE

      In 1968 a book was published in which a very personal account of the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule was presented. It was a popular book aimed at a wide range of readers. The book was entitled "The Double Helix', and was written by James D. Watson, one of the participants in the discovery of a DNA model. It was published by A...
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    Chemical Bonding and the Structure and Properties of Materials

     Introduction: The materials used to make things that we use can be grouped into three classes: ​ Metals Ceramics Polymers These are related to the classification based on the type of chemical bonding (See figure 1): metals (including alloys) involve metallic bonding: ceramics include materials with both ionic and covalent bonds forming networ...
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    Queensland Branch Schools' Chemistry Lecture 1991 Energy and Chemistry

     Introduction Some years ago as an 11th or 12th grade student puzzling over a particularly difficult physics or chemistry problem, I used to wonder whether the study of science was so important. I guess many of you ask yourselves the same question regularly. The decision I made is obvious, but I believe that the question is even more critical ...
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    Origin of the Names of Chemical Elements

    In 1985 David W. Ball published an article in the Journal of Chemical Education on "Elemental Etymology: What's in a Name?"(1). He presented translations of the names of elements. In this present article the etymology and the reason scientist(s) coined a specific name for a newly discovered element are surveyed. The variation in naming customs thro...
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    THE ROLE OF INTERNAL ENERGY AND LOST WORK IN UNDERSTANDING THERMODYNAMIC FUNCTIONS

      A number of recent articles in chemical education have expressed a need for less abstract and a more intuitive approach to the teaching and learning introductory thermodynamics. This article summarises these, and suggests additional strategies for making thermodynamics more user-friendly to the neophyte chemistry student. Gone are the days w...
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    Now the Good News? Part 1: The Cochlear Implant

    Introduction This paper is based on the lecture given to the RACI Chemical Education Division conference held in Queensland in June 1998. The theme was 'Bridging the gap' and three strands were identified -'Bridging the gap between chemistry and the community', 'Bridging the gap between secondary and tertiary 'and 'Bridging the gap to industry'. I ...
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    Western Australia Branch Bayliss Youth Lecture Organic Chemistry - It's Everywhere!

     Introduction Ira Remsen (1846-1927) has often been described as the father of chemical research in America, and it is both amusing and constructive to read about one of his early experiments(2): "While reading a textbook on chemistry, I came upon the statement 'nitric acid acts upon copper'. I was getting tired of reading such absurd stuff an...
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    Why Does Your Apple Go Brown?

     Part 1: The Problem of Enzymic Browning in Foods When most, but not all, fruit and plant tissue is bruised, cut, or damaged it rapidly turns brown or even black; this is seen when you eat an apple or peel a potato. This discolouration is caused by an enzyme called diphenol oxidase (DPO) and this enzyme catalysed reaction is usually highly und...
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    The Structure of the Atom

      Introduction The previous article in this series looked at the development of the atomic theory of matter. The process began with the ancient Greeks and their thoughts on matter and its composition. Experimental results obtained by many people through the succeeding centuries eventually led to the acceptance of atomic theory. A key point in ...
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    Energy for the Future

    Galvani and animal electricity Some history​ Luigi Galvani was an Italian biologist in the 18th century. While performing experiments involving frogs, he made some interesting observations. While cutting a frog's leg, his steel scalpel touched a brass hook that was holding the leg in place. The leg twitched. Galvani was convinced the movement was c...
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