Chemistry Help

Did you ever see a firework display on July Fourth and wonder how it’s possible to produce those beautiful, intricate designs in the air? Have you read about dinosaurs – how they ruled the earth for millions of years and then suddenly disappeared?  Although the extinction happened 65 millions of years ago and may seem unimportant,  could the same thing happen to us? Have you ever wondered why an ice cube floats in a glass of water? Did you know that the “lead” in your pencil is made of the same  substance as the diamond in an engagement ring? Did you ever wonder how a corn plant or a palm tree grows seemingly by magic, or why leaves turn beautiful colors in autumn? Do you know how the battery works to start your car or run your calculator? Surely some of these things and many others in the world around you have intrigued you. The fact is that we can explain all of these things in convincing ways using the models of chemistry and the related physical and life sciences.

Understand the importance of learning chemistry

Although chemistry might seem to have little to do with dinosaurs, knowledge of chemistry was the tool that enabled paleontologist Luis W. Alvarez and his coworkers from the University of California at Berkeley to “crack the case”  of the disappearing dinosaurs. The key was the relatively high level of iridium found in the sediment that represents the boundary between the earth’s Cretaceous and Tertiary periods – the time when the dinosaurs disappeared virtually overnight. The Berkely researchers knew that meteorites also have unusually high iridium content, which led them to suggest that a large meteorite impacted the earth 65 million years ago, causing the climatic changes that wiped out the dinosaurs.

A knowledge of chemistry is useful to almost everyone – chemistry occurs all around us all of the time, and an understanding of chemistry is useful to doctors, lawyers, mechanics, business people, firefighters, and poets among others. Chemistry is important – there is no doubt about that. It lies at the heart of our efforts to produce new materials that make our loves safer and easier, to produce new sources of energy that are abundant and nonpolluting, and to understand and control the many diseases that threaten us and our food supplies. Even if your future career does not require the daily use of chemical principles, your life will be greatly influenced by chemistry.

A strong case can be made that the use of chemistry has greatly enriched all of our lives. However, it is important to understand that the principles of chemistry are inherently neither good nor bad – it’s what we do with this knowledge that really matters. Although humans are clever, resourceful, and concerned about others, they also can be greedy, selfish, and ignorant. In addition, we tend to be shortsighted; we concentrate too much on the present and do not think enough about the long-range implications of our actions. This type of thinking has already caused us a great deal of trouble – severe environmental damage has occurred on many fronts. We cannot place all the responsibility on the chemical companies, because everyone has contributed to these problems. However, it is less important to lay blame than to figure out how to solve these problems.  An important part of the answer must rely on chemistry.

As you can see, learning chemistry is both interesting and important. A chemistry course can do more than simply help you learn the principles of chemistry, however. A major by-product of your study of chemistry is that you will become a better problem solver. One reason chemistry has the reputation of being “tough” is that it often deals with rather complicated systems that require some effort to figure out. Although this might at first seem like a disadvantage, you can turn it to your advantage if you have the right attitude. Recruiters for companies of all types maintain that one of the first things they look for in a prospective employee is the ability to solve problems. We will spend a good deal of time solving various types of problems in this blog by using a systematic, logical approach that will serve you well in solving any kind of problem in any field .

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