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Principles of modern chemistry

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The current model of atomic structure is the quantum mechanical model. Traditional chemistry starts with the study of elementary particles, atoms, molecules, substances, metals, crystals and other aggregates of matter.

This matter can be studied in solid, liquid, or gas states, in isolation or in combination. The interactions, reactions and transformations that are studied in chemistry are usually the result of interactions between atoms, leading to rearrangements of the chemical bonds which hold atoms together. Such behaviors are studied in a chemistry laboratory.

The chemistry laboratory stereotypically uses various forms of laboratory glassware. However glassware is not central to chemistry, and a great deal of experimental (as well as applied/industrial) chemistry is done without it.

A chemical reaction is a transformation of some substances into one or more different substances. The basis of such a chemical transformation is the rearrangement of electrons in the chemical bonds between atoms. It can be symbolically depicted through a chemical equation, which usually involves atoms as subjects. The number of atoms on the left and the right in the equation for a chemical transformation is equal. (When the number of atoms on either side is unequal, the transformation is referred to as a nuclear reaction or radioactive decay.) The type of chemical reactions a substance may undergo and the energy changes that may accompany it are constrained by certain basic rules, known as chemical laws.

Energy and entropy considerations are invariably important in almost all chemical studies. Chemical substances are classified in terms of their structure, phase, as well as their chemical compositions. They can be analyzed using the tools of chemical analysis, e.g. spectroscopy and chromatography. Scientists engaged in chemical research are known as chemists. Most chemists specialize in one or more sub-disciplines.


States of matter. Atomic structure. Thermochemical cycle. Phase. Bonding. Membrane potential. Differences in the concentrations of ions on opposite sides of a cellular membrane lead to a voltage called the membrane potential.

Membrane potential

Typical values of membrane potential are in the range +40 mV to –70 mV. Many ions have a concentration gradient across the membrane, including potassium (K+), which is at a high concentration inside and a low concentration outside the membrane. Sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl−) ions are at high concentrations in the extracellular region, and low concentrations in the intracellular regions. These concentration gradients provide the potential energy to drive the formation of the membrane potential. This voltage is established when the membrane has permeability to one or more ions. In the simplest case, illustrated here, if the membrane is selectively permeable to potassium, these positively charged ions can diffuse down the concentration gradient to the outside of the cell, leaving behind uncompensated negative charges.

Physical basis[edit] Voltage[edit] where. Action potential. As an action potential travels down the axon, there is a change in polarity across the membrane.

Action potential

The Na+ and K+ gated ion channels open and close as the membrane reaches the threshold potential, in response to a signal from another neuron. Chemical compound. Wider definitions[edit] Other compounds regarded as chemically identical may have varying amounts of heavy or light isotopes of the constituent elements, which changes the ratio of elements by mass slightly.

Chemical compound

Elementary concepts[edit] Characteristic properties of compounds: Elements in a compound are present in a definite proportion Example- 2 atoms of hydrogen + 1 atom of oxygen becomes 1 molecule of compound-water. Compounds have a definite set of properties Elements that comprise a compound do not retain their original properties. Valency is the number of hydrogen atoms that can combine with one atom of the element to form a compound. Compounds compared to mixtures[edit] The physical and chemical properties of compounds differ from those of their constituent elements.

Some mixtures are so intimately combined that they have some properties similar to compounds and may easily be mistaken for compounds. Formula[edit] Chemists describe compounds using formulas in various formats. CAS number[edit] Molecule. Chemical bond. A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atoms that enables the formation of chemical compounds.

Chemical bond

The bond may result from the electrostatic force of attraction between atoms with opposite charges, or through the sharing of electrons as in the covalent bonds. The strength of chemical bonds varies considerably; there are "strong bonds" such as covalent or ionic bonds and "weak bonds" such as Dipole-dipole interaction, the London dispersion force and hydrogen bonding. Since opposite charges attract via a simple electromagnetic force, the negatively charged electrons that are orbiting the nucleus and the positively charged protons in the nucleus attract each other. An electron positioned between two nuclei will be attracted to both of them, and the nuclei will be attracted toward electrons in this position. Organic chemistry. Chemical structure. A chemical structure determination includes a chemist's specifying the molecular geometry and, when feasible and necessary, the electronic structure of the target molecule or other solid.

Chemical structure

Molecular geometry refers to the spatial arrangement of atoms in a molecule and the chemical bonds that hold the atoms together, and can be represented using structural formulae and by molecular models;[citation needed] complete electronic structure descriptions include specifying the occupation of a molecule's molecular orbitals. [citation needed] Structure determination can be applied to a range of targets from very simple molecules (e.g., diatomic oxygen or nitrogen), to very complex ones (e.g., such as of protein or DNA).