WEEK 1 – General Chemistry I – 2 reply

Please reply to the following discussion. Participate in the discussion by asking a question, providing a statement of clarification, providing a point of view with a rationale, challenging an aspect of the discussion, or indicating a relationship between two or more lines of reasoning in the discussion.  Responses must consist of at least 130 words, do NOT repeat the same thing your classmate is saying. 

M. F. 4/11/24, 9:30 PM NEW

Element: The first time I heard the term element in chemistry, it was in middle school science class, learning about pure substances and the periodic table. Many people use the term “element” to describe things such as forces of nature like wind, earth, water, or fire, such as shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender. Other times, the word element in everyday use could describe a pivotal piece of something, like my mom talking about needing “the element of surprise” so she could pull a joke on my dad. The definition in chemistry differs from everyday use, and in our textbook an element is defined as a pure substance that chemical changes cannot break can down into simpler substances. This term will help us within this course to understand the building blocks of our world, and allow us to see how chemical changes affect these elements to create substances necessary to maintain life, such as oxygen, carbon, water, and more. The terms in everyday use and within the subject of chemistry are somewhat similar. Everyday use of the term defines it as something that is necessary or key to something; needing the “element” of surprise, or saying a book has the “elements” of a fantasy novel. However, in technical use the definition is more limited on what could actually be called an element, which is only pure substances that cannot be broken down any further. With previous knowledge added onto my learning from this chapter, I do not believe that the similarities or differences of these definitions will cause me to have difficulty with learning any concepts this course.

Density: I learned about density in elementary school, learning why certain objects like rubber ducks would float on water, versus objects like coins that would sink. Density is often used in everyday conversations to describe something as being thick or heavy. I would often hear my mom say something like “that pasta sauce is too dense for me”, meaning the sauce was too heavy for her taste. In our textbook, density is defined as a ratio of mass to volume for a substance or object. Within this course, density will help us to further understand the relationship between mass and volume, and will help us understand things such as anatomic weights, and why certain elements are more dense than others. The everyday term uses density or dense to describe something only as thick or slow, but the technical use of the term uses density to describe all levels of itself, from low density to high density. I do not foresee myself having issues with this term in understanding the course material as long as I remember density is not defined as just mass alone, but also in relationship to volume within chemistry.