# Chemistry Articles

The basic building blocks of reality, explained. Plus, advanced organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and practice problems, all right here.

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Article / Updated 05-03-2023

Acid-base reactions and their associated calculations play a primary role in many chemical, biological, and environmental systems. Whether you’re determining hydrogen ion concentration, [H+]; hydroxide ion concentration, [OH˗]; pH; or pOH, an equation and a calculator are important tools to have in your toolbox. Following are some handy formulas for solving acid/base problems. Calculating hydrogen or hydroxide ion concentration The following equation allows you to calculate the hydrogen ion concentration, [H+], at 25°C if you know the hydroxide ion concentration, [OH–]; you can also find [OH–] if you know [H+]. Just divide 1 × 10–14 by the concentration given, and you get the concentration that you need. Tip: To use scientific notation on your calculator, use the EE or EXP key (followed by the exponent) rather than the × 10^ keys. Calculating hydrogen or hydroxide ion concentration from the pH or pOH Be familiar with how to solve for [H+] or [OH–] when given the pH or pOH (or vice versa). Use the following formulas: Many scientific and graphing calculators differ in how they handle inputting values and taking logarithms, so know the proper keystroke order for your calculator. Be sure to review your calculator manual or look online. Calculating pH when given the pOH Calculating pH when you know the pOH (or vice versa) is probably the easiest of the acid-base calculations. Here’s the formula: pH + pOH = 14 Simply subtract the given value from 14 (keeping significant digits in mind) to get the value that you need. Doing titration calculations with a 1:1 acid-to-base ratio When you’re given titration calculations where the acid and base are reacting in a 1:1 ratio according to the balanced equation, the following equation offers a quick and easy way to solve for either the concentration of one of the substances or the volume necessary to complete the titration: MAVA = MBVB If the acid and base aren’t reacting in a 1:1 ratio, use stoichiometry (or dimensional analysis) to solve for your unknown quantity. By the way, stoichiometry works for the 1:1 ratio questions, too; it just takes one or two more steps. Remember: Keep track of your units! Cancel what you need to get rid of and make sure that you still have the units you need in your final answer.

View ArticleArticle / Updated 05-03-2023

The hyperbolic functions are certain combinations of the exponential functions ex and e–x. These functions occur often enough in differential equations and engineering that they’re typically introduced in a Calculus course. Some of the real-life applications of these functions relate to the study of electric transmission and suspension cables.

View ArticleArticle / Updated 04-14-2023

A conversion factor uses your knowledge of the relationships between units to convert from one unit to another. For example, if you know that there are 2.54 centimeters in every inch (or 2.2 pounds in every kilogram or 101.3 kilopascals in every atmosphere), then converting between those units becomes simple algebra. It is important to know some common conversions of temperature, size, and pressure as well as metric prefixes. Conversion factor table The following table includes some useful conversion factors. Using conversion factors example The following example shows how to use a basic conversion factor to fix non-SI units. Dr. Geekmajor absentmindedly measures the mass of a sample to be 0.75 lb and records his measurement in his lab notebook. His astute lab assistant, who wants to save the doctor some embarrassment, knows that there are 2.2 lbs in every kilogram. The assistant quickly converts the doctor’s measurement to SI units. What does she get? The answer is 0.34 kg. Let’s try another example. A chemistry student, daydreaming during lab, suddenly looks down to find that he’s measured the volume of his sample to be 1.5 cubic inches. What does he get when he converts this quantity to cubic centimeters? The answer is 25 cm3. Rookie chemists often mistakenly assume that if there are 2.54 centimeters in every inch, then there are 2.54 cubic centimeters in every cubic inch. No! Although this assumption seems logical at first glance, it leads to catastrophically wrong answers. Remember that cubic units are units of volume and that the formula for volume is Imagine 1 cubic inch as a cube with 1-inch sides. The cube’s volume is Now consider the dimensions of the cube in centimeters: Calculate the volume using these measurements, and you get This volume is much greater than 2.54 cm3! To convert units of area or volume using length measurements, square or cube everything in your conversion factor, not just the units, and everything works out just fine.

View ArticleCheat Sheet / Updated 01-09-2023

Organic Chemistry II is one of the toughest courses you can take. Surviving isn’t easy — you probably know that from your Organic Chemistry I class. Preparation is key: If you study the basics of organic chemistry the right way, prepare for your tests, and know your aromatic systems, you’re off to a great start!

View Cheat SheetCheat Sheet / Updated 11-08-2022

Chemistry covers all kinds of stuff. Sometimes you might not be sure where to start when you are first given a set of problems and told to go forth and succeed. Sometimes it’s converting metric units, writing ionic formulas, naming covalent compounds, balancing reactions, or dealing with extensive and intensive properties. This Cheat Sheet is designed to give you some help on a few of the trickier things you might encounter so that when you are done looking it over you can go forth and succeed!

View Cheat SheetArticle / Updated 09-27-2022

Studying the elements of the periodic table is vital for understanding organic chemistry. So that you don't have to memorize each element, they're grouped together by their properties.

View ArticleStep by Step / Updated 09-27-2022

When elements combine through chemical reactions, they form compounds. When compounds contain carbon, they’re called organic compounds. The four families of organic compounds with important biological functions are

View Step by StepCheat Sheet / Updated 04-08-2022

Chemistry II is more than fires and smelly explosions. Chemistry II is more about solving calculations. In fact, Chemistry II has a lot more calculations and math than your Chemistry I class did. In your Chemistry II class, you need to master several formulas so you can calculate different mathematical problems, ranging from kinetics, different types of equilibrium, thermochemistry, and electrochemistry. This Cheat Sheet can serve as a quick reference to how to solve kinetics, thermodynamics, and different types of equilibrium problems.

View Cheat SheetCheat Sheet / Updated 02-24-2022

You won't get very far in your study of organic chemistry without the periodic table of elements and an understanding of the common functional groups (or reactive centers) that dictate how most of a compound's chemical reactions occur.

View Cheat SheetCheat Sheet / Updated 02-17-2022

Solving chemistry problems is a great way to master the various laws and calculations you encounter in a typical chemistry class. This Cheat Sheet provides some basic formulas, techniques, and tips you can refer to regularly to make solving chemistry problems a breeze (well, maybe not a breeze, but definitely easier).

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