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Chemistry for Changing Times is now in its tenth edition. Times have indeed changed since the first edition appeared in 1972, and they are now changing more rapidly than ever. The book is changing accordingly. Our knowledge base has expanded enormously since that first edition, never more so than in the last few years. We have faced tough choices in deciding what to include and what to leave out.
We live in what has been called the "information age." Unfortunately, information is not knowledge. It may or may not be valid. Our focus, more than ever, is on helping students evaluate information. We hope that some day we all will gain the gift of wisdom.
A major premise is that a chemistry course for students who are not majoring in science should be quite different from the course we offer our science majors. It must present basic chemical concepts with intellectual honesty, but it should not focus on esoteric theories or rigorous mathematics. It should include lots of modern everyday applications. The textbook should be appealing to look at, easy to understand, and interesting to read.
Three-fourths of the legislation considered by the U.S. Congress involves questions having to do with science or technology, yet only rarely does a scientist or engineer enter politics. Most of the people who make important decisions regarding our health and our environment are not trained in science, but it is critical that these decision makers be scientifically literate. A chemistry course for students who are not science majors should emphasize practical applications of chemistry to problems involving such things as environmental pollution, radioactivity, energy sources,and human health. The students who take our liberal arts chemistry courses include future teachers, lawyers, accountants, journalists, and judges. There are probably some future legislators, too.
Our main objectives in a chemistry course for students who are not majoring in science are as follows:
In preparing this new edition, we have responded to suggestions from users and reviewers of the ninth edition as well as using our own writing and teaching experience. The text is fully revised and updated to reflect the latest scientific developments in a fast-changing world.
The organization of the text makes it easier for the instructor to skip sections or (in some cases) whole chapters. At most institutions, the course for nonscience majors brings together a tremendously heterogeneous group of students, with regard to both their science backgrounds and their academic interests. A major challenge to the instructor is to find the balance between these needs and interests. As authors we have tried to create a text that is flexible and that can be used in a variety of ways.
Clearly for a one-semester course, choices will have to be made. Though in the text there are references to later chapters where further details of a particular topic are to be found, the text does lend itself to using the parts each instructor finds the most important and useful to his or her students.
Some of the more important changes, which were recommended by our users and reviewers, are as follows:
The following changes have been made to strengthen and improve the pedagogy in this edition.
Eight new MediaLabs have been added in the tenth edition, for Chapters 2, 3, 6, 14, 16,17,19 and 20. The topics covered are as varied as they are current. The Companion Website also has search terms set up for all of the Group Projects in the chapters, to give the students a starting point in their research. All of the Web References listed in the text have been revised and updated both in the text and on the Companion Website. In addition, students will have access to Research Navigator, an online tool for searching the primary science literature, newspaper articles and chemistry organizations.
New color photographs and diagrams have been added. Visual material adds greatly to the general appeal of a textbook. Color diagrams can also be highly instructive, and colorful photographs relating to descriptive chemistry do much to enhance the learning process. We have added more illustrations that use both microscopic (molecular) and macroscopic (visual) views to help students visualize chemical phenomena.
Over the years, students have told us that they have found this textbook easy to read. The language is simple, and the style is conversational. Explanations are clear and easy to understand. The friendly tone of the book has been maintained in this edition. Since the format and the amount of open space on a page also contribute to readability, we have made conscious improvements in the design of this edition. For example, many of the margin notes have been incorporated directly into the text to ensure that pages don't appear to be crowded.
The United States continues to use the traditional English system for many kinds of measurements even though the metric system has long been used internationally. A modern version of the metric system, the Systeme International (SI), is now widely used, especially by scientists. So what units should be used in a text for liberal arts students? In presenting chemical principles, we use primarily metric units. In other parts of the book we use those units that the students are most likely to encounter elsewhere in the same context.
The structures of many complicated molecules are presented in the text, especially in the later chapters. These structures are presented mainly to emphasize that they are actually known and to illustrate the fact that substances with similar properties often have similar structures. Students should not feel that they must learn all these structures, but they should take the time to look at them. We hope that they will come to recognize familiar features in these molecules.
The Glossary (Appendix B) gives definitions of terms that appear in boldface throughout the text. These terms include all key terms listed at the end of each chapter.
The end-of-chapter exercises include review questions, a set of matched-pair problems, and suggested projects. Answers to many review questions and to all the odd-numbered problems are given in Appendix C. As mentioned earlier, all chapters contain worked Examples and many paired Exercises. Answers to all the in-chapter exercises are also given in Appendix C.
An updated list of recommended books and articles appears at the end of each chapter. A student whose interest has been sparked by a topic can delve more deeply into the subject in the library. Instructors might also find these lists useful.
Chemistry is fun. Through this book, we would like to share with you some of the excitement of chemistry and some of the joy of learning about it. We hope to convince you that chemistry does not need to be excluded from your learning experiences. Learning chemistry will enrich your life--now and long after this course is over--through a better understanding of the natural world, the technological questions now confronting us, and the choices we must face as citizens within a scientific and technological society.
How does the human body work? How does aspirin cure headaches, reduce fevers, and perhaps lessen the chance of a heart attack or stroke? Is ozone a good thing or a threat to our health? Are iron supplement pills poisonous? Is global warming real? If so, did humans contribute to it, and what are some of the possible consequences? Why do most weight-loss diets seem to work in the short run but fail in the long run? Why do our moods swing from happy to sad? Can a chemical test on urine predict possible suicide attempts? How does penicillin kill bacteria without harming our healthy body cells? Chemists have found answers to questions such as these and continue to seek the knowledge that will unlock still other secrets of our universe. As these mysteries are resolved, the direction of our lives often changes--sometimes dramatically. We live in a chemical world--a world of drugs, biocides, food additives, fertilizers, fuels, detergents, cosmetics, and plastics. We live in a world with toxic wastes, polluted air and water, and dwindling petroleum reserves. Knowledge of chemistry will help you to better understand the benefits and hazards of this world and will enable you to make intelligent decisions in the future.
We are all chemically dependent. Even in the womb we depend on a constant supply of oxygen, water, glucose, and a multitude of other chemicals.
Our bodies are intricate chemical factories. They are durable but delicate systems. Innumerable chemical reactions that allow our bodies to function properly are constantly taking place within us. Thinking, learning, exercising, feeling happy or sad, putting on too much weight or not gaining enough, and virtually all life processes are made possible by these chemical reactions. Everything that we ingest is part of a complex process that determines whether our bodies work effectively or not. The consumption of some substances can initiate chemical reactions that will stop body functions altogether. Other substances, if consumed, can cause permanent handicaps, and still others can make living less comfortable. A proper balance of the right foods provides the chemicals and generates the reactions we need in order to function at our best. The knowledge of chemistry that you will soon be gaining will help you better understand how your body works so that you will be able to take proper care of it.
We live in a world of increasingly rapid change. It has been said that the only constant is change itself. At present, we are facing some of the greatest problems that humans have ever encountered, and the dilemmas with which we are now confronted seem to have no perfect solutions. We are sometimes forced to make a best choice among only bad alternatives, and our decisions often provide only temporary solutions to our problems. Nevertheless, if we are to choose properly, we must understand what our choices are. Mistakes can be costly, and they cannot always be rectified. It is easy to pollute, but cleaning up pollution once it is there is enormously expensive and often very difficult. We can best avoid mistakes by collecting as much information as possible and evaluating it carefully before making critical decisions. Science is a means of gathering and evaluating information, and chemistry is central to all the sciences.
Above all else, our hope is that you will learn that the study of chemistry need not be dull and difficult. Rather, it can enrich your life in so many ways-through a better understanding of your body, your mind, your environment, and the world in which you live. After all, the search to understand the universe is an essential part of what it means to be human.