Chemistry is often considered a challenging and complicated subject, but it is a crucial one that helps us understand the world around us better. Everything we see, touch and experience is made up of matter, and this subject explains the properties and behaviour of this matter. From the water we drink to the air we breathe, chemistry is present in every aspect of our daily lives, and its influence is undeniable.
Learn More – Helping Your Child To Approach JC Chemistry With Confidence
So, if you are looking to ace this paper, let’s first explore the fascinating world of chemistry and everything it has to offer in a fun and interactive way.
1. The Basic Building Blocks Of Chemistry
Before we dive into how chemistry impacts our daily lives, let’s start with the foundations. Atoms, elements, molecules, and compounds are the fundamental building blocks of chemistry, and understanding their properties and behaviour is essential to understanding how chemical reactions occur.
- The smallest unit of matter that retains the properties of an element.
- They are made up of three types of subatomic particles: protons, neutrons, and electrons.
- Protons have a positive charge, neutrons have no charge, and electrons have a negative charge.
- The number of protons in an atom determines its atomic number, which identifies the element.
- Pure substances that cannot be broken down further into simpler substances.
- Each element has unique properties that are determined by its atomic structure, such as its reactivity, boiling point, and density.
- A combination of two or more atoms of the same or different elements.
- For example, oxygen molecules are made up of two oxygen atoms, while water molecules are made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
- Molecules that contain atoms of different elements.
- Can be formed through chemical reactions, where atoms bond together to create new substances.
- For example, salt is a compound made up of sodium and chlorine atoms.
2. Chemistry In Our Everyday Lives
Beyond a subject we study in school, chemistry is a pervasive part of our daily lives. Take the air we inhale, for instance. It consists of various gases like oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide, each with its unique chemical properties. Similarly, water, which is essential for our survival, is a compound made up of hydrogen and oxygen molecules. The food we consume is also a product of chemistry, with carbohydrates, proteins, and fats being chemical compounds that provide us with the energy we need to function.
But its significance doesn’t end there as it is also fundamental to our overall health. Our bodies are an intricate system of chemical reactions that rely on enzymes and other molecules to function properly. The process of digestion, for example, involves chemical reactions that break down food into smaller molecules that our bodies can absorb and use for energy. Without the reactions that occur within our bodies, we would be unable to perform even the most basic of functions.
3. Fun Chemistry Experiments
Exploring the wonders of this science subject doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it can be both a fun and engaging learning experience that teaches you about the fundamentals of chemistry. Here are a couple of hands-on experiments you can try out at home or at your JC or O-Level chemistry tuition in Singapore.
- Experiment 1
What You’ll Need
- Red cabbage
- Boiling water
- Clear containers
- Baking soda
- Lemon juice
- Chop up some red cabbage and place it in a pot.
- Add enough boiling water to cover the cabbage and let it sit for 30 minutes and strain the liquid into 3 clear containers.
- Add a few drops of vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice into the three clear containers and observe the change in colour.
Red cabbage contains anthocyanin, a water-soluble pigment that changes colour in the presence of acids or bases. When the cabbage solution is mixed with a few drops of acidic vinegar, the hydrogen ions from the drop neutralise some of the negatively charged anthocyanin molecules, causing them to turn red. When it is mixed with baking soda which is basic, the hydroxide ions from the soda neutralise some of the positively charged anthocyanin molecules, changing the colour to blue. Lastly, for the solution that is mixed with lemon juice (which is also acidic), it has the same reaction as vinegar, turning the colour pink.
- Experiment 2
What You’ll Need
- Calcium chloride
- Ziplock bag
- Mix 1/2 cup of calcium chloride with 1/4 cup of water in a bowl.
- Pour the mixture into a ziplock bag and seal it.
- Place the bag in your hand and observe the temperature change. Record the starting and ending temperature.
Calcium chloride is a type of salt that is exothermic, meaning it releases heat when dissolved in water. When the bag is held, the calcium chloride reacts with the moisture on the skin and generates heat, creating a hand warmer.
Chemistry is a fascinating subject and by understanding its basic principles, we can appreciate the world around us in a whole new way! If you find chemistry confusing, fret not! Do enrol yourself in an A-level chemistry tuition or O-level chemistry tuition at Pamela’s Place to learn all the wonderful aspects of chemistry. Contact us today to know more!