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Ch 2: Campbell Biology Chapter 2: The Chemical Context of Life

About This Chapter

The Chemical Context of Life chapter of this Campbell Biology Companion Course helps students learn the essential lessons associated with the chemical context of life. Each of these simple and fun video lessons is about five minutes long and is sequenced to align with the Chemical Context of Life textbook chapter.

How It Works:

  • Identify the lessons in the Campbell Biology Chemical Context of Life chapter with which you need help.
  • Find the corresponding video lessons with this companion course chapter.
  • Watch fun videos that cover the chemical context of life topics you need to learn or review.
  • Complete the quizzes to test your understanding.
  • If you need additional help, rewatch the videos until you've mastered the material or submit a question for one of our instructors.

Students will learn:

  • How elements are defined
  • How molecules and compounds are created
  • The essential elements that support life
  • The composition of atoms
  • How mass number and atomic number differ
  • Uses of radioactive isotopes
  • Radiometric dating uses and methods
  • What the electron shell is
  • Types of chemical bonds
  • Ways that molecular shape can be predicted
  • How to balance chemical equations
  • How chemical equilibrium is defined

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16 Lessons in Chapter 2: Campbell Biology Chapter 2: The Chemical Context of Life
What Are Elements?

1. What Are Elements?

Look around you. What do you see? Elements are everywhere. They are the building blocks of all matter on Earth. In this lesson, we will discuss what an element is, how elements are written as symbols, and how elements are the building blocks of all matter.

How Compounds and Molecules Are Built From Elements

2. How Compounds and Molecules Are Built From Elements

Did you know that elements are like people and have different personalities? A few elements are very shy and love to be left alone. Others are very social and prefer to hang out with friends. In this lesson we will discuss how elements build molecules and compounds.

The Foundational Elements of Life

3. The Foundational Elements of Life

Living things are complex products of their environments. They are made of a number of different natural elements, many of which are essential to survival. Because of this, they are considered foundational elements and they support life on Earth as we know it.

The Atom

4. The Atom

Tune into this lesson to find out what matters about matter. What exactly is an atom? And, how do the atoms that make up the elements in the periodic table differ from one another?

Atomic Number and Mass Number

5. Atomic Number and Mass Number

Atoms are the basic building blocks of everything around you. In order to really understand how atoms combine to form molecules, it's necessary to be familiar with their structure. In this lesson, we'll dissect atoms so we can see just what really goes into those little building blocks of matter.

How Radioactive Isotopes Track Biological Molecules

6. How Radioactive Isotopes Track Biological Molecules

Radioactive isotopes can be used to track atoms and label biological molecules. This lesson explores how this can be applied to microbiology to learn more about the way a cell works.

Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life

7. Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life

Radiometric dating is used to estimate the age of rocks and other objects based on the fixed decay rate of radioactive isotopes. Learn about half-life and how it is used in different dating methods, such as uranium-lead dating and radiocarbon dating, in this video lesson.

The Electron Shell

8. The Electron Shell

You may be familiar with the role of electrons in electrical devices, but did you know that electrons also determine the chemical reactivity of everything around you?

Electron Orbital: Definition, Shells & Shapes

9. Electron Orbital: Definition, Shells & Shapes

In this lesson, we will talk about electron shells and the orbitals within them. We'll also explore the different shapes of orbitals and when we're finished, you can test your knowledge with a quiz.

Chemical Bonds I: Covalent

10. Chemical Bonds I: Covalent

Mom always said that sharing is caring. This lesson will explore how electrons affect the chemical reactivity of atoms and specifically the merits of sharing electrons.

Chemical Bonds II: Ionic

11. Chemical Bonds II: Ionic

Did you know that the scientific name for table salt is sodium chloride? Find out how sodium and chlorine atoms come together to form your favorite seasoning.

Chemical Bonds III: Polar Covalent

12. Chemical Bonds III: Polar Covalent

Are you confused about how you can tell what kind of bond two atoms will form? This lesson will help you understand the difference between polar and nonpolar covalent bonds as well as how to predict how two atoms will interact.

Chemical Bonds IV: Hydrogen

13. Chemical Bonds IV: Hydrogen

This lesson defines and discusses important concepts behind hydrogen bonding. You'll learn when and why these bonds occur and which atoms are often involved.

Using Orbital Hybridization and Valence Bond Theory to Predict Molecular Shape

14. Using Orbital Hybridization and Valence Bond Theory to Predict Molecular Shape

You'll learn how to explain how shapes of molecules can be predicted using valence bond theory and hybridization. When finished, you'll understand the difference between sigma and pi bonds and how the VSEPR theory, along with the hybridization theory, helps predict the shape of a molecule.

Chemical Reactions and Balancing Chemical Equations

15. Chemical Reactions and Balancing Chemical Equations

In this lesson, you'll learn how to balance a chemical reaction equation using the conservation of matter law. You'll also learn how to write both word and formula equations, what the subscripts after a letter mean and what the numbers in front of compounds mean.

Equilibrium: Chemical and Dynamic

16. Equilibrium: Chemical and Dynamic

Learn the definition of chemical equilibrium and how it is dynamic. Discover what the equilibrium constant is and how it shows whether the reaction favors the reactants or products. Learn how chemists designate equilibrium in an equation and how they show the difference in reaction rate.

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