Ch 3: Basics of Chemistry

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons to refresh your memory of chemistry basics. Study elements, atoms and the properties of water. Review acids and bases as well as the processes of osmosis and diffusion.

Basics of Chemistry - Chapter Summary

If you need to review the basics of chemistry, this chapter is for you. Our professional instructors discuss the building blocks of matter - elements - as well as the subunits of atoms. In addition, the engaging video lessons cover water properties, solutions, saturation and the pH scale. Once you've studied the entire chapter, you should be able to:

  • Define element
  • List the foundational elements of life
  • Identify the subatomic particles of atoms
  • Explain what an electron shell is
  • Describe the properties of water
  • Distinguish between solutes and solvents
  • Understand the processes of osmosis and diffusion
  • Use the pH scale to determine how acidic or basic a substance is

We strive to make studying chemistry, and all other subjects, a fun and convenient experience. After watching the videos, be sure to use the included tags to go back and review major points as needed. Each lesson includes a transcript, which includes key terms in bold print for easy reference. We also provide self-assessment lesson quizzes in a multiple-choice format so that you can check your understanding of chemistry basics.

8 Lessons in Chapter 3: Basics of Chemistry
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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.

The Foundational Elements of Life

2. 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

3. 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?

The Electron Shell

4. 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?

Properties of Water

5. Properties of Water

Why does ice float? Why can water rise on its own against gravity in a small tube? Find out how these mysterious properties of water can be explained by hydrogen bonds.

Solutions, Solutes, and Solvents

6. Solutions, Solutes, and Solvents

Oh no! Your friend Ben just drank chili oil on a dare, and now his mouth is burning. Should he drink the ice water or vegetable oil to cool his mouth? Quick. Watch this lesson if you aren't sure.

Osmosis, Diffusion and Saturation

7. Osmosis, Diffusion and Saturation

The cells in our bodies are in constant flux through the processes of osmosis and diffusion. Learn about how saturation levels force change, and why we're lucky they do.

Acids and Bases

8. Acids and Bases

Have you ever wondered how we measure the acidity of liquids? Check out this lesson to see how acids and bases are measured on a pH scale and how they relate to neutral solutions, such as water.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Other Chapters

Other chapters within the High School Biology: Help and Review course

Support