About This 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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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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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Other chapters within the Campbell Biology: Online Textbook Help course
- Campbell Biology Chapter 1: The Themes of Biology, and Scientific Inquiry
- Campbell Biology Chapter 3: Water and Life
- Campbell Biology Chapter 4: Carbon and the Molecular Diversity of Life
- Campbell Biology Chapter 5: The Structure and Function of Large Biological Molecules
- Campbell Biology Chapter 6: A Tour of the Cell
- Campbell Biology Chapter 7: Membrane Structure and Function
- Campbell Biology Chapter 8: An Introduction to Metabolism
- Campbell Biology Chapter 9: Cellular Respiration and Fermentation
- Campbell Biology Chapter 10: Photosynthesis
- Campbell Biology Chapter 11: Cell Communication
- Campbell Biology Chapter 12: The Cell Cycle
- Campbell Biology Chapter 13: Meiosis and Sexual Life Cycles
- Campbell Biology Chapter 14: Mendel and the Gene Idea
- Campbell Biology Chapter 15: The Chromosomal Basis of Inheritance
- Campbell Biology Chapter 16: The Molecular Basis of Inheritance
- Campbell Biology Chapter 17: Gene Expression: From Gene to Protein
- Campbell Biology Chapter 18: Regulation of Gene Expression
- Campbell Biology Chapter 19: Viruses
- Campbell Biology Chapter 20: DNA Tools and Biotechnology
- Campbell Biology Chapter 21: Genomes and Their Evolution
- Campbell Biology Chapter 22: Descent With Modification: A Darwinian View of Life
- Campbell Biology Chapter 23: The Evolution of Populations
- Campbell Biology Chapter 24: The Origin of Species
- Campbell Biology Chapter 25: The History of Life on Earth
- Campbell Biology Chapter 26: Phylogeny and the Tree of Life
- Campbell Biology Chapter 27: Bacteria and Archaea
- Campbell Biology Chapter 28: Protists
- Campbell Biology Chapter 29: Plant Diversity I
- Campbell Biology Chapter 30: Plant Diversity II
- Campbell Biology Chapter 31: Fungi
- Campbell Biology Chapter 32: An Overview of Animal Diversity
- Campbell Biology Chapter 33: An Introduction to Invertebrates
- Campbell Biology Chapter 34: The Origin of Evolution of Vertebrates
- Campbell Biology Chapter 35: Plant Structure, Growth, and Development
- Campbell Biology Chapter 36: Resource Acquisition and Transport in Vascular Plants
- Campbell Biology Chapter 37: Soil and Plant Nutrition
- Campbell Biology Chapter 38: Angiosperm Reproduction and Biotechnology
- Campbell Biology Chapter 39: Plant Responses to Internal and External Signals
- Campbell Biology Chapter 40: Basic Principles of Animal Form and Function
- Campbell Biology Chapter 41: Animal Nutrition
- Campbell Biology Chapter 42: Circulation and Gas Exchange
- Campbell Biology Chapter 43: The Immune System
- Campbell Biology Chapter 44: Osmoregulation and Excretion
- Campbell Biology Chapter 45: Hormones and the Endocrine System
- Campbell Biology Chapter 46: Animal Reproduction
- Campbell Biology Chapter 47: Animal Development
- Campbell Biology Chapter 48: Neurons, Synapses, and Signaling
- Campbell Biology Chapter 49: Nervous Systems
- Campbell Biology Chapter 50: Sensory and Motor Mechanisms
- Campbell Biology Chapter 51: Animal Behavior
- Campbell Biology Chapter 52: An Introduction to the Ecology of the Biosphere
- Campbell Biology Chapter 53: Population Ecology
- Campbell Biology Chapter 54: Community Ecology
- Campbell Biology Chapter 55: Ecosystems and Restoration Ecology
- Campbell Biology Chapter 56: Conservation Biology and Global Change