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Welcome to Chemistry, the Science concerned with the study of matter.

In simplest terms, chemistry is the science of matter.

Anything that can be touched, tasted, smelled, seen or felt is made of chemicals.

Different thing feel, taste, smell and appear differently- like the fresh vegetables.

If you are blindfolded and asked to identify potatoes, onions, carrots or cabbages from a pack, chances are you could, chances are you could- based on interactions with them in your home kitchen.

Chemistry will supply you with the knowledge and understanding to engage as informed citizens with science based issues.

UCE Chemistry Notes And Revision PDF Download

You will use contemporary and relevant contexts of interest such as environmental issues to gain greater scientific knowledge.

UCE Chemistry Notes And Revision PDF Download

You will study the patterns and properties of the elements and how these combine to produce useful materials, such as air and water among others.

Throughout the course you will develop practical skills, powers of analysis and the ability to apply chemical concepts to unfamiliar situations.

UCE Chemistry Notes And Revision PDF Download

Being a Good Chemistry Student

You are beginning the study of one of the most interesting subjects that you will ever come across.

As is the case with all subjects, what you will get out of Chemistry will depend upon what you put into it.

Chemistry can intrigue and enlighten you.

It all depends upon the effort you are willing to put into your studies.

If you keep an open mind, and listen to your teacher, a course in Chemistry will change the way you view the world! Chemistry is a skill based course, and many of the most important lessons will come in the first few weeks.

You must start off with good study habits from the very beginning.

Below are some tips to help ensure that you get the most out of the course.

UCE Chemistry Notes And Revision PDF Download

Do the reading faithfully.

Don’t try to get through the course by just listening to your teacher. Your teacher will assume that you are coming to class having read the text, and he or she will expect you to have that background knowledge required to follow the lessons.

UCE Chemistry Notes And Revision PDF Download

Most importantly, you will not be able to ask clarifying questions, if you have never read the book.

Ask as many questions as you want to

Like any teacher, your Chemistry teacher uses the feedback from the class to determine whether or not his or her lessons are clear enough. The types of questions that you and your classmates ask will tell your teacher more than the results of any exam.

Some students are embarrassed to admit that something is unclear, but this subject is new to you.

There is no shame in admitting that you are not sure about a subject is new to you!

UCE Chemistry Notes And Revision PDF Download

Get help early and often.

As soon as you notice that you are not following along with the class discussion you should address the problem.

There are so many sources for extra help, and you should take advantage of them.

Make an appointment to see your teacher after school, or ask one of your classmates for help.

Search the Internet for sites with additional information.

Don’t stop getting extra help until you feel confident in your grasp of the subject.

Take advantage of the learning opportunities in Laboratory classes.

Many of the lab activities that you will do will seem exciting. Violent chemical reactions will cause every heart to beat a little faster.

UCE Chemistry Notes And Revision PDF Download

However, if you don’t understand the concepts behind the activities than the activities become nothing more than a magic show! Strive to understand every aspect of these activities and you will find that they are a fun way to learn Chemistry.

Do your written homework correctly.

It may seem that you are saving time when you copy homework from a friend or from the back of a textbook, but you are really causing yourself some trouble.

Each assignment is designed to reinforce a specific concept. If you don’t do the homework correctly, you may not master the concepts.

UCE Chemistry Notes And Revision PDF Download

Remember that your task is never to complete a specific set of problems, but rather to master a topic or skill.

Study in groups.

Chemistry is much harder when you try to learn it in isolation. Form study groups from the first week of school.

Having people to talk to about Chemistry will help you avoid the frustration that comes from feeling you are the only one having difficulty with a particular concept or type of Math problem.

You will also be more likely to ask questions when you see that an idea may not be clear to others as well.

Some Careers in Chemistry

Chemists are the people who transform the everyday materials around us into amazing things.

Some chemists work on cures for cancer while others monitor the ozone protecting us from the sun.

Still others discover new materials to make our homes warmer in the winter, or new textiles to be used in the latest fashions.

The knowledge gained through the study of chemistry opens many career pathways. Here are just a few of the careers chosen by chemists.

• Agricultural Chemistry

• Biochemistry

• Chemical Education

• Chemical Engineering

• Consumer Product Chemistry

• Environmental Chemistry

• Food and Flavor Chemistry

• Forensic Chemistry

• Medicinal Chemistry

Some Career Descriptions:

1. Biochemistry

Biochemistry is the study of the structure, composition, and chemical reactions of substances in living systems.

Biochemistry emerged as a separate discipline when scientists combined biology with organic, inorganic, or physical chemistry and began to study such topics as how living things obtain energy from food, the chemical basis of heredity, and what fundamental changes occur in disease.

Biochemistry is applied to medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and food science.

UCE Chemistry Notes And Revision PDF Download

2. Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, math, and physics to the design and operation of large-scale chemical manufacturing processes.

They translate processes developed in the lab into practical applications for the production of products such as plastics, medicines, detergents, and fuels; design plants to maximize productivity and minimize costs; and evaluate plant operations for performance and product quality.

Chemical engineers are employed by almost all companies in the chemical process industry.

UCE Chemistry Notes And Revision PDF Download

3. Forensic Chemists

A forensic chemist is a professional chemist who analyzes evidence that is brought in from crime scenes and reaches a conclusion based on tests run on that piece of evidence.

A forensic chemist’s job is to identify and characterize the evidence as part of the larger process of solving a crime. Forensic chemists rarely conduct any investigative work; they handle the evidence collected from the crime scene.

4. Medicinal Chemistry

Medicinal chemistry is the application of chemical research techniques to the synthesis of pharmaceuticals.

During the early stages of medicinal chemistry development, scientists were primarily concerned with the isolation of medicinal agents found in plants.

Today, scientists in this field are also equally concerned with the creation of new synthetic drug compounds. Medicinal chemistry is almost always geared toward drug discovery and development.

5. Food and Flavor Chemists

Food chemistry focuses on the chemistry of foods, their deterioration, and the principles underlying the improvement of foods for consumers.

It applies chemistry to developing, processing, packaging, preserving, storing, and distributing foods and beverages to obtain safe, economical, and aesthetically pleasing food supplies.

Few people recognize the science behind the food they consume. While food science involves chemistry, biology, physics, biochemistry, microbiology, nutrition, and engineering, the major portion of a food science curriculum is chemistry.

Food chemistry encompasses everything from agricultural raw materials to consumer end-use products.

General Chemistry Laboratory

safety rules and regulations

Your school science laboratory is set up so that you can perform science experiments in safety provided that you follow the proper procedures and safety precautions listed below.

Your teacher will give you specific information about the safety routines used in your school.

It is essential for all concerned that certain rules be followed while in the lab. Read the following carefully and ask questions necessary for clarity.

1. Goggles will be worn at all times. No exceptions. Failure to wear goggles will result in expulsion from laboratory.

2. Full shoes are required. No sandal, flip-flops, etc. are allowed.

3. Lab apron is required when wearing shorts, tank tops, etc.

4. Keep locker drawers closed when not in use.

5. Do not leave flames unattended. Turn burners off when not in use.

6. Remember that most chemicals are flammable, toxic, carcinogenic or all three. Treat them accordingly. Do not ingest chemicals.

7. Acquaint yourself with the eyewash station, safety shower and fire-fighting equipment. You are responsible for knowing their location and use.

8. No smoking, chewing, eating or drinking allowed in the laboratory.

If you are taking a prescription or other drug that will affect your alertness, notify your instructor before going into lab.

9. No students are allowed in the stockroom. No lab visitors without permission of the lab instructor.

10. Report all accidents or injuries to the instructor immediately!

11. If you do not understand a procedure or you cannot read a label, contact the instructor.

Do not gamble with your (and others) safety when there is a question. What you don t know can hurt you. Ditch the foolish notion that asking questions will make you look stupid.

Some Further Explanations

1. Do not pipette by mouth

You say, “But it’s only water.” Even if it is, how clean do you think that glassware really is? Using disposable pipettes? I know lots of people who rinse them and put them back! Learn to use the pipette bulb or automated pipetter.

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) should be available for every chemical you use in lab.

Read these and follow the recommendations for safe use and disposal of the material.

2. Dress appropriately (for chemistry lab, not fashion or the weather)

No sandals, no clothes you love more than life, no contact lenses, and long pants are preferable to shorts or short skirts.

Tie long hair back. Wear safety goggles and a lab coat.

Even if you aren’t clumsy, someone else in the lab probably is.

If you take even a few chemistry courses you will probably see people set themselves on fire, spill acid on themselves, others, or notes, splash themselves in the eye, etc.

Don’t be the bad example to others, remembered for all time for something stupid!

3. Identify the Safety Equipment

And know how to use it! Given that some people (possibly you) will need them, know the locations of the fire blanket, extinguishers, eyewash, and shower.

Ask for demonstrations! If the eyewash hasn’t been used in a while the discoloration of the water is usually sufficient to inspire use of safety glasses.

4. Don’t Taste or Sniff Chemicals

For many chemicals, if you can smell them then you are exposing yourself to a dose that can harm you! If the safety information says that a chemical should only be used inside a fume hood, then don’t use it anywhere else. This isn’t cooking class – don’t taste your experiments!

5. Don’t casually dispose of chemicals down the drain

Some chemicals can be washed down the drain, while others require a different method of disposal.

If a chemical can go in the sink, be sure to wash it away rather than risk an unexpected reaction between chemical ‘leftovers’ later.

6. Don’t eat or drink in lab

It’s tempting, but dangerous… just don’t do it.

7. Don’t play mad scientist

Don’t haphazardly mix chemicals! Pay attention to the order in which chemicals are to be added to each other and do not deviate from the instructions.

Even chemicals that mix to produce seemingly safe products should be handled carefully.

For example, hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide will give you salt water, but the reaction could break your glassware or splash the reactants onto you if you aren’t careful.

8. Take data during lab

Put data directly in your lab book rather than transcribing from another source (e.g., notebook or lab partner).

Not after lab, on the assumption that it will be neater.

There are lots of reasons for this, but the practical one is that it is much harder for the data to get lost in your lab book. For some experiments, it may be helpful to take data before lab.

Student Activity

Crash, bang , wallop! Here is a disaster zone! But a real school chemistry laboratory is one of the safest places in which to work. Good chemists always work carefully and safely.

The rules of the laboratory have been forgotten by these students.

1. Look carefully at the disaster zone above.

a. Make a list of as many of the dangers as you can

b. From this list, make a set of Rules of the Laboratory

2. Draw a rough sketch of the laboratory you normally use. Mark on it where the following items are usually kept.

a) Bunsen burners

b) Clamps and retort stands

c) Beakers

d) Test tube racks

3. Very often, safety rules in the laboratory are written negatively and start with don’t do this, Don’t do that, you should NOT ……………………..

Rewrite your Rules of the laboratory positively by starting with Do this, Always, You should …..

The scientific method

The scientific method is a set of ideas or a procedure that scientists use to investigate things they want to understand. By using the method, you can be sure you’re carrying out your project correctly.

The scientific method allows you to investigate an experiment in a step-by-step method.

Problem: What are you going to solve in the lab? The problem or purpose explains exactly what you hope to accomplish in the investigation.

Hypothesis: How do you think it is going to turn out? Use the facts you already know to come up with a guess that might really make sense.

Materials and Apparatus: List what equipment you will need to complete the experiment. (Include diagrams of set up apparatus if required to do so in this section.

Procedure: What you must do to complete the experiment. Write down the steps you need to follow.

Data and Work: Include the tables, observations and work you did during the experiment.

This section is where you keep very careful notes on everything you do and everything you find out.

Be sure you write down or draw what really happened, even if it’s not what you thought would happen.

At the end, you look over all your data and think about it very hard.

You think of the results of your procedure, or how everything turned out. Analysis Questions: You do not need to write out questions, but you must answer in sentences that include the question.

Conclusion: You must say what you found out during the lab. You figure out whether your results agreed with your hypothesis or not. Put everything you observed together and try to make some sense out of it.

**Hint** The conclusion should answer the problem.


1. Be neat. Your lab should be organized and easily readable.

2. Hand in a good copy. You can take a rough copy of data tables into the lab and then recopy for your hand-in report.

3. Hand in lab reports on time!

Learning activity

1. Name two basic storage and chemical handling apparatus.

2. Name one accurate apparatus for measuring liquid volume.

3. How do you determine the mass of an object?

4. Name two safety devises to prevent chemical splash.

5. Very often, safety rules in the laboratory are written negatively and start with ‘don’t do this, don’t do that, you should not……..

Rewrite your Rules of the Laboratory positively by starting with ‘Do this, Always, You should……….

Names of Common Laboratory Apparatus

Which apparatus?

You wouldn’t dream of trying a chicken using a spoon, or of drying your hair in over a stove! In everyday life, we need to use the right tools for the job we are doing.

The same is true in the science lab.

There are lots of types of different chemical apparatus, all designed to do different jobs.

Using the right apparatus makes your practical work safer.

The pictures below show some of the apparatus you will be expected to know about and use in a chemistry laboratory.


Made from accurate uniform wall tubing to insure the stipulated capacity tolerances. Features durable, permanent markings; fine, sharp lines and large, easy-to-read numbers.

The stopcock is carefully ground and finished to assure a leak-free operation.

A burette is used to deliver solution in precisely measured, variable volumes.

To fill a burette, close the stopcock at the bottom and use a funnel.

You may need to lift up on the funnel slightly, to allow the solution to flow in freely.


A pipette is used to measure small fixed amounts of solution very accurately. A pipette bulb is used to draw solution into the pipette.

A pipette has a mark that shows how much volume it can draw. It cannot be used for transferring any other volume unless the one specified on it.

Using a Pipette

3. Beakers

Made of heat resistant borosilicate glass, withstanding temperatures up to 680°C, the beaker features a large marking spot, graduations and pouring spout.

The primary function of a beaker is to hold and work with liquids.

If graduated, it can serve to make approximate measurements of liquid volume.

The beaker is made of specialized glass so it can be heated and cooled without breaking. This type of glass makes the beaker brittle and it must be handled carefully.

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