Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach 2nd Edition

Steven S. Zumdahl | Susan A. Zumdahl

  • Copyright 2016
  • Published
  • Available with:
  • OWLv2

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Starting at $120.00


This product focuses on helping students build critical thinking skills. The authors help students learn to "think like chemists" so they can apply problem solving to all aspects of their lives. This second edition of CHEMISTRY: AN ATOMS FIRST APPROACH uses a meaningful approach that begins with the atom and proceeds through the concept of molecules, structure, and bonding to more complex materials and their properties. Because this approach differs from what most students learned in high school courses, it encourages them to focus on conceptual learning, rather than memorization and a “plug and chug” method of problem solving.

Meet the Author

Steven S. Zumdahl, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Steve Zumdahl is the author of market-leading textbooks in introductory chemistry, general chemistry, honors-level chemistry, and high school chemistry. Recently retired from his long-time position as Director of Undergraduate Programs at the University of Illinois, he has received numerous awards for his contributions to chemical education. These include the National Catalyst Award in recognition of his contribution to chemical education, the University of Illinois Teaching Award, the UIUC Liberal Arts and Sciences Advising Award, and the School of Chemical Sciences Teaching Award (five times). He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Wheaton College (IL), and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Susan A. Zumdahl, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Susan A. Zumdahl earned a B.S. and M.A. in Chemistry at California State University--Fullerton. She has taught science and mathematics at all levels, including middle school, high school, community college, and university. She is past director of the Merit Program for Emerging Scholars in Chemistry at the University of Illinois. In addition, she spearheaded the development of a sophisticated web-based electronic homework system for chemistry and is co-author on several chemistry textbooks.

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Created by teaching chemists, OWLv2 is a powerful online learning system for chemistry with a unique Mastery Learning approach, which allows students to practice at their own pace, receive meaningful feedback and access a variety of learning resources to help them master chemistry and achieve better grades.

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Features & Benefits

  • END-OF-CHAPTER VISUAL EXERCISES provide students with opportunities to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of fundamental chemical principles. Many take an "atomic view" of matter to help students appreciate the usefulness of the atomic model in understanding macroscopic properties. Other problems ask students to interpret graphs or to explain figures.
  • AN ATOMS FIRST APPROACH: By taking an atoms first approach, the authors provide students with a unified story built around an organizing principle--start the course with the smallest element, the atom, and build from there. Building their explanations around this structure, the authors consistently show the importance and relevance of studying chemistry.
  • A FOCUS ON CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING: Rather than focusing on memorizing, the book gives students the tools they need to become critical thinkers: to ask questions, to apply rules and develop models, and to evaluate the outcome.
  • A STRONG PROBLEM-SOLVING ORIENTATION: Throughout the text, problem-solving strategies help students learn to solve problems by thinking them through rather than brute-force memorizing. Section 5.3 “Learning to Solve Problems” emphasizes the importance of thoughtful, creative problem solving, demonstrating that thinking through a problem produces more long-term, meaningful learning that can be applied to “real life” than memorizing steps that apply only to a particular type of problem. The problem-solving process is organized in terms of “Where are we going?”; “How do we get there?”; and “Reality Check,” which prompts students to check whether their answer makes sense.
  • STUDENT-ORIENTED LEARNING AIDS: Problem-solving strategy boxes help students focus on particular aspects of problem-solving; concept summary boxes help students organize their thinking about crucial concepts; critical-thinking questions help students to contemplate various atoms first concepts; chemical connections boxes present applications of chemistry in various fields and in daily life; and atoms first boxes provide an overall summary at critical junctures that ties together concepts to enhance student understanding.
  • INTERACTIVE EXAMPLES encourage students to think their way through the example instead of passively reading through the solution. Electronic versions of select examples are assignable in OWLv2. To help in mastery of the problem-solving process, students can work these Interactive Examples multiple times, receiving slightly different examples each time they attempt an Interactive Example.

Table of Contents

Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach, Hybrid


Review: Measurement and Calculations in Chemistry.
1. Chemical Foundations.
2. Atomic Structure and Periodicity.
3. Bonding: General Concepts.
4. Molecular Structure and Orbitals.
5. Stoichiometry.
6. Types of Chemical Reactions and Solution Stoichiometry.
7. Chemical Energy.
8. Gases.
9. Liquids and Solids.
10. Properties of Solutions.
11. Chemical Kinetics.
12. Chemical Equilibrium.
13. Acids and Bases.
14. Acid-Base Equilibria
15. Solubility and Complex Ion Equilibria.
16. Spontaneity, Entropy, and Free Energy.
17. Electrochemistry.
18. The Nucleus: A Chemist's View.
19. The Representative Elements.
20. Transition Metals and Coordination Chemistry.
21. Organic and Biological Molecules.
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Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access

ISBN: 9781305279971
Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero is a flexible, online system that allows you to author, edit, and manage test bank content from multiple Cengage Learning solutions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom or wherever you want.

Student Solutions Manual

ISBN: 9781305398122
This manual provides detailed solutions for half of the end-of-chapter exercises (designated by blue question numbers), using the strategies emphasized in the text. This manual has been thoroughly checked for precision and accuracy. Answers to the "For Review" questions appear on the student website.

Lab Manual

ISBN: 9781305398313
This laboratory manual provides an extensive laboratory program compatible with the text. The experiments demonstrate a wide variety of chemistry concepts, and many experiments offer choices of procedures.


Student Solutions Manual

ISBN: 9781305398122
Improve your performance at exam time with this comprehensive solutions manual, which provides detailed solutions to the odd-numbered end-of-chapter exercises (designated by blue question numbers), using the strategies emphasized in the text. Answers to the "For Review" questions appear on the student website.

Lab Manual

ISBN: 9781305398313
Build skill and confidence in the lab with the experiments included in this manual. Safety is strongly emphasized.