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Steve and Susan Zumdahl's texts focus on helping students build critical thinking skills through the process of becoming independent problem-solvers. They help students learn to "think like a chemists" so they can apply the problem solving process to all aspects of their lives. In CHEMISTRY: AN ATOMS FIRST APPROACH, the Zumdahls use 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 have experienced in high school courses, it encourages them to focus on conceptual learning early in the course, rather than relying on memorization and a “plug and chug” method of problem solving that even the best students can fall back on when confronted with familiar material. The atoms first organization provides an opportunity for students to use the tools of critical thinkers: to ask questions, to apply rules and models and to evaluate outcomes.

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 BS in Chemistry from Wheaton College (IL), and his PhD 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.
  • AN ATOMS FIRST APPROACH. By taking an atoms first approach, the authors are able to provide students with a unified story built around an organizing principle – start the course with 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.
  • END-OF-CHAPTER ACTIVE LEARNING QUESTIONS. Because students often learn the most when they teach each other, these questions are intended for group discussion.
  • AN INNOVATIVE METHOD FOR DEALING WITH ACID–BASE EQUILIBRIA. Because this is the material the typical student finds most difficult and frustrating, the authors provide an innovative approach that involves first deciding what species are present in solution, then thinking about the chemical properties of these species. This method provides a general framework for approaching all types of solution equilibria.
  • A WEALTH OF EXAMPLES. More than 300 examples illustrate general problem-solving strategies. When a specific strategy is presented, it is summarized in a Problem-Solving Strategy box, and the Example that follows it reinforces the use of the strategy to solve the problem. The authors emphasize the use of conceptual understanding to solve problems rather than using an algorithm-based approach.
  • A THOROUGH TREATMENT OF REACTIONS THAT OCCUR IN SOLUTION, including acid–base reactions. This material appears in Chapter 10: "Types of Chemical Reactions and Solution Stoichiometry,” directly after the chapter on chemical stoichiometry, to emphasize the connection between solution reactions and chemical reactions in general.
  • INTEGRATION OF DESCRIPTIVE CHEMISTRY AND CHEMICAL PRINCIPLES. Chemical models may appear sterile and confusing without the observations that stimulated their invention. On the other hand, facts without organizing principles may seem overwhelming. In the chapter on the chemistry of the elements the authors use tables and charts to show how properties and models correlate. Descriptive chemistry is presented in a variety of ways—as applications of principles in separate sections, in Examples and exercises, in photographs, and in Chemical Connections.
  • A STRONG EMPHASIS ON MODELS. Coverage includes how models are constructed, how they are tested, and what we learn when they inevitably fail. Models are developed naturally, with pertinent observation always presented first to show why a particular model was invented.
  • A WIDE RANGE OF END-OF-CHAPTER EXERCISES. Exercises are included for every type of student and for every kind of homework assignment: questions that promote group learning; exercises that reinforce student understanding; and problems that present the ultimate challenge with increased rigor and by integrating multiple concepts. In addition, the book includes biochemistry problems to make the connection for students in the course who are not chemistry majors.
  • OWL INTEGRATION. Improve student learning outcomes with OWL, the #1 online learning homework and tutorial system for chemistry. OWL includes course management tools that make homework management a breeze, advanced reporting features that save time in tracking student progress, and a multimedia eBook. OWL includes parameterized Mastery homework assignments correlated to text sections, Interactive Examples, ChemDraw problem-solving exercises, and Self-Assessment questions. Students practice multiple questions of the same type with different chemicals, wording, and numbers, ensuring their mastery of underlying chemical concepts. Once in OWL, students may upgrade their access to include an e-version of the Student Solutions Manual.
  • 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 LOGICAL ORGANIZATION. Chapter 1 provides an introduction to the key components of the story—the atom, atomic structure, energy, and the mole. Chapter 2 initiates the plan of going from the simple to the complex. Chapter 3 covers counting by weighing, atomic masses, the mole, and introduces chemical equations. Chapter 4 covers the fundamental ideas of bonding to explain how atoms are tied together. Chapter 5 covers detailed models of bonding and structure: Chapter 6 covers chemical energy; Chapters 7 and 8 cover gases, liquids, and solids, and Chapter 9 covers stoichiometry.
  • 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 6.2 “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; and chemical connections boxes present applications of chemistry in various fields and in daily life.
  • 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 OWL. Students can work these Interactive Examples multiple times to help them master the problem-solving process, receiving slightly different examples each time they attempt an Interactive Example.
  • END-OF-CHAPTER VISUAL EXERCISES, called out with an icon, 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.
  • A FOCUS ON THE FUNDAMENTAL IDEAS OF CHEMISTRY. Numerous discussions, illustrations, and exercises are designed to help students overcome misconceptions by providing a more accurate picture of the fundamental ideas of chemistry. The book emphasizes the importance of developing a qualitative understanding of concepts before approaching quantitative problems.
  • AN OUTSTANDING ART PROGRAM. The book represents the microscopic world of chemistry to give students a picture in their minds of “what the atoms and molecules are doing” through an excellent art program and animations.
Review Chapter: Measurement and Calculations in Chemistry.
1. Chemical Foundations.
2. Atomic Structure and Periodicity.
3. Atoms to Molecules.
4. Bonding: General Concepts.
5. Molecular Structure and Orbitals.
6. Chemical Energy.
7. Gases.
8. Liquids and Solids.
9. Stoichiometry.
10. Types of Chemical Reactions and Solution Stoichiometry.
11. Properties of Solutions.
12. Chemical Kinetics.
13. Chemical Equilibrium.
14. Acids and Bases.
15. Acid-Base Equilibria.
16. Solubility and Complex Ion Equilibria.
17. Spontaneity, Entropy, and Free Energy.
18. Electrochemistry.
19. The Nucleus: A Chemist’s View.
20. The Representative Elements.
21. Transition Metals and coordination Chemistry.
22. Organic and Biological Molecules.
Appendix 1: SI Units and Conversion Factors.
Appendix 2: Mathematical Procedures.
Appendix 3: The Quantitative Kinetic Molecular Model
Appendix 4: Spectral Analysis
Appendix 5: Selected Thermodynamic Data
Appendix 6: Equilibrium Constants and Reduction Potentials

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  • ISBN-10: 1133382916
  • ISBN-13: 9781133382911
  • STARTING AT $23.49

  • STARTING AT $47.49

  • ISBN-10: 0840065329
  • ISBN-13: 9780840065322
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $225.00
  • RETAIL $299.95

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.