Pre-University Chemistry Course

The following teaching material is based on an extract from the book "Chemistry, Matter and the Universe" by Richard E. Dickerson and Irving Geis.

Richard Dickerson has kindly given us permission to use his text and the accompanying images in the creation of this multimedia enhanced learning resource.

The plug-ins SHOCKWAVE (for Flash and Director) and CHIME are required to view the multimedia animations and 3D molecules found throughout these web pages. Simply click on the icons below and follow the links for your free downloads:

Shockwave    Chime

You should use the latest versions of Netscape Communicator or Internet Explorer in order to view these web pages.

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  1. The View From a Distant Universe
  2. Atoms, Molecules, and Moles
  3. Eight Electron Chemistry: Lithium through Neon
  4. Electron Sharing and Covalent Bonds
  5. Gain and Loss of Electrons; Ions and Metals
  6. Periodicity of Behaviour; Sodium Through Argon
  7. Particles, Waves, and Paradoxes
  8. The Machinery Behind the Periodic Table
  9. Molecular Orbitals and Molecular Structure
  10. Playing With a Full Deck; The Periodic Table
  11. You Can't Get Something for Nothing: Conservation of Mass, Charge and Energy
  12. Heat, Energy and Chemical Bonds


  1. How To Measure Disorder
  2. Chemical Equilibrium
  3. The Rates of Chemical Reactions
  4. Ions and Equilibrium; Acids and Bases
  5. The Drive To Make Things Happen: Chemical and Electrical Potential
  6. From Outer Space to Inner Space: Scale in the Universe
  7. The Simple Compounds of Carbon
  8. The Variety of Organic Compounds
  9. Lipids and Carbohydrates
  10. Proteins and Nucleic Acids: Information Carriers
  11. Energy Transformations: Respiration and Photosynthesis
  12. Enzymes and Catalysis
  13. Self-Sustaining Chemical Systems: Living Cells
  14. The Origin Of Life On Earth

The source of all energy on Earth is the sun which is symbolized as the above Zia Indian sign. The sun, which dominates our planet, actually is only one star in an immense universe of billions of stars.


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Web design and multimedia images by the chemistry virtual reality research students - Copyright University of Oxford, 1998-2002
Text - Copyright Richard E. Dickerson and Irving Geis, 1976