Welcome to Chemistry, an OpenStax resource. This textbook has been created with several goals in mind: accessibility, customization, and student engagement—all while encouraging students toward high levels of academic scholarship. Instructors and students alike will find that this textbook offers a strong foundation in chemistry in an accessible format.

About OpenStax

OpenStax is a non-profit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Our free textbooks go through a rigorous editorial publishing process. Our texts are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate, and meet the scope and sequence requirements of today’s college courses. Unlike traditional textbooks, OpenStax resources live online and are owned by the community of educators using them. Through our partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, OpenStax is working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax is an initiative of Rice University and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations. Since our launch in 2012 our texts have been used by millions of learners online and over 1,091 institutions worldwide.

About OpenStax’s Resources

OpenStax resources provide quality academic instruction. Three key features set our materials apart from others: they can be customized by instructors for each class, they are a “living” resource that grows online through contributions from educators, and they are available free or for minimal cost.

OpenStax learning resources are designed to be customized for each course. Our textbooks provide a solid foundation on which instructors can build, and our resources are conceived and written with flexibility in mind. Instructors can select the sections most relevant to their curricula and create a textbook that speaks directly to the needs of their classes and student body. Teachers are encouraged to expand on existing examples by adding unique context via geographically localized applications and topical connections. Chemistry can be easily customized using our online platform ( Simply select the content most relevant to your current semester and create a textbook that speaks directly to the needs of your class. Chemistry is organized as a collection of sections that can be rearranged, modified, and enhanced through localized examples or to incorporate a specific theme of your course. This customization feature will ensure that your textbook truly reflects the goals of your course.

To broaden access and encourage community curation, Chemistry is “open source” licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license. The academic science community is invited to submit examples, emerging research, and other feedback to enhance and strengthen the material and keep it current and relevant for today’s students.

Our textbooks are available for free online, and in low-cost print and e-book editions.

About Chemistry

Chemistry is designed for the two-semester general chemistry course. For many students, this course provides the foundation to a career in chemistry, while for others, this may be their only college-level science course. As such, this textbook provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of chemistry and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them. The text has been developed to meet the scope and sequence of most general chemistry courses. At the same time, the book includes a number of innovative features designed to enhance student learning. A strength of Chemistry is that instructors can customize the book, adapting it to the approach that works best in their classroom.

Coverage and Scope
Our Chemistry textbook adheres to the scope and sequence of most general chemistry courses nationwide. We strive to make chemistry, as a discipline, interesting and accessible to students. With this objective in mind, the content of this textbook has been developed and arranged to provide a logical progression from fundamental to more advanced concepts of chemical science. Topics are introduced within the context of familiar experiences whenever possible, treated with an appropriate rigor to satisfy the intellect of the learner, and reinforced in subsequent discussions of related content. The organization and pedagogical features were developed and vetted with feedback from chemistry educators dedicated to the project.

  • Chapter 1: Measurement and Significance
  • Chapter 2: Atoms, Molecules, and Ions
  • Chapter 3: Electronic Structures of the Atom and Quantum Theory
  • Chapter 4: Periodic Trends of the Elements
  • Chapter 5: Nomenclature; Naming Ions and Molecules
  • Chapter 6: Chemical Bonding and Lewis Structures
  • Chapter 7: Molecular Geometry and Advanced Theories of Covalent Bonding
  • Chapter 8: Stoichiometry of Chemical Reactions
  • Chapter 9: Composition of Solutions
  • Chapter 10: Thermochemistry
  • Chapter 11: Gases
  • Chapter 12: Liquids and Solids
  • Chapter 13: Solutions and Colloids
  • Chapter 14: Thermodynamics, Entropy and Free Energy
  • Chapter 15: Chemical Kinetics
  • Chapter 16: Fundamentals of Chemical Equilibrium
  • Chapter 17: Acids-Bases and Salts
  • Chapter 18: Equilibria of Acids, Bases and Other Reaction Classes
  • Chapter 19: Electrochemistry
  • Chapter 20: Organic Chemistry
  • Chapter 21: Nuclear Chemistry
  • Chapter 22: Representative Metals, Metalloids, and Nonmetals
  • Chapter 23: Transition Metals and Coordination Chemistry

Pedagogical Foundation
Throughout Chemistry, you will find features that draw the students into scientific inquiry by taking selected topics a step further. Students and educators alike will appreciate discussions in these feature boxes.

  • Chemistry in Everyday Life ties chemistry concepts to everyday issues and real-world applications of science that students encounter in their lives. Topics include cell phones, solar thermal energy power plants, plastics recycling, and measuring blood pressure.
  • How Sciences Interconnect feature boxes discuss chemistry in context of its interconnectedness with other scientific disciplines. Topics include neurotransmitters, greenhouse gases and climate change, and proteins and enzymes.
  • Portrait of a Chemist features present a short bio and an introduction to the work of prominent figures from history and present day so that students can see the “face” of contributors in this field as well as science in action.

Comprehensive Art Program
Our art program is designed to enhance students’ understanding of concepts through clear, effective illustrations, diagrams, and photographs.








Interactives That Engage
Chemistry incorporates links to relevant interactive exercises and animations that help bring topics to life through our Link to Learning feature. Examples include:

  • PhET simulations
  • IUPAC data and interactives
  • TED talks

Assessments That Reinforce Key Concepts
In-chapter Examples walk students through problems by posing a question, stepping out a solution, and then asking students to practice the skill with a “Check Your Learning” component. The book also includes assessments at the end of each chapter so students can apply what they’ve learned through practice problems.

Atom-First Alternate Sequencing

Chemistry was conceived and written to fit a particular topical sequence, but it can be used flexibly to accommodate other course structures. Some instructors prefer to organize their course in a molecule-first or atom-first organization. For professors who use this approach, our OpenStax Chemistry textbook can be sequenced to fit this pedagogy. Please consider, however, that the chapters were not written to be completely independent, and that the proposed alternate sequence should be carefully considered for student preparation and textual consistency. We recommend these shifts in the table of contents structure if you plan to create a molecule/atom-first version of this text for your students:

  • Chapter 1: Essential Ideas
  • Chapter 2: Atoms, Molecules, and Ions
  • Chapter 6: Electronic Structure and Periodic Properties of Elements
  • Chapter 7: Chemical Bonding and Molecular Geometry
  • Chapter 8: Advanced Theories of Covalent Bonding
  • Chapter 3: Composition of Substances and Solutions
  • Chapter 4: Stoichiometry of Chemical Reactions
  • Chapter 5: Thermochemistry
  • Chapter 9: Gases
  • Chapter 10: Liquids and Solids
  • Chapter 11: Solutions and Colloids
  • Chapter 12: Kinetics
  • Chapter 13: Fundamental Equilibrium Concepts
  • Chapter 14: Acid-Base Equilibria
  • Chapter 15: Equilibria of Other Reaction Classes
  • Chapter 16: Thermodynamics
  • Chapter 17: Electrochemistry
  • Chapter 18: Representative Metals, Metalloids, and Nonmetals
  • Chapter 19: Transition Metals and Coordination Chemistry
  • Chapter 20: Organic Chemistry
  • Chapter 21: Nuclear Chemistry


OpenStax projects offer an array of ancillaries for students and instructors. The following resources are available.

  • PowerPoint Slides
  • Instructor’s Solution Manual

Our resources are continually expanding, so please visit to view an up-to-date list of the Learning Resources for this title and to find information on accessing these resources.

About Our Team

Content Leads

Paul Flowers, PhD, University of North Carolina – Pembroke

Dr. Paul Flowers earned a BS in Chemistry from St. Andrews Presbyterian College in 1983 and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Tennessee in 1988. After a one-year postdoctoral appointment at Los Alamos National Laboratory, he joined the University of North Carolina–Pembroke in the fall of 1989. Dr. Flowers teaches courses in general and analytical chemistry, and conducts experimental research involving the development of new devices and methods for microscale chemical analysis.

Klaus Theopold, PhD, University of Delaware

Dr. Klaus Theopold (born in Berlin, Germany) received his Vordiplom from the Universität Hamburg in 1977. He then decided to pursue his graduate studies in the United States, where he received his PhD in inorganic chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1982. After a year of postdoctoral research at MIT, he joined the faculty at Cornell University. In 1990, he moved to the University of Delaware, where he is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and serves as an Associate Director of the University’s Center for Catalytic Science and Technology. Dr. Theopold regularly teaches graduate courses in inorganic and organometallic chemistry as well as General Chemistry.

Richard Langley, PhD, Stephen F. Austin State University

Dr. Richard Langley earned BS degrees in Chemistry and Mineralogy from Miami University of Ohio in the early 1970s and went on to receive his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska in 1977. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Arizona State University Center for Solid State Studies, Dr. Langley taught in the University of Wisconsin system and participated in research at Argonne National Laboratory. Moving to Stephen F. Austin State University in 1982, Dr. Langley today serves as Professor of Chemistry. His areas of specialization are solid state chemistry, synthetic inorganic chemistry, fluorine chemistry, and chemical education.

Senior Contributing Author
William R. Robinson, PhD

Contributing Authors

Mark Blaser, Shasta College

Simon Bott, University of Houston

Donald Carpenetti, Craven Community College

Andrew Eklund, Alfred University

Emad El-Giar, University of Louisiana at Monroe

Don Frantz, Wilfrid Laurier University

Paul Hooker, Westminster College

Jennifer Look, Mercer University

George Kaminski, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Carol Martinez, Central New Mexico Community College

Troy Milliken, Jackson State University

Vicki Moravec, Trine University

Jason Powell, Ferrum College

Thomas Sorensen, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Allison Soult, University of Kentucky

Contributing Reviewers
Casey Akin, College Station Independent School District

Lara AL-Hariri, University of Massachusetts–Amherst

Sahar Atwa, University of Louisiana at Monroe

Todd Austell, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill

Bobby Bailey, University of Maryland–University College

Robert Baker, Trinity College

Jeffrey Bartz, Kalamazoo College

Greg Baxley, Cuesta College

Ashley Beasley Green, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Patricia Bianconi, University of Massachusetts

Lisa Blank, Lyme Central School District

Daniel Branan, Colorado Community College System

Dorian Canelas, Duke University

Emmanuel Chang, York College

Carolyn Collins, College of Southern Nevada

Colleen Craig, University of Washington

Yasmine Daniels, Montgomery College–Germantown

Patricia Dockham, Grand Rapids Community College

Erick Fuoco, Richard J. Daley College

Andrea Geyer, University of Saint Francis

Daniel Goebbert, University of Alabama

John Goodwin, Coastal Carolina University

Stephanie Gould, Austin College

Patrick Holt, Bellarmine University

Kevin Kolack, Queensborough Community College

Amy Kovach, Roberts Wesleyan College

Judit Kovacs Beagle, University of Dayton

Krzysztof Kuczera, University of Kansas

Marcus Lay, University of Georgia

Pamela Lord, University of Saint Francis

Oleg Maksimov, Excelsior College

John Matson, Virginia Tech

Katrina Miranda, University of Arizona

Douglas Mulford, Emory University

Mark Ott, Jackson College

Adrienne Oxley, Columbia College

Richard Pennington, Georgia Gwinnett College

Rodney Powell, Coastal Carolina Community College

Jeanita Pritchett, Montgomery College–Rockville

Aheda Saber, University of Illinois at Chicago

Raymond Sadeghi, University of Texas at San Antonio

Nirmala Shankar, Rutgers University

Jonathan Smith, Temple University

Bryan Spiegelberg, Rider University

Ron Sternfels, Roane State Community College

Cynthia Strong, Cornell College

Kris Varazo, Francis Marion University

Victor Vilchiz, Virginia State University

Alex Waterson, Vanderbilt University

JuchaoYan, Eastern New Mexico University

Mustafa Yatin, Salem State University

Kazushige Yokoyama, State University of New York at Geneseo

Curtis Zaleski, Shippensburg University

Wei Zhang, University of Colorado–Boulder


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College of Western Idaho General Chemistry: CHEM 111 & 112 Copyright © 2016 by Rice University is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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