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CHE 123: General Chemistry I: Intro

What makes a good scientist?

Do you have what it takes to be a good scientist?

  • Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it is a good trait in a scientist
  • Persistence may have driven your parent crazy at one time or another, but Edison did not figure out the correct type of material for the light bulb on the first, or even 500th, try.
  • Ability to do the background research - using the literature to locate what is already known, what has already been tried, and what others havethought might be worth trying.
  • Critical Thinking - it's elementary my dear Watson! The cure for malaria was once associated with swamps -- but it was actually the mosquitoes in the swamp that were the problem... not the "gas" of the swamp, as once believed.


If you need to determine the pH of an apple, what resource would be the best choice?

Merk Index: 4 votes (50%)
CRC Handbook: 2 votes (25%)
Encyclopedia Britannica: 0 votes (0%)
Google: 2 votes (25%)
Total Votes: 8

The Library: Finding and Using Chemical Information


  1. Be able to identify primary, secondary and tertiary resources
  2. Use library resources to locate information needed to complete chemistry assignments
  3. Correctly cite chemical literature, using the American Chemical Society (ACS) styleguide

Why is this important?

A principle goal in all scientific fields, including chemistry, is to acquire and catalog knowledge. The dissemination of this knowledge to otehrs in the scientific community helps to avoid repeating research which has already been established as fact. by disseminating and sharing their knowledge, scientists allow others to retrieve that information and build upon what is already known. It is this second point, retrieving information, on which this class activity focuses.

The Information Age

Can you answer these questions today? Probably not. Will you be able to figure out how to answer them by the end of this class? Yes, if you pay attention.

  1. What is the melting point of benzoic acid?
  2. What is the bond distance between the hydrogen atom and the nitrogen atom in ammonia?
  3. Gadolinium 153 is a radioactive isotope commonly used in medical imaging - what is its half-life?
  4. What other isotopes of gadolinium exist?
  5. Thymol Blue is an acid-based indicator -- how is the solution prepared?
  6. How can we find the answers?


Think of the library as the fastest, place to find any answer. Any time. Just give it a try.Our library is located close to Lake Jovita, behind St Francis Hall. It has the best view of the lake on campus. It also has the most books and computers available, and is open the latest of any building on campus.


Subject Guide

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Jerome Williams
Department of Math & Sciences

Office: Lewis Hall Room 310

Telephone: (352) 588-8336