Survey of Chemistry and Physics

Submission Information

  • Final
  • Chemistry
  • December 21, 2012

Descriptor Details

  • Survey of Chemistry and Physics
  • 140
  • 4

An investigation of basic principles of physics and chemistry including matter, physical and chemical properties, energy, motion, light, atomic structure, bonding, solutions and chemical reactions. The inter-dependence of chemistry and physics will be emphasized. This course is intended for non-science majors.

Elementary algebra or higher or eligibility for transfer-level mathematic



Measurement & Fundamental Properties

  • Fundamentals of measuring length, area, volume and mass
  • Density of materials
  • The Scientific Method

Structure of Matter

  • Atomic theory and basic atomic structure including the relationships between sub-atomic particles
  • Periodic Table of Elements and periodic trends to atomic structure
  • Characteristics of the atomic, ionic, and molecular classes of matter
  • Phases of matter (solids, liquids, and gases) and the connections between the properties using a particle model
  • Classification of matter--elements, substances, compounds, mixtures
  • Basic characteristics of solutions, including acids and bases, and their relationship to the pH scale

Matter and its Changes

  • Phases of matter and associated phase changes
  • Chemical and physical changes, and classifying chemical and physical properties of matter
  • Basic principles of chemical bonding and chemical reactivity
  • Energy changes during chemical reactions

Motion and Forces

  • Motion of objects as related through the concepts of position, displacement, speed, velocity, and acceleration
  • Interpretation of distance vs. time and speed vs. time graphs
  • The relationship between a net force and the motion of an object
  • Explain how action and reaction forces are related to each other
  • Basic forces in the universe including electrostatic, gravitational and magnetic

Energy and Its Role in Society

  • Forms of energy including solar, chemical, magnetic, electric, nuclear, and thermal
  • The relationship between net force, work, and kinetic energy
  • Conservation of energy, and how energy is transformed from one form to another
  • The nature of heat (thermal energy) and heat transfer (conductive, convective, radiant) and their relationship to temperature and temperature measurement
  • Energy resource conservation and its impact on society

Electricity and Magnetism

  • Electric charge and how charge is transferred from one object to another
  • Models of electric current, voltage, resistance and their interrelationships
  • The construction and operation of simple electrical circuits and the difference between series and parallel combinations of resistors

Waves and Light

  • Longitudinal and transverse waves
  • Properties of sound
  • Doppler effect and Interference
  • Electromagnetic radiation (light), the electromagnetic spectrum and sources of light
  • Relationship between wavelength (or frequency) and color
  • Color perception
  • Reflection and refraction of waves

Laboratory activities should cover the range of topics designated for lecture. The majority of labs should be hands-on activities with “real-world” data collection as opposed to computer simulation.  If possible a guided inquiry approach to this course where lecture and laboratory are integrated is suggested.

At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:

Lecture Objectives

  • Describe the states of matter and associate phase changes.
  • Classify matter as elements, compounds, mixtures and describe properties of each.
  • Describe basic atomic structure including the fundamental particles and electron energy levels
  • Explain the history and structure of the periodic table.
  • Explain and describe different ways atoms combine to form compounds.
  • Describe the motion of objects as related through the concepts of position, displacement, speed, velocity and acceleration.
  • Use Newton’s Laws to predict and explain the motion of an object.
  • Discuss the type of energy present in a system and use conservation of energy to solve problems.
  • Explain the requirements for a complete circuit in terms of a model of electric charge.
  • Describe color perception based on the wave nature of light and its interactions.
  • Explain conservation of energy resources.
  • Contrast renewable and nonrenewable natural resources.

Laboratory Objectives

  • Understand fundamentals of taking and recording measurements including measuring length, area, volume, mass, density, significant figures, converting between units and scientific notation.
  • Practical applications to both the chemistry and physics lecture objectives.
  • Drawing conclusions between data and results including constructing graphs and identifying relationships between variables.

Suggested Student Learning Outcomes

  • Correctly analyze natural phenomena using the concepts of physics and chemistry.
  • Investigate physical phenomena using appropriate equipment and methods, make valid comparisons with theoretical predictions, and communicate those results.

  • Exams/Tests
  • Quizzes
  • Research Projects
  • Papers
  • Oral Presentation
  • Group Projects
  • Home Work
  • Lab Activities

*Note: Not all of the methods listed above are required. This is just list of possible evaluation methods.

Nanes, R., Inquiry into Physical Science – A Contextual Approach

Hewitt, Suchocki, and Hewitt, Conceptual Physical Science

Hewitt, Suchocki, and Hewitt, Laboratory Manual for Conceptual Physical Science

Tillery, B, Physical Science

Shipman, Wilson, and Todd, An Introduction to Physical Science

Tillery, B, Laboratory Manual to accompany Physical Science

Laboratory Manuals produced in house

  • May 03, 2022
  • 3 Units Lecture, 1 Unit Laboratory

    This course is a one semester course on chemistry and physics that is usually taken by future elementary school teachers. These students will often also take an Earth science course that covers topics in astronomy, geology, meteorology, and oceanography.