Chemistry of Materials--CHEM 1010

This course and the associated laboratory, CHEM 1011, together (4 credit hours) satisfy a General Education Natural Science requirement for students majoring in social sciences, humanities, fine arts, business, and education. CHEM 1010 and 1011 are required for B. S. Engineering Technology majors. This course will not be credited toward a major in any of the physical sciences, biological sciences, mathematics, or engineering.

Students whose program of study requires them to take CHEM 1110, General Chemistry 1 (science majors and those preparing for health professional schools), but who lack adequate background may take this course, CHEM 1010, as preparation, and must take MATH 1710 concurrently if it or a higher MATH course has not already been completed.

Prerequisite: MATH 1420 or MATH 1710 with minimum grade of C-, or a score on the ALEKS math placement exam appropriate for placement in MATH 1710.
Students are strongly encouraged to enroll concurrently in the associated laboratory, CHEM 1011.

Course Description: Measurement and the scientific method; states of matter; fundamental laws of chemistry; modern atomic theory; water and aqueous solutions; oxidation-reduction and acid-based reactions; nuclear chemistry; energy and materials in modern society; environmental impact and sustainability. Three lecture hours per week; 3 credit hours.

Textbook and other materials:

  • Denniston, Topping, Woodrum, & Caret, General, Organic, and Biochemistry, 8th edition (McGraw-Hill)
    (Note: the same text is used for CHEM 1020)
  • Online homework (Connect and LearnSmart) from McGraw-Hill.  General information about the Connect/LearnSmart system may be found here.
  • Scientific calculator

Course Objectives:

  • To teach the basic principles of chemistry as they apply to the materials used in modern society
  • To promote understanding of the methods of science and the interpretation of scientific data
  • To enable responsible decision making for a stable and sustainable environment

Course Outline: (The exact order of topics may vary by instructor.)

  • Study and measurement of the properties and matter
  • Atoms, molecules, and bonding
  • Chemical reactions and calculations
  • Gases, liquids, and solids
  • The atmosphere, ozone, climate change
  • Energy from fossil fuels
  • Water and aqueous solutions
  • Acids and bases and acid rain
  • Electrochemistry, and batteries
  • Nuclear chemistry
  • Plastics and recycling

Grades: A comprehensive final examination will be administered in class at the assigned time. At least one test will be administered in class and graded before the last day to drop. Other tests, quizzes, and graded writing assignments, weighting, and grade ranges are at the discretion of the instructor, and will be detailed on a syllabus distributed on the first day of classes.


  • Tardiness and unexcused absence from class are unprofessional behaviors which should be avoided, but attendance will not be graded.
  • Electronic devices such as cell phones and pagers should be turned off in the classroom, unless permitted by instructor for designated activities.
  • Reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be made for students who present a memo from Student Disability Services.

Instructor Homepages
Dr. Peter Bridson