from The Open University
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story: Traces Of GuiltSaturday, 28th November 2015 23:00 - BBC FourAs Gabriel Weston discovers: every contact leaves a trace... Read more: Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story: Traces Of Guilt
The Hunt: Episode 4: Hunger at SeaSunday, 29th November 2015 16:50 - BBC One
Ireland with Simon Reeve: Episode 2Sunday, 29th November 2015 20:00 - BBC Two
Power to the People: Episode 3: The Customer is Always RightTuesday, 1st December 2015 21:00 - BBC Four
Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story: Traces Of GuiltAvailable until Tuesday, 29th December 2015 00:00As Gabriel Weston discovers: every contact leaves a trace... Read more: Catching History's Criminals: The Forensics Story: Traces Of Guilt
All in the Mind: Mindfulness, porn addiction and slothfulnessAvailable for over a year
Power to the People: Episode 2: It's Not Easy Being GreenAvailable until Friday, 25th December 2015 04:00
The Hunt: Episode 2: In the Grip of the SeasonsAvailable until Friday, 25th December 2015 02:45
OpenLearn Live: 26th November 2015Kilmachthomas, birthplace of a theatrical giant and site of a river which almost sank Cromwell.... Read more: OpenLearn Live: 26th November 2015
The HuntNew ground-breaking OU/BBC natural history series The Hunt, narrated by Sir David... Read more: The Hunt
VeilingThis unit explores controversies associated with the practice of ‘veiling’ within Islam. The... Try: Veiling now
English: skills for learningThis course is for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to... Try: English: skills for learning now
Water for life
Atoms, elements and molecules are the building blocks of everything that makes up our...
Atoms, elements and molecules are the building blocks of everything that makes up our world, including ourselves. In this unit you will learn the basic chemistry of how these components work together, starting with a chemical compound we are all very familiar with – water.
By the end of this free course you should be able to:
- read data presented in tables;
- use scientific notation to express both large and small quantities;
- appreciate why chemists use different models to represent molecules;
- identify the number and type(s) of atom present in a molecule from its chemical formula;
- identify the reactants and products of a reaction in a chemical equation;
- read and write using chemical notation;
- write a balanced chemical equation to represent a chemical reaction;
- access the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) website and retrieve information about ions in drinking water.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 The power of water
- 2 Earth's store of water
- 2.1 Where water occurs and how we measure it
- 2.2 Going up: using scientific notation for large numbers
- 2.3 The study of a raindrop
- 2.4 Going down: using scientific notation for small numbers
- 2.5 What is water made of?
- 2.6 Models of a water molecule
- 2.7 The ‘salt’ in seawater
- 3 What are compounds?
- 4 Inside the atom
- 5 Molecules and covalent bonding
- 6 Chemical language
- 7 Ions and ionic bonding
- 8 Water and its impurities
- 9 Unit summary
- Next steps
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn and track your progress. Make your learning visible!
Water for life
This unit is an introduction to chemistry concepts, using water as the main illustration. Much of the unit is devoted to exploring the smallest water particle – a water molecule – what it is and how it gives rise to the particular properties of water. The unit also explains powers of ten and scientific notation, which are a convenient way of expressing both very large and very small numbers. It is a good introduction to science.
This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Science starts here (S154), which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in this.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Environmental Studies courses or view the range of currently available OU Environmental Studies courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Thursday, 19th March 2015
Last updated on: Thursday, 19th March 2015
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.