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Water for life

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Atoms, elements and molecules are the building blocks of everything that makes up our world, including ourselves. In this free course, Water for life, 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.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 15 hours
  • Updated Thursday 19th March 2015
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Environmental Studies
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Water for life

Introduction

Unit image

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 subject area [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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