answer 20 questions about general chemistry

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Chemistry 4830 – Fall Semester 2017
Information concerning the final examination:
The final examination for this course is scheduled for the evening of Tuesday Dec. 5;
from 6 to 8 p.m.
The examination will consist of two questions similar to those in the list presented below.
There will be two sections; one on older chemistry and one on more recent developments.
You will have some choice of the essays you write but you will have to choose one
question from each section. The examination will be OPEN NOTES.
Modern atomic theory is generally agreed to have been formulated in a
chemically useful manner by John Dalton (~ 1810). Yet in 1826 the distinguished French
chemist J. B. Dumas wrote:
“What remains of our ambitious incursion into the realm of the atom? Nothing; or at any
rate nothing of importance. All we have gained is the conviction that chemistry has gone
astray as she always has when, abandoning experiment, she has tried to walk in the dark
without a guide. Experiments will take you to …. equivalents but you will look in vain
for those atoms which our imagination has conceived. If I had my way, I should expunge
the word atom from the vocabulary of science.”
Develop in detail the historical context in which such a statement would appear as a
logical conclusion.
Discuss Dalton’s Atomic Theory, briefly touching on earlier ideas of atoms and
the important aspects in which Dalton’s Theory differed from them.
What was the “atomic weight problem” in the early 19th century? How was it
ultimately solved.
Discuss the Theory of Phlogiston, its flaws, and how the oxygen theory replaced
it as a new unifying chemical theory.
The ancients knew seven metals and two non-metals, alchemy discovered some
three more elements, and the rest were discovered through the interplay of science and
Discuss briefly how each of the following developments led to the discovery of elements
(It is not necessary to name all the elements.):
advances in mining techniques
the pneumatic trough
(e )
the spectroscope
the periodic chart
the discovery of radioactivity
X-ray spectrum analysis
Develop the experimental evidence that led to the ultimate downfall of
electrochemical dualism as a viable theory in Organic Chemistry.
Evaluate the contributions of Laurent ,Gerhardt, and Butlerov to the structural
theory of organic compounds.
8. Why is the Karlsruhe Conference of 1860 considered an important event in the History
of Chemistry, when it reached no general conclusions, and could not even agree on an
Discuss the development of organic chemistry during the 19th century, using the
following as a possible outline:
Woehler’s synthesis of urea
The type theory and the radical theory
Frankland and valence
Tetravalence of carbon (Couper and Kekule)
Chemical structure (Couper, Crum Brown, Butlerov)
Tetrahedral carbon (Pasteur, van’t Hoff and LeBel)
10. Discuss the development of the Periodic Law and the Periodic Table from the time
of Lothar Meyer and Mendeleev through 1920. Include experimental as well as
theoretical developments.
11. Discuss the concept of “valence” (the chemical bond) from the time of Frankland
through 1930. Include in your discussion experimental as well as theoretical contributions
to structural theory.
12. Develop the historical bases for a belief in the “nuclear atom” (including
extra-nuclear electrons) beginning with early experiments on cathode rays.
13. Discuss the classification of the elements including the contributions of
Dobereiner, Newlands, De Chancourtois, Mendeleev, Meyer, and Moseley.
Discuss the development of ideas about atomic structure in the 20th century up to
about 1920, including the contributions of J.J. Thompson’; Rutherford, Bohr, De Broglie,
and Heisenberg.
15. Develop the experimental rationale for the emergence of the theory of
electrochemical dualism.
16. Discuss and evaluate critically the contributions of Laurent, Gerhardt, Williamson,
Frankland,, and Kekule to the development of the concept of the tetravalence of carbon.
17. Exactly what is a dualistic theory of chemical compounds? What is a unitary
theory? How were these opposing theories resolved in the nineteenth century?
18. Discuss the development of the concept of acids (acidity) and bases (basicity) from
the time of Boyle to 1860.
Develop the historical bases for a belief in the three dimensional structure of
carbon compounds.

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