Crash Course

Crash Course Chemistry


  • The Nucleus | Crash Course Chemistry

    Chemistry can tell us how three tiny particles - the proton, neutron and electron - come together in trillions of combinations to form everything. In this inaugural episode of Crash Course Chemistry, we start out with one of the biggest ideas in chemistry ever - stuff is made from atoms. More specifically, we learn about the properties of the nucleus and why they are important to defining what an atom actually is.

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    Grades: 9-12
  • Unit Conversion & Significant Figures | Crash Course Chemistry

    A unit is the frequently arbitrary designation we have given to something to convey a definite magnitude of a physical quantity and every quantity can be expressed in terms of the seven base units that are contained in the international system of units. Hank thinks this is a thrilling subject, and while you may not agree, it is a subject that is very important if you want to be a scientist and communicate with accuracy and precision with other scientists.

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    Grades: 9-12
  • The Creation of Chemistry | The Fundamental Laws: Crash Course Chemistry

    Take a historical perspective on the creation of the science, which didn't really exist until a super-smart, super-wealthy Frenchman put the puzzle pieces together. Hank tells the story of how we went from alchemists to chemists, who understood the law of conservation of mass as proposed by a decapitated aristocrat and explains how we came to have a greater understanding of how chemical compounds work and eventually a complete understanding of what atoms and molecules are.

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    Grades: 9-12
  • The Periodic Table | Crash Course Chemistry

    Hank gives us a tour of the most important table ever, including the life story of the obsessive man who championed it, Dmitri Mendeleev. The periodic table of elements is a concise, information-dense catalog of all of the different sorts of atoms in the universe, and it has a wealth of information to tell us if we can learn to read it.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • The Electron | Crash Course Chemistry

    Hank brings us the story of the electron. He describes how reality is a kind of music, discussing electron shells and orbitals, electron configurations, ionization and electron affinities, and how all these things can be understood via the periodic table.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Stoichiometry: Chemistry for Massive Creatures | Crash Course Chemistry

    Chemists need stoichiometry to make the scale of chemistry more understandable - Hank is here to explain why, and to teach us how to use it.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Water and Solutions: for Dirty Laundry | Crash Course Chemistry

    Dihydrogen monoxide (better known as water) is the key to nearly everything. It falls from the sky, makes up 60% of our bodies, and just about every chemical process related to life takes place with it or in it. Without it, none of the chemical reactions that keep us alive would happen - none of the reactions that sustain any life form on earth would happen - and the majority of inorganic chemical reactions that shape the surface of the earth would not happen either. Every one of us uses water for all kinds of chemistry every day - our body chemistry, our food chemistry and our laundry chemistry all take place in water. In Crash Course Chemistry, we learn about some of the properties of water that make it so special - it's polarity and dielectric property; how electrolytes can be used to classify solutions; and we discover how to calculate a solution's molarity as well as how to dilute a solution using the dilution equation.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Acid Base Reactions in Solution | Crash Course Chemistry

    Hank talks about the actual reactions happening in those solutions - atoms reorganizing themselves to create whole new substances in the processes that make our world the one we know and love. This week, we focus on acids and bases and their proton-exchanging ways.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Precipitation Reactions | Crash Course Chemistry

    A lot of ionic compounds dissolve in water, dissociating into individual ions. But when two ions that find each other form an insoluble compound, they suddenly fall out of solution in what's called a precipitation reaction. In this episode of Crash Course Chemistry, we learn about precipitation, precipitates, anions, cations, and how to describe and discuss ionic reactions.


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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Redox Reactions | Crash Course Chemistry

    All the magic that we know is in the transfer of electrons. Reduction (gaining electrons) and oxidation (the loss of electrons) combine to form Redox chemistry, which contains the majority of chemical reactions. As electrons jump from atom to atom, they carry energy with them, and that transfer of energy is what makes all life on earth possible.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • How To Speak Chemistrian | Crash Course Chemistry

    Learning to talk about chemistry can be like learning a foreign language, but Hank is here to help with some straightforward and simple rules to help you learn to speak Chemistrian like a native.�

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • The Ideal Gas Law | Crash Course Chemistry

    Hank tells how the work of some amazing thinkers combined to produce the Ideal Gas Law, how none of those people were Robert Boyle, and how the ideal gas equation allows you to find out pressure, volume, temperature or number of moles.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Ideal Gas Problems | Crash Course Chemistry

    We don't live in a perfect world, and neither do gases - it would be great if their particles always fulfilled the assumptions of the ideal gas law, and we could use PV=nRT to get the right answer every time. Unfortunately, the ideal gas law (like our culture) has unrealistic expectations when it comes to size and attraction: it assumes that particles do not have size at all and that they never attract each other. So the ideal gas "law" often becomes little more than the ideal gas estimate when it comes to what gases do naturally. But it's a close enough estimate in enough situations that it's very valuable to know. In this episode, Hank goes through a bunch of calculations according to the ideal gas law so you can get familiar with it.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Real Gases | Crash Course Chemistry

    Hank explains how the constants in the gas law aren't all that constant. The ideal gas law has to be corrected for volume because atoms and molecules take up space and for pressure because they're attracted to each other. Einstein was behind a lot more of what we know today than most people realize, but a Dutch scientist named Johannes van der Waals figured out those correction factors in the late 19th century and earned a Nobel Prize for his efforts.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Partial Pressures & Vapor Pressure | Crash Course Chemistry

    We continue to spend quality time with gases, more deeply investigating some principles regarding pressure - including John Dalton's Law of Partial Pressures, vapor pressure - and demonstrating the method for collecting gas over water.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Passing Gases: Effusion, Diffusion and the Velocity of a Gas | Crash Course Chemistry

    As with most things in chemistry (and also in life) how a gas moves is more complex than it at first appears. In this episode, Hank describes what it means when we talk about the velocity of a gas - to understand gas velocity, we have to know what factors effect it, and how. Hank also teaches you about effusion, diffusion and concentration gradients, before showing off a cool experiment that physically demonstrates the things you have just learned. Sound exciting enough for you? Let's get started.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Energy & Chemistry | Crash Course Chemistry

    Hank takes us on a quick tour of how thermodynamics is applied in chemistry using his toy trebuchet as an example, because he is a proud nerd. He explores the vast, somewhat confusing concept that everything - EVER - is comprised of energy. Even mass.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Enthalpy | Crash Course Chemistry

    In this episode, you'll learn what the state function is, and how it varies from a path-dependent function; why enthalpy change is different from heat; that bonds are energy and to form and break them they release and absorb heat to and from their environment. You'll get the quickest introduction to calorimetry ever (more on that in upcoming episodes) and learn the power of Hess's Law and how to use Germain Hess's concept of the standard enthalpy of formation to calculate exactly how much heat is produced by any chemical reaction.�

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Calorimetry | Crash Course Chemistry

    Today's episode dives into the HOW of enthalpy. How we calculate it, and how we determine it experimentally...even if our determinations here at Crash Course Chemistry are somewhat shoddy.

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    Grades: 9-13+
  • Entropy: Embrace the Chaos! | Crash Course Chemistry

    Life is chaos and the universe tends toward disorder. But why? If you think about it, there are only a few ways for things to be arranged in an organized manner, but there are nearly infinite other ways for those same things to be arranged. Simple rules of probability dictate that it's much more likely for stuff to be in one of the many disorganized states than in one of the few organized states. This tendency is so unavoidable that it's known as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Obviously, disorder is a pretty big deal in the universe and that makes it a pretty big deal in chemistry - it's such a big deal that scientists have a special name for it: entropy. In chemistry, entropy is the measure of molecular randomness, or disorder. For the next thirteen minutes, Hank hopes you will embrace the chaos as he teaches you about entropy.

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    Grades: 9-13+

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