The Wright Stuff

Science Section

For all the latest news from the world of science, you gotta to visit my
Science News Page


Here are some chemistry tutorials I've written and some other excellent Internet resources on Science. As the World Wide Web was invented by scientists, and we scientists were among the first to use computers as part of our normal work, there are a lot of good science sites out there. Note that the Weather with Attitude pages are also a science section (on weather, strangely enough). Some of these science links are to my other site, www.sky-web.net.

My Tutorials

Cell emfs tutorial Uses of the Transition Metals
Balancing Chemical Equations
and
worked examples

Properties of Transition Metals

Transition Metal Catalysts

 

 

How to calculate molecular masses (the RMM)

 

Le Chatelier's Principle

Types of chemical reaction

Oxidation Numbers
(a PowerPoint show)

Test yourself on calculating the RMM of compounds.

Solutions and concentration calulations

 

What are acids and bases?

Strong and weak acids and bases

What is Radioactivity?

The above PowerPoint shows take about 12-15 seconds to load up, just be patient. And if you see a strange little f moving around, I don't know why either, it's not the nice little bullet marker I inserted!

Chemistry crosswords

A fun way to learn!

- Alkanes etc and Printable Alkanes
- The Elements and Printable Elements
- Chemistry Equipment and Printable Equipment
- Classes of Compounds and Printable Classes

The chemistry crosswords come in two forms - an interactive online version that requires Java to be installed on your computer, and a printable version. Just to be awkward, the printable ones are sometimes laid out slightly differently to the interactive ones.

Need some chemistry glassware and equipment drawings? A good selection are provided free at the above site. Ideal for illustrating reports.
For special (free) chemistry drawing software try this quick jump down the page.

Online Revision Sites

My tutorials will each be on a single subject, but some web sites offer a free online general revision course. This list will change at times, as the owners of these other sites tend to add and remove their short courses after a while. Some require you to write your answers on paper then check them at the end of the test. You will get the maximum benefit if you follow their instructions and don't cheat. Who would you be cheating? Just yourself!

Revise GCSE at Encarta - A Microsoft site using questions from the famous Letts Revision series (highly recommended books). Covers Maths, Science, and English - i.e. the commonest subjects taken. Hosted on the Encarta OnLine site, you don't need me to tell you that there is a lot of other stuff to investigate here, but do the revision you went there for first, otherwise you are wasting your time.

Freeserve Education has links to a couple of revision courses featuring science. They seem to change the course suppliers every year, the current two are listed below.
WARNING Freeserve have updated their system, and the above page is currently unavailable. I'll be watching to see if it re-appears - if not I'll delete this link. But the links below still work okay.

SamLearning is featured on the Freeserve pages, and you can go there directly as well. They offer free trials of their lessons and free revision tests are available. Covers GCSE and A level. They would likeyou to pay to join a course, but try the free stuff.

Learn.co.uk from the Guardian is the second featured site at Freeserve. They too cover GCSE and A-level, and would like you to pay to join a course, but there is a lot of free stuff to help you along.

Creative-Chemistry is a site that takes a more relaxed, fun view to teaching chemistry, and is very good for GCSE students, although the section for AS / A Level is good as well. Lots of alternative ways to learn other than plain old lecturing, and some practice revision tests.

 

Other Peoples' Science Sites

The first two sites here are very useful to students studying chemistry, and once my own students had paid them a few visits as part of a particular lesson on using the Internet, they started using them all the time for background information on compounds.

Chemfinder.com is an online search engine dedicated to chemistry. Here you can enter a chemical name or formula and it returns its general properties, and a list of other on-line databases on physical and chemical properties, hazard warning sites, safety information, and much much more. It should be your starting point to track down information on any chemical. Forget the normal search engines, this is THE chemist's search engine! I've used it since about 1995 or '96 and have never been disappointed at the quality and quantity of information available.

Web Elements - a database using the familiar Periodic Table layout to return data on elements. Widely used, well respected and highly rated, there is a lot of data available here.

The Wooden Periodic Table is a bit different to the normal ones you see.

Singapore Science Centre - a virtual science centre run by the University of Singapore. Well worth a visit. Their ScienceNet section allows you to ask questions which experts will try to answer. Note that there is a similar UK based ScienceNet, but I wasn't as impressed by the UK one as by the Singapore set-up.

Science - Engineering Tiimeline - lists lots of well-known events in science, engineering and general history in chronological order. See what else was happenning when Darwin put forward the origin of the species, when ether was first used as an anesthetic, when Billy the Kid shot Pat Garrett, and when tobacco (as snuff) was first linked to cancer (1781 !!).

 

Chemistry Drawing Software

MDL Downloads - MDL produce some useful software for research chemists, and generously make a few of their products freely available for educational and home use. You can download their very useful ISIS Draw from here to draw organic chemical structures to illustrate homework and the like. There is an interesting free add-in which generates the correct IUPAC name for chemicals drawn in ISIS Draw - I found a similar program about ten years ago, and due to poor publicity it didn't do well and was then bought by aother company to add into their product. You might also try their CHIME download which is a browser add-in. It is used on many sites to provide 3-D views of molecular structures and really improves what you see on some chemistry sites. (They say the latest version is for Windows 2000 and Windows XP, but I downloaded it and can run it under Windows 98se - I think they mean now upgraded to include Win XP, not just Win XP.) For sample structures to look at try Molecules by Flick Coleman.

RasMol is a free 3-D drawer and viewer for chemical structures. It has been around for years and is very good. One of its main attractions (apart from being free) is that there are large collections of molecule structures available free as well. Great for teachers needing to illustrate structures. It was used as the basis of the Chime browser plug-in mentioned earlier, but is a stand-alone program, not a web program.

Protein Explorer is the next generation of RasMol, and is easier to use. Since 1999, the programmers have concentrated on this improved version (now in V2) to the exclusion of RasMol. Don't let the word protein worry you however, you are allowed to draw simple things with it as well!
There are lots of tutorials and advice on these two useful tools at the above sites.

For libraries of molecules for the above two programs try Molecules Galore! at Univ. Mass., Molecular Models at Okanagan, another Okanagan college pageand the Molecular Library at MathMol. You can also try a web search on Rasmol and a chemical's name to find structures for individual compounds.

ACDLabs has several free downloads available, including their ChemSketch 12.0 (which has the ability to name compounds!) and some add-ins for ISIS/Draw (see MDL Downloads, above).

Not all science is serious however, in fact science is great fun, as these links below show.

Molecules with Silly Names details genuine chemicals with names that will make you laugh.

DHMO.org Learn the awful truth about this chemical from the organisation dedicated to revealing the facts and showing that the truth is out there. Somewhere.

The Journal of Unpublished Chemistry - you should have no problem in recognising why this stuff was unpublished!

 

The Origin of the Species - This is an online text of the famous book by Charles Darwin on the basic theory of evolution. There is a lot to read here, and it is not all easy going either. But a book as important as this one has to get a mention somewhere.