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Chemistry DeMYSTiFieD, Second Edition 2nd Edition

32 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0071751308
ISBN-10: 0071751300
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


Forget dry presentations, abstract theory, and grueling homework assignments -- here's an entertaining and effective way for those without formal training or unlimited time to get up-to-speed on chemistry and the foundational components of matter.

With Chemistry Demystified, you master the subject one simple step at a time -- at your own speed. Unlike most books on chemistry, general principles are presented first, and the details follow. In order to make the learning process as clear and simple as possible, heavy-duty math, formulas, and equations are kept to a minimum. This unique self-teaching guide offers questions at the end of each chapter and section to pinpoint weaknesses, and a 150-question final exam to reinforce the entire book. You'll also find a host of "extras" such as Chembites, tips, scientific news, and cutting-edge industry applications not usually found in standard textbooks.

Simple enough for a beginner, but challenging enough for an advanced student, Chemistry Demystified is the painless alternative to learning or brushing up on chemistry.

Here's everything you need to:
* Understand the components of matter
* Grasp symbols and naming standards used in chemistry
* Learn elements, electrons, and the Periodic Table
* Discover the composition of atoms
* Comprehend subatomic particles
* Execute formulaic calculations
* Understand properties and reactions
* Comprehend solubility, boiling, and freezing points
* Discern surface tension --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Linda Williams, M.S., is a nonfiction writer with expertise in the fields of science, medicine, and space. She was a former lead scientist and technical writer for NASA, McDonnell Douglas, Wyle Labs, and Rice University. Ms. Williams is currently the Dean's Research Liaison at the UAMS College of Medicine, as well as Director of the Science Café, a venue that organizes scientific discussions between educators and the public. She is the author of Earth Science DeMYSTiFieD, Environmental Science DeMYSTiFieD, and Nanotechnology DeMYSTiFieD.


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Product Details

  • Series: Demystified
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 2 edition (May 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071751300
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071751308
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,886 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Umbach on December 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is a horrible waste of trees. Aside from the errors and omissions, it is condescending, thin in content (filled out with quizzes that take up many of the pages), and generally useless for any meaningful introduction to or overview of chemistry. I would give it zero stars if that were an option. Try the old workhorse "Chemistry Made Simple" instead.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By R. S. Litman on March 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm reading up on the science I've forgotten from my school days, the science I didn't elect to take back then, and the science that didn't exist yet. I initially studied Chemistry as an adult through the John Wiley Self-Teaching Guide on this subject, which I highly recommend, by the way. I then chose to study Biology and Physics using the books in the Demystified series. Both of these books were jam-packed with enough information to bring me up to speed on these topics, and I also highly recommend them.

I decided to read Chemistry Demystified because the Physics and Biology books had been so great. But as other reviewers here have noted, it is jam-packed with errors! My copy is apparently a later printing than the one that one of the other reviewers had because it does have the Periodic Table on the inside front cover. Because I saw it printed there, I thought maybe I'd be getting a totally corrected edition, but the other mistakes are still present.

In several places, when references needed to be made to the B portion of the Periodic Table, the reference instead was made to the same-numbered column in the A portion.

How such a book managed to be released with so many errors escapes me. Author Linda Williams may be an accomplished science writer, as her biography inside the book states, but she must be embarrassed to have put out such a shoddy publication bearing her name. If they didn't have time to do this book right before a release deadline, they should have delayed the book. I hope that a later, corrected edition is planned, though, because the concept is valid.

Incidentally, both the front and back covers, as well as an editorial review quoted here, mention something called "ChemBites" as being included. That's one more error for this book, because I didn't see anything of the sort in the book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By 3 Paws on July 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Aughh, I can't believe I bought this book without reading reviews first! I had found the Precalc Demystified book to be very helpful, so I figured I couldn't go wrong with another one in the same series. Wrong!!! I am on Chapter TWO, and so far there have been so many ridiculous errors that I just can't continue with the book. Because of all the errors (and then the creeping, nagging feeling: is *that* an error, or is my understanding wrong??) the book has pretty much been an impediment to understanding. I have spent more time on the internet clarifying concepts, and with pen and paper re-working the bizarrely wrong example calculations, than I have spent learning from the book. I only wish I had not begun to make margin notes in it, because now I can't return it. :(
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Joseph T. Reinckens II on April 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I picked up a copy of this at Half-Priced Books. I have studied science as a hobby for more than 4 decades, but mainly astrophysics, quantum physics and cosmology. I saw this and it seemed to be a fairly nice layout and concept. Not too complicated but also not overly simplistic. So far I have finished Chapter 6. I was quite surprised when I realized that I found about four errors in one chapter--especially when it is getting into some of the more difficult things like calculation of electron configuration orbital subshells.

This seems to be a reasonably usable book but YES, it does have LOTS of typos! Just be aware that if you think the text may be wrong, it may be because it *is* a typo. The errors are not misspellings, words missing, grammatical errors, etc., nor are they simple obvious misstatements of fact, such as, "New York City is the capitol of New York State." For the most part they are one or two letters or numbers wrong. For instance, Example 6.8 says the abbreviation for Cesium is Ce but it is actually Cs. For Quiz 6 Question 10 the question is "The Pauli exclusion principle states that". The correct answer is, "no two *electrons* can occupy the same orbital unless their spins are different." The correct answer is supposed to be (b) except that their text reads "no two *atoms* ..."

When I read Williams' explanation of "significant digits" and rounding some of it just didn't make sense and I kept thinking, "Gee, that's not the way I understood it ..." (I have 30 semester hours in accounting and tax and passed 2 parts of the CPA exam.) After seeing these reviews and the other errors, I'm thinking my original understanding is right and the book is wrong.

I haven't checked out any of the competing books, so I can't say whether those might be preferable. This is basically for someone who wants a general understanding of the concepts.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By blueskies7 on May 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
Thank goodness I bought this at a going-out-of-business sale so I didn't waste too much money. I don't know why I didn't read the reviews first like I usually do. I guess I trusted the "McGraw-Hill" emblem in the corner. HA! I bought this to get a basic understanding of chemistry before my summer gen-ed college course. There was already an example in Chapter Two that I could not make sense of no matter how many times I reread it. I figured I would ask a coworker who had Chem about it later and I decided to read on. Three pages later another example didn't make sense. I was beginning to doubt my intelligence. Then I looked up the reviews. So many reviewers saying the book was full of errors. What's mystifying is how this book ever made it to press. Do not waste your money!
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