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Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science) [Kindle Edition]

Robert Bruce Thompson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Book Description

For students, DIY hobbyists, and science buffs, who can no longer get real chemistry sets, this one-of-a-kind guide explains how to set up and use a home chemistry lab, with step-by-step instructions for conducting experiments in basic chemistry -- not just to make pretty colors and stinky smells, but to learn how to do real lab work:

  • Purify alcohol by distillation
  • Produce hydrogen and oxygen gas by electrolysis
  • Smelt metallic copper from copper ore you make yourself
  • Analyze the makeup of seawater, bone, and other common substances
  • Synthesize oil of wintergreen from aspirin and rayon fiber from paper
  • Perform forensics tests for fingerprints, blood, drugs, and poisons
  • and much more

From the 1930s through the 1970s, chemistry sets were among the most popular Christmas gifts, selling in the millions. But two decades ago, real chemistry sets began to disappear as manufacturers and retailers became concerned about liability. ,em>The Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments steps up to the plate with lessons on how to equip your home chemistry lab, master laboratory skills, and work safely in your lab. The bulk of this book consists of 17 hands-on chapters that include multiple laboratory sessions on the following topics:

  • Separating Mixtures
  • Solubility and Solutions
  • Colligative Properties of Solutions
  • Introduction to Chemical Reactions & Stoichiometry
  • Reduction-Oxidation (Redox) Reactions
  • Acid-Base Chemistry
  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Chemical Equilibrium and Le Chatelier's Principle
  • Gas Chemistry
  • Thermochemistry and Calorimetry
  • Electrochemistry
  • Photochemistry
  • Colloids and Suspensions
  • Qualitative Analysis
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Synthesis of Useful Compounds
  • Forensic Chemistry
With plenty of full-color illustrations and photos, Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments offers introductory level sessions suitable for a middle school or first-year high school chemistry laboratory course, and more advanced sessions suitable for students who intend to take the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Chemistry exam. A student who completes all of the laboratories in this book will have done the equivalent of two full years of high school chemistry lab work or a first-year college general chemistry laboratory course.

This hands-on introduction to real chemistry -- using real equipment, real chemicals, and real quantitative experiments -- is ideal for the many thousands of young people and adults who want to experience the magic of chemistry.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Bruce Thompson is a coauthor of Building the Perfect PC, Astronomy Hacks, and the Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders. Thompson built his first computer in 1976 from discrete chips. It had 256 bytes of memory, used toggle switches and LEDs for I/O, ran at less than 1MHz, and had no operating system. Since then, he has bought, built, upgraded, and repaired hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. Thompson reads mysteries and nonfiction for relaxation, but only on cloudy nights. He spends most clear, moonless nights outdoors with his 10-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope, hunting down faint fuzzies, and is currently designing a larger truss-tube Dobsonian (computerized, of course) that he plans to build.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4365 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007B4V2K0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,414 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
92 of 94 people found the following review helpful
Are you a frustrated chemist who never outgrew their fascination with the home chemistry kits of the good old days? Back when people took responsibility for their actions and "product liability" wasn't the fear of every company out there? This is the EXACT book you need to get in order to rekindle that love or to pass it on to a new generation... Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture by Robert Bruce Thompson. You won't get a simple "isn't it cool how this changes color?" approach to science. Thompson covers serious stuff, complete with best practices, methodologies for recording your experiments, and plenty of safety tips along the way. After working through this book, you'll be further ahead than most entry-level college students.

Introduction; Laboratory Safety; Equipping a Home Chemistry Lab; Chemicals for the Home Chemistry Lab; Mastering Laboratory Skills; Separating Mixtures; Solubility and Solutions; Colligative Properties of Solutions; Introduction to Chemical Reactions and Stoichiometry; Reduction-Oxidation (Redox) Reactions; Acid-Base Chemistry; Chemical Kinetics; Chemical Equilibrium and Le Chatelier's Principle; Gas Chemistry; Thermochemistry and Calorimetry; Electrochemistry; Photochemistry; Colloids and Suspensions; Qualitative Analysis; Quantitative Analysis; Synthesis of Useful Compounds; Forensic Chemistry; Index

I *did* say it was far more than just changing the colors of liquids in a test tube...

You can tell that Thompson has a real love of this field. He starts off with his story of how he got interested in chemistry, as well as how this book would map to a first or second year chemistry course.
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82 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is dangerous May 22, 2008
This book is dangerous. It will cause kids to start thinking. There is a definate risk that they will starting wanting to learn about the world around them instead of just studing the answers to a test. I am old enough I remember chemistry sets under the christmas tree and a high school chemistry class were students actually did experiements instead of just watching. DO you, or your childern, want to actually learn chemistry? Then get this book.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Make and Use Your Own Chemistry Set May 28, 2008
I still remember getting my first chemistry set from a school teacher aunt when I was 10 or 11. About 30 small bottles of chemicals, and instructions for mixing them in various ways. You could make concoctions that would smoke in different colors, compounds that would fizz and bubble, turn liquids to solids, solids to liquids, the list goes on. It was my first introduction to science, and the lessons took, as I became a scientist. Unfortunately, liability concerns and nanny-statism have pulled most chemistry sets off the market, and young would-be scientists don't have the chance to learn about chemistry on their own

Robert Bruce Thompson is attempting to remedy the situation with this book. It is based less on a theoretical consideration of chemistry than a practical exploration or things one can do in a home lab. The theory is there, but couched in the discussion of the experiments. He takes appropriate care to emphasize safety, and for those looking for the capabilities to make explosives, there are no home-brew directions for that. Reasonably priced choices for purchasing home equipment and chemicals are discussed, the reasons for the various utensils required are given. The book also includes review questions for those who wish to prove their mastery of a subject.

The target age ranges for the book range from early teen years for some unusually serious adolescents to later teens for most others. And of course it's ideal for the interested adult. If you have a teen with science aspirations or interest, this book might provide a great experience for them, and the chance for you to provide mentoring as well. Highly recommended.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Chemistry Book May 29, 2008
This book provides an excellent guide on how to learn about chemistry since chemistry sets like the one I had as a kid are no longer available. The author provides a great deal of chemical knowledge that I would loved to have had as a teenager. The experiments in this book are far more interesting than the ones that were in my chemistry set as a kid.

The one point I would make is that I would make is that many of these experiments are potentially dangerous. You should follow the author's safety advice to the letter. High school age students might do these experiments without adult supervision. Children any younger than that should have adult supervision.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top shelf "Make" book May 17, 2008
This is another well written, well researched book produced by Mr. Thompson. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in actual hands-on experience in "wet" chemistry.

Most people know of Mr. Thompson by his "Building/Repairing PC..." series of books along with his wife, Barbara Fritchman Thompson. This "Make" book will be an excellent companion to any home schooling course in chemistry. It will also make an excellent supplement to any high school chemistry course to help ignite the future chemists this country will need.

Three of my own children have now completed high school chemistry and the lab work is not even close to what's presented in this book. The labs in this book harken back to my own high school chemistry class in the early 1970's. That was when high school chemistry was equivalent to university level courses. This book will help any student who takes an "AP" level high school chemistry course.

Good work, Mr. Thompson, I look forward to your next "Make" book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Illustrated Guide to Home Chemisry...
Arrived quickly and in perfect new shape. Interesting internet links that are in this book. Lots of tips and links to buy supplies and chemicals to perform the experiments... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tulsa BeekeeperAmazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a great book but it is not what I expected it ...
This is a great book but it is not what I expected it to be. In a blurb from another website, I thought it was a "do-it-yourself" book on how to make useful products for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dan Derrick
5.0 out of 5 stars nice bool
Nice book!!
Published 1 month ago by jason carey
5.0 out of 5 stars At least 5 years of stuff to try and stay alive
Magnificent. Wish I had this in High School and early College. This book is packed with knowledge laid out beautifully. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David B. Acosta
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Michael E Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by George B. Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars but provide the chance to develop good laboratory techniques
For any homeschool parent or high school chemistry teacher who wants to provide REAL chemistry experiments, this is the book for you. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Emily Morales
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Excellent book for children and adults!
Published 2 months ago by chrissouth
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book.
Published 3 months ago by Aron S Weiss
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Detailed lists of supplies needed and clearly written.
Published 4 months ago by selina jackson
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More About the Author

Robert Bruce Thompson buys, builds, upgrades, and repairs hundreds of PCs for himself, employers, customers, friends, and clients. He is the author of numerous online training courses and computer books.

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