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

by Robert Bruce Thompson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 9, 2008 0596514921 978-0596514921 1

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.

Frequently Bought Together

Illustrated Guide to Home Chemistry Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (DIY Science) + Illustrated Guide to Home Biology Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (Diy Science) + Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture (Diy Science)
Price for all three: $67.95

Buy the selected items together


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

  • Series: DIY Science
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (May 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596514921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596514921
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
76 of 78 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
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.

Contents:
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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65 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is dangerous May 22, 2008
Format:Paperback
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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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Make and Use Your Own Chemistry Set May 28, 2008
Format:Paperback
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Chemistry Book May 29, 2008
Format:Paperback
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Book! September 30, 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is an amazing value. I would pay 50 bucks for this book. Much of the book is full of very useful information about lab equipment and the chemicals you will need--where to find the chemicals, and the specific safety risks of each chemical. The experiments are simply in design, but lengthy enough to be significant learning experiences. Data tables and questions about the lab are included. I'm sure this will turn out to be a very valuable resource for my teaching of secondary science.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top shelf "Make" book May 17, 2008
Format:Paperback
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 this book rocks
Easy to understand strait to tje pount no beating around the bush justbstraitbup lab!!! If yourna stsudent or at home chemmist or your hobby involves some cheemistry this book is a... Read more
Published 8 days ago by nicholas tsamis
3.0 out of 5 stars This is high school level chemistry
What do you expect? It didn't delve quite as deep into the type of material that I am interested in which has to do with orgaic chemistry and understanding the basics. Read more
Published 1 month ago by N. Michaels
5.0 out of 5 stars Great self-teaching chemistry book!
I haven't really started getting into all the labs as of yet, but from what I saw, I can say this book is perfect for learning chemistry in a hands-on manner. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dany D.
5.0 out of 5 stars You do have to find some unusual ingredients, but that's what makes it...
This was a Christmas gift for my Chemistry obsessed 13 year old. He loves the book, and refers to it often. Read more
Published 2 months ago by V in AZ
5.0 out of 5 stars Working for the "regular" kids!
Great ideas for science teachers working with students who are not really interested in chemistry. The later part of the book has the real useful information.
Published 4 months ago by Bio Teacher
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book.
This book is very good. I bought it for my daughter and she fell in love with it straight away. My sister (a chemistry teacher) who came visiting also loved the book and would... Read more
Published 6 months ago by freg05
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
As a child of the 50's and 60's, I was given Chemistry sets by Gilbert that were exceptionally good. Most chemistry sets these days are a joke. Read more
Published 7 months ago by fiscusd
4.0 out of 5 stars Good supplement
A parent will need a regular chemistry book to explain much of this. Experiments are fairly good & cautions great.
Published 7 months ago by Reba Ray
4.0 out of 5 stars Basic and safe
Straightforward, clear, safe (so far :-). Good starter for a mind that wants to know why things happen. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids and adults
My 12 year old is very interested in chemistry. After doing every experiment that fizzes, smells and changes color she has had enough of the kids kits and wants for Christmas a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Alice Bunny
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