The tables below contain a brief
description of all the A-level chemistry pages and content in this site.
My aim is to cover all the content in most A-level specifications, so please
check back soon as I will be updating this site regularly.
Atomic structure and the mass spectrometer
||Recap on the internal structure of atoms from gcse chemistry. Brief discussion on
how to calculate the numbers of protons, neutrons,
and electrons in atoms and ions.
| Recap on the Plum pudding model to Rutherford's nuclear atom
||Recap on the work of Thompson and Rutherford on the helping to develop a model of the internal structure of the atom.
||Recap from gcse chemistry on isotopes, their structure and properties. Explanation on how to calculate relative atomic mass.
|Time of flight mass spectrometer (TOF)
||Overview to the workings of a time of flight mass spectrometer - AQA exam board only.
|The mass spectrometer
||Overview of the workings of a single beam mass spectrometer.
||Introduction to mass spectra and how to calculate relative atomic mass of isotopes. Examples of the mass
spectra for the element boron and chlorine
Electron arrangements in atoms, ionisation energies and trends in atomic radii of atoms.
The gas laws
|The gas laws
||Overview of Boyle's Law, Charles Law, Avogadro's Law and an explanation of how to use these 3 laws to derive the ideal gas
|The ideal gas equation
||Introduction to the properties of an ideal gas and also how to use the ideal gas equation to calculate the Mr
of a substance.
|Intermolecular bonding and dipole-dipole interactions
||Introduction to intermolecular bonding and dipole-dipole interactions.
|Van der Waals bonding
||Explanation with examples on how Van der Waals forces (London dispersion forces) originate and their effects on the physical properties of substances.
||Explanation of hydrogen bonding with examples of molecules which contain H-bonds. Discussion on the affects of
hydrogen bonding on the physical properties of molecules.
Crystals, bonding and physical properties
|Giant covalent macromolecular structures
||Diamond and graphite structures are discussed along with differences in the
properties of these two allotropes of carbon. Fullerenes and buckyballs are briefly covered.
||Discussion with examples of the properties of covalent substances, including solid molecular crystals. Discussion on how intermolecular bonding may affects the melting and boiling points of covalent molecules as well as their solubility in various types of solvents.
Shapes of molecules
||Discussion with examples on the differences between open and closed systems. The meaning of the term enthalpy is explained with
some worked examples. Recap on endothermic and exothermic reactions.
|Enthalpies of combustion, formation and standard states
||Discussion with examples on enthalpies of combustion and formation. Introduction to the idea of standard enthalpy
changes and standard states.
||Explanation with examples on how to carry out Hess's law types questions using enthalpies of formation and combustion.
|Enthalpy changes using mean bond enthalpies
||Discussion with examples on how to use mean bond enthalpies to calculate enthalpy changes for reactions.
||Explanation and worked examples on how to calculate enthalpy changes using asimple calorimeter.
|Enthalpy changes in solution
||Details on how to calculate enthalpy changes for reactions taking place in solution e.g. neutralisation and displacement reactions.
|Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
||Examples on how to write half-equations for redox reactions. Re-cap from gcse on the meaning of the terms oxidation, reduction, reducing agent and oxidising agent.
|Examples of simple redox equations and introduction to oxidising agents
||Examples on how to write simple half-equations to show oxidation and reduction in chemical reactions. Examples include
metal acid reactions and combustion reactions. Examples on oxidation/reduction/redox and introduction to common oxidising agents.
||Introduction to oxidation numbers with examples on how to work them out for a range of compounds. Discussion of the variety of
oxidation numbers for transition metals, including vanadium and chromium.
|Redox equations and oxidising agents
||Examples with half-equations to show the use of potassium dichromate and potassium permanaganate as oxidising agents in redox reactions. Help given on
how to deal with complex redox equations with example problems and answers provided.
Reversible reactions and equilibrium
|Halogens- general properties
||Overview of the basic properties and reactions of the halogens, including: trends in reactivity, solubility, electronegativity and reactions with metals and non-metals.
|Halogens- oxidising ability
||The trends in the oxidising ability of the halogens is discussed along with examples of halogens acting as oxidising agents in
|Halide ions as reducing agents
||Description of the trends in the reducing abilities of the halogens with examples and explanations.
|Testing for halide ions
||Details of the silver nitrate test and discussion on the solubilities of halide ions in ammonia solutions.
||Examples of disproportionation reaction using the reactions of chlorine with water and sodium hydroxide as examples.
Organic Chemistry - The alkenes
|Sigma and pi bonds
||Explanation of the difference between sigma and pi bonds, with examples given to show how each type of bond
||Description of geometric isomers and the cis/trans, E-Z naming systems with a few examples of each.
|Cahn-Ingold-prelog rules for naming alkenes
||A brief outline is given ofhow the Cahn-Ingold-Prelog rules are used to name substituted alkene molecules.
The limitations of the cis.trans naming systen for disubstituted alkene molecules is also discussed.
|Alkenes and addition reactions
||Discussion of the mechanism of electrophilic addition reactions to alkenes using bromine and bromine water as
|Further Addition reactions
||Discussion on how alkenes can be used to produce halogenalkanes by reaction with hydrogen halides and also
how alcohols can be produced by direct hydration and by the reaction of an alkene with concentrated sulfuric acid.
Brief discussion on how alkenes can be oxidised to form diols using potassium permanganate as an oxidising agent.
|Predicting products of addition reactions to unsymmetrical alkenes
||Discussion with examples on how to predict the major and minor products of addition reactions to unsymmetrical alkenes. Examples
using Markovnikov's rule.
|Hydrogenation of unsaturated molecules
||A discussion of the mechanism and uses of hydrogenation of carbon carbon double bonds (C=C) in fats and oils.
Organic Chemistry - Halogenalkanes
Organic Chemistry - Alcohols
|Fermentation, biofuels and direct hydration
||Outline of how alcohol is made by fermentation and the pros and cons of biofuels is discussed. Finally the production
of ethanol by direct hydration is contrasted with fermentation.
|Reactions of alcohols
||Brief discussion of the reactions of alcohols, this includes products of combustion and the reactions of alcohols with
metals such as sodium.
|Oxidation of alcohols
||Explanation of the differences between primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols and the products of
the oxidation of each class of alcohol.
||Dehydration of alcohols
||Discussion of the elimination mechanism for the dehydration of alcohols to form alkenes..
|Halogenalkanes from alcohols
||Discussion on how to prepare halogenalkanes from primary, secondary and tertiary alcohols. An experimental method is
outlined for the formation of a tertiary halogenalkane from a tertiary alcohol.