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I read about the four elements, the alchemists, the discoveries of the elements, the weighing of air, more elements...then I came to chemical reactions and they only make sense when considering electrons.  I don't know why but I find electrons are the connective element--there they are in the deepest physics; there they are in chemistry, and there they are in biology.

I got that sodium gives an electron to chlorine, I got that carbon shares electrons with four hydrogen, I could get that there was giving and receiving (receiving = minus; giving = plus.)

Actually, I think the answer is that I decided to read a GCSE revision text, see how far I got, and when I hit redox I couldn't move the ideas around in my head.  I tried an A level book--and hit the same point.

I think TBG captured it just right, except that I'd say "narrative" rather than "feeling"--I need stories to follow so I can connect A to B to C.

Don't fight forces, use them R. Buckminster Fuller.

by rg (leopold dot lepster at google mail dot com) on Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 at 05:17:57 PM EST
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