Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Alas I don't have time to read through properly right now but will try to soon.

I am often glad I did chemistry following right on through school to uni because these associations of positive, moles etc etc are hardwired into my brain now and I don't need to think about them.  I have often wondered though how it would be to have those associations hard wored elsewhere to then try to absorb the concepts and language of chemistry later in life.

I didn't do physics for the same reason as you, maths is too poor but that said my PhD was in physical chemistry which gives the best of both worlds.

But the stuff they teach you at GCSE about models of atoms, the Bohr model and so on, you get to A-level and they are like, oh no, that's rubbish, it actually works like this.
then you get to uni and they say bollocks, it's all about probability.  But the models are useful for step by step grasping of the concepts.  I see chemistry in my head from building on the foundations those silly models presented to me at 14 and the more I learn, the more amazing it becomes because you realise how little you actually know. Keep us tuned into your journey and I will come back and comment more when I can.

Learn those key equations though and how you move the symbols around because when you can see the algebra fly about in your mind's eye, then you'll really begin to get depth of understanding.

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Fri Mar 14th, 2008 at 09:10:56 AM EST
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