Understanding Chemistry



This page contains an miscellaneous assortment of links that I have found useful or interesting. It isn't meant to be all-inclusive or in any way systematic and I will add to it from time to time as I come across new sites I like.

For Biology or Physics links, see physics and biology sites.

Important:  Sites change or disappear. If you find a link which doesn't work, please contact me via the address on the about this site page.

Short chemistry videos

Revision videosA YouTube channel containing a large number of short videos designed to help you revise the essential chemistry you have already learnt elsewhere. The ones I have looked at have been excellent, and I wish I had thought of doing this myself! To take full advantage of them, read the material on Chemguide, do the questions if they are available, and then watch the relevant video. To find the full list of videos on the site, click on the videos link from the home page.
Khan AcademyA huge resource of shortish (10 minutes or so) video lectures on all sorts of educational topics (including chemistry, biology, physics and maths) organised by subjects.
Periodic Table of VideosA full periodic table from which you can access short, quirky videos about any element. From the University of Nottingham. Wonderful!
makescienceeasy.comThis site has some really useful talks under the heading of "Scientific Literacy" dealing with some basic maths and graph skills, and detailed work on the things you need to think about in carrying out scientific investigations. There are also questions after each item. You have to register, but that is only so that you can keep track of your progress.

Periodic Tables

WebelementsUse the Periodic Table to search for all kinds of information about elements and their inorganic compounds. This is one of the key chemistry sites on the web, but is unfortunately getting cluttered with advertising.
PtableTry this Periodic Table if you can't stand WebElements advertising.
Editable Periodic TableThis gives you a printable Periodic Table which is full of information. It is available in colour or black and white, and is also available as an Excel file which you can adapt for your particular needs. The site warns you that to print it in its standard form, you will need a laser printer because of the very small fonts needed to fit in all the information, but in fact it printed OK on my inkjet printer.
Elements DatabaseThere are better Periodic Tables if you want atomic information, but this one gives you a mass of general information about each element.
Tom Lehrer - The ElementsEvery chemistry student should be familiar with this classic song.
Matt Hegarty's Periodic Table SongThis song should help in the unlikely event that you ever want to learn the entire Periodic Table. But even if you don't want to waste your time doing that, go and spend 3 minutes listening to this anyway. I think it is a brilliant piece of work and deserves recognition.

University entrance

Which? guide to UK degree coursesA mine of information for students researching UK university courses, from the publishers of the consumer magazine Which?. This link will take you to the chemistry section, but you can easily search for any other course as well. If you are a UK student, this is really worth exploring in detail.

Assorted sites

The Essential Chemical IndustryAn online version of a long-established book packed with information about the chemical industry. If you want to know about uses for industrial chemicals and how they are manufactured, this is a good starting place for reliable information.
Test yourselfA link to Dr Phil Brown's website where UK GCSE, AS and A level chemistry students will find a wide and growing range of multiple choice, short answer and structured questions.
MacrogalleriaA fantastic source of information about polymers from the University of Southern Mississippi. Everything from uses up to detailed chemistry.
ChemWikiFrom UC Davis (University of California). This is a rapidly growing online source of material for university chemistry students, but parts of it may well be useful for 16 - 18 year olds as well. Material from Chemguide is being incorporated into it.
NIST Chemistry WebBookA high powered chemistry database of chemical information including spectra. Probably more useful for teachers than for students.
AnimationsA very large collection of links to pages of mainly biology and biochemistry animations, but with some chemistry. Some are fairly trivial; some are absolutely excellent.
More animationsGood stuff from the University of Colorado. Probably more likely to be used by teachers with a class than by students on their own, because you would need some guidance as to how to get the best from them. The site also has lots of physics simulations and some biology, maths and earth science.
ChalkboredA fantastic resource of worksheets, handouts, and PowerPoint presentations by an American high school teacher and author, and aimed at eleventh and twelfth-grade chemistry. Explore "chemistry11" and "chemistry12". Can be used by students, but is likely to be more useful to teachers.
Environmental Protection AgencyThe EPA is the best place to start if you are looking for information on any environmental topic.
ICECAPThis is an important site which provides some much-needed balance to the so-called "consensus" about man-made climate change. It consists of articles from scientists and others from all over the world providing an alternative point of view and grows on a daily basis. You will need to ignore some strident US political stuff.
Molecule of the MonthFrom Bristol University. Often quirky information about molecules, some common, some not-so-common - a new one every month.
MyChemistryTutor.comYou could try this if you need help with homework or other chemistry problems. It is run by US chemistry teachers and is aimed at their High School and College system, but chemistry is chemistry wherever you live.
chemicalforums.comAnother American chemistry forum which is worth looking at. Make sure that you select the right level, otherwise you are just going to irritate them. Look at the sort of questions which are being asked already in a forum to find which matches yours.
BetterExplained.comA well written, easy to follow, site which looks in depth at some maths (and other) topics in order to generate high levels of understanding. If you are doing maths at A level (or its equivalents) or above, it would be worth a look.
Transition metalsLinks to information about various transition metals, including some obscure inner transition elements. The links are variable - some have more information than you could possibly want; others are more restricted. I can't guarantee the accuracy of what you might find from following these links. Life is too short to explore all of them fully!
The Tutor WebsiteThis takes you to a page of links to what the site describes as the "Top 20 UK Science Resources and Blogs". These are aimed at GCSE and A level (or their equivalents).You might find something useful here that you didn't know about. But more importantly, this relatively new site (as of March 2012) has a whole lot of useful information for UK tutors, or parents or students seeking tutors. Explore the menu bar at the top of each page if this is relevant to you.
Tavistock Tutors BlogA large collection of blogs on all sorts of useful topics in education from choosing subjects and exam techniques to university entrance.
Adhesives, glues and sealantsA specialist site written by a European adhesive engineer. If you ever have to do a project involving adhesives, or are just interested, this is a good place to start.
S-coolA revision site for lots of subjects at UK GCSE and A level.
chemistryjokes.comSimple jokes based on chemistry. Whimsical rather than laugh-out-loud, but I liked them.
environmentalscience.orgAn American site giving masses of information about careers in environmental science. The practical content about courses and specific career prospects is currently entirely US-based, but this should give anyone interested a good starting point for finding out more.
Why do scientists do what scientists do?A survey of how scientists carry out research projects which is quick to read or to watch (you have the choice). The examples are mainly biological or medical, but anyone with an interest in science should find it worth reading.

Safety issues

How chemicals enter the bodyAn interesting page from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety about the various ways nasty things get into your body.
Introduction to lab safetyAn overview of lab safety issues. This doesn't contain specific information about particular gases or pieces of apparatus, but looks at the sort of things you need to think about. Possibly most useful to teachers and older students who have to take more responsibility for themselves in the work they do.

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© Jim Clark 2008 (last updated April 2017)