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The Molecule, The Monomer and Materials Science: A Preliminary Report

  • Paul Howell (a1)

Abstract

There would appear to be a large disconnect between the content of a typical high school chemistry course, and an introductory, college materials science course. For example, A National Science Foundation report notes that,

“the historic bias of chemistry curricula towards small molecule chemistry, generally in the gaseous and liquid states, is out of touch with current opportunities for chemists in research, education and technology”.

In contrast, the typical introductory college materials science course concentrates almost exclusively on the solid state, and a discussion of “small molecular” materials is virtually absent.

In the present contribution, it will be shown how the “molecule” forms part of a hierarchical series of structures, from the sub-atomic to the macroscopic. It will also be argued that the molecule is but a sub-set of a localized grouping of atoms, which is best described by the term “monomer”.

Based on a strict definition of the molecule and monomer, a complete hierarchical scheme for the structure of materials is developed, which should be applicable to both a high school chemistry course, and an introductory materials science course.

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References

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[1] Howell, P. R., “The Molecule, The Monomer and Materials Science Education. Submitted to J. Mat. Ed. (2005).
[2] Novak, J. D., “Learning, Creating and Using Knowledge.” Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ. (1998).
[3] Pauling, L., “College Chemistry2nd Ed. W. H. Freeman and Co., San Francisco, Ca. (1955).
[4] Pauling, L., “General Chemistry.” Dover Publications, Inc., New York, NY. (1988).
[5] Pauling, L., “The Nature of the Chemical Bond.” 2nd Ed. Cornell Univesity Press, Ithica, NY. (1944).
[6] Davis, R. E., Metcalfe, H. C., Williams, J. E. and Castka, J. F.. “Modern Chemistry.” Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Austin, TX. (2002).
[7] Wilbraham, A. C., Staley, D. D., Matta, M. S. and Waterman, E. L.. Prentice Hall, Needham MA. (2002).
[8] LeMay, H. E. Jr., Robblee, K. M., Beall, H. and Braver, D. C., “Chemistry: Connections to Our Changing World.” Prentice Hall, Needham, MA. (2002).
[9] Brown, T. L., LeMay, H. E. Jr., and Bursten, B. E.., “Chemistry: The Central Science.” 10th Ed. Annotated Instructor' Edition. Pearson, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. (2006)
[10] Moffat, W. G., Pearsall, G. W. and Wulff, J., “The Structure and Properties of Materials. Volume 1: Structure.” John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, NY. (1964)
[11] Callister, W. D. Jr., “Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction6th Ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, NY. (2003).
[12] Callister, W. D. Jr., “Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering: An Integrated Approach2nd Ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York, NY. (2005).

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The Molecule, The Monomer and Materials Science: A Preliminary Report

  • Paul Howell (a1)

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