Chemistry is the most important science! It is often referred as the “central science”; it can help link physical sciences such as Maths and Physics to applied sciences such as Biology, Medicine and Engineering. As such, A level Chemistry is usually a requirement for competitive courses such as Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary medicine.
However, a Chemistry qualification can also open many other doors. The food we eat, the clothes we wear and to an extent the technology we use are all dependent on chemistry. New medicines are developed by chemists, what we eat is monitored by chemists. In forensic science, Chemistry is used to uncover information from the evidence found in the crime scene.
But A Level Chemistry is extremely challenging. You must be prepared for a lot of hard work to study this subject.
In preparation for the start of the course, you must be very confident in your knowledge of the GCSE content. Chemistry progresses from the simple to the complex, building upon knowledge at each stage. A large portion of what is studied at A level Chemistry is built on the very fundamental principles learnt earlier on.
To help you better prepare for the course, as well as studying textbooks and online resources, you should also show a curiosity towards the subject.
- 'The disappearing spoon' by Sam Kean - In this book, the author brings the periodic table to life, showcasing the curious properties and behaviours of the different elements that we find and use in our everyday life.
- 'Napoleon’s button' by Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson - This book tells of the fascinating account of seventeen groups of molecules that have greatly influenced the course of History.
- 'The Poisoner’s Handbook' by Deborah Blum - A crime novel that tells the story of how a pair of forensic scientists used chemical detective work to end the use of untraceable poisons in crimes during the Jazz Age New York City era.
The Royal Society of Chemistry
https://www.rsc.org- News and Articles about Chemistry and science related topics.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/matter_energy/chemistry/ - Blog that covers all the latest scientific discoveries on Earth and Climate Chemistry. It also covers new techniques and inventions used in Organic and Inorganic chemistry in the environment.
https://www.reddit.com/r/chemistry/ - The reddit Chemistry page
https://www.compoundchem.com/ - Blog producing easy-to-understand graphics on a variety of chemistry topics, focusing particularly on the chemistry we come across on an everyday basis
http://www.masterorganicchemistry.com/blog/ - Blog that helps students understand Organic Chemistry
https://twitter.com/themonkeycage - The infinite Monkey Cage on BBC4. A series of podcasts presented by physicist Brian Cox and comedian robin Ince, which give a witty, irreverent look at the world through scientists’ eyes.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd4a1X3B61w – A series of videos covering all the topics covered at A Level Chemistry, offered by Khan Academy.
http://professordaveexplains.com/general-chemistry/ - Science educator Dave Farina has developed an extensive library of educational videos, explaining the different concepts in a simple yet very thorough way.