Chemistry: The Central Science (3e) : 9781442554603

Chemistry: The Central Science (3e)

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Pearson Australia
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In response to market request, we have created the third Australian edition of the US bestseller, Chemistry: The Central Science. An extensive revision has taken this text to new heights!

Triple checked for scientific accuracy and consistency, this edition is a more seamless and cohesive product, yet retains the clarity, innovative pedagogy, functional problem-solving and visuals of the previous version. All artwork and images are now consistent in quality across the entire text. And with a more traditional and logical organisation of the Organic Chemistry content, this comprehensive text is the source of all the information and practice problems students are likely to need for conceptual understanding, development of problem solving skills, reference and test preparation.

Table of contents
  • 1. Introduction, Matter and Measurement
  • 2. Atoms, Molecules and Ions
  • 3. Stoichiometry
  • 4. Reactions in Aqueous Solution
  • 5. Nuclear Chemistry
  • 6. Electronic Structure of Atoms
  • 7. Periodic Properties of the Elements
  • 8. Basic Concepts of Chemical Bonding
  • 9. Molecular Geometry and Bonding geometry and bonding theories
  • 10. Gases
  • 11. Liquids and Solids
  • 12. Properties of Solutions
  • 13. Chemistry of the Environment
  • 14. Thermodynamics
  • 15. Chemical Kinetics
  • 16. Chemical Equilibrium
  • 17. Acid-base Equilibrium
  • 18. Additional Aspects of Aqueous equilibrium
  • 19. Electrochemistry
  • 20. Chemistry of the Non Metals
  • 21. Chemistry of the Transition Metals
  • 22. The Chemistry of Organic Groups
  • 23. Stereochemistry: Nature’s Twist on Life
  • 24. Alkenes and Alkynes
  • 25. Alcohols, Ethers and Haloalkanes
  • 26. Aldehydes, Ketones and Carbohydrates
  • 27. Carboxylic Acids
  • 28. Benzene and its Derivatives
  • 29. Nitrogen-containing Compounds of Biological Relevance
  • 30. The Chemical Detective

Download the detailed table of contents.

New to this edition
  • NEW! Figure It Out questions encourage students to stop and analyse the artwork in the text, for conceptual understanding. When students are required to stop and answer a question about the artwork, they cannot just skip over the images—they need to be sure they understand the concept.
  • Voice Balloons help students break down the components of the image.
  • NEW! Make Connections build on the iconic ‘blue link chain’ used throughout the text to link concepts in previous editions. This edition now has a link icon and voice balloons in the margins, directing students to exactly where they should go to review material and make connections across topics.
  • NEW! Strategies in Chemistry teach ways to analyse information and organise thoughts, helping to improve students’ problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities.
  • A completely revised design enhances student usability and reflects how modern students approach chemistry.
  • Extensively revised line art and photos throughout have been scrutinised to guarantee pedagogical effectiveness.
  • New Section 2.9 Simple Organic Compounds provides an earlier link to organic chemistry and alkanes
  • Chapter 13: Chemistry of the Environment has been significantly revised to increase the focus on how human activities affect Earth’s atmosphere and water, and to enlarge the treatment of Green Chemistry
  • Completely revised Chapter 22, The Chemistry of Organic Compounds (previously Alkanes: Scaffolds of Organic Chemistry). Contains 2 new sections that provide a more general overview of the foundations of organic chemistry.
Features & benefits

Problem Solving

  • A consistent problem-solving process is incorporated throughout so students always know where to go when problem solving.
  • Analyse/Plan/Solve/Check helps students understand what they are being asked to solve, to plan how they will solve each problem, to work their way through the solution, and to check their answers. This 4-step problem solving methodology is introduced in chapter 3 and implemented throughout the book.
  • Dual-column Problem-Solving Strategies in selected sample exercises explain the thought process involved in each step of a mathematical calculation using a unique layout for clarity. It provides students a conceptual understanding of those calculations.
  • Strategies in Chemistry teach students ways to analyse information and organise thoughts, helping to improve problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities.


  • End-of-Chapter Questions contain conceptual questions.
  • Sample Exercises incorporate molecular illustrations to help students visualize what is happening on a molecular level when they are asked to solve a quantitative problem
  • Visualising Concepts exercises precede the end-of-chapter exercises and ask students to consider concepts through the use of models, graphs, and other visual materials. These help students develop a conceptual understanding of the key ideas in the chapter. Additional conceptual exercises are found among the end-of-chapter exercises.

Macroscopic, Molecular, and Symbolic

  • Multi-Focus Graphics provide a variety of perspectives including macroscopic, microscopic, and symbolic to portray various chemical concepts. Students develop a more complete understanding of the topic being presented.
  • Molecular Illustrations are computer-generated renditions of molecules and materials provide visual representations of matter at the atomic level. These drawings help students visualize molecules in three dimensions and enhance their understanding of molecular architecture.
  • Practice and Review
  • End-of-Chapter Exercises are grouped by topic and presented in matched pairs, giving students multiple opportunities to test each concept. Additional Exercises follow the paired exercises and are not categorized, because many of these exercises draw on multiple concepts from within the chapter.
Author biography

Steve Langford received his BSc(Hons) and PhD from the University of Sydney. After postdoctoral work in the UK under the auspices of a Ramsay Memorial Fellowship, and at the University of New South Wales as an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow, he joined the School of Chemistry at Monash University in 1998. Early on, he became 1st Year Chemistry Coordinator and undertook all aspects of curriculum development. He teaches all aspects of organic and supramolecular chemistry in Monash’s undergraduate program and is known for his enthusiastic and entertaining teaching style. In 2005 Dr Langford was awarded the Dean’s Excellence in Science Teaching Award and was also promoted to Associate Professor. He is also the winner of a Carrick Citation Award for 2006. His research interests focus on concept transfers from nature, particularly in the areas of photosynthesis and genetic encoding. Using this knowledge his research is aimed at understanding and treating motor neuron disease and in molecular electronics applications. He has published over 70 research articles and was awarded a 2006 Young Investigator Award by the Society of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines. At present, he is Chair of Organic Chemistry.

Dalius S. Sagatys received his BSc(Hons) degree in chemistry from the University of Queensland (Brisbane) and his PhD from the Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago) in 1970. After three years as Joliot Curie Fellow of the Commissariat á L’Energie Atomique, Université de Paris VII (Paris), he worked at the International Patents Institute in Rijswijk, Holland and from there returned to Brisbane where he joined the then Queensland Institute of Technology in 1982. From the beginning he became interested in the design and implementation of chemistry courses for very different student requirements such as those in the fields of nursing, engineering and the built environment as well as developing a chemistry bridging course for students with no chemistry background at all. His research interests have been centred on the synthesis and structure determination of complexes of the Group 15 elements specifically arsenic, antimony and bismuth.

Adrian George from the University of Sydney has joined the Australian author team for the 3rd edition. Adrian’s role has been to review content across the general and organic chemistry chapters, to ensure seamless integration of examples, application and references.

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