Compounds and Stoichiometry
We began our consideration of compounds with benzaldehyde. As a compound, it is made from constituent atoms of different elements in a set ratio defined by its empirical or molecular formula. Each molecule of a compound has a defined mass that is measured as its molecular weight. The mass of one mole of any compound is determined from its molar mass in the units of grams per mole. We reviewed the basic classifications of reactions commonly tested on the MCAT: combination, decomposition, combustion, single-displacement, double-displacement, and neutralization reactions. Furthermore, we are now confident in our understanding of the steps necessary to balance any chemical reaction; we are ready to tackle more stoichiometric problems in preparation for Test Day.
Before moving to the next chapters discussing chemical kinetics and thermodynamics, let us offer our congratulations to you. By completing these first four chapters, you have been introduced to the fundamental concepts of chemistry—everything from the structure of the atom and trends of the elements to bonding and the formation of compounds. The understanding you have gained so far will be the foundation for your comprehension of even the most difficult general chemistry concepts tested on the MCAT. Keep moving forward with your review of general chemistry; don’t get stuck in the details. Those details will be learned best through the application of the basic principles to MCAT practice passages and questions.