The AP Chemistry course provides students with a college-level foundation to support future advanced course work in chemistry. Students cultivate their understanding of chemistry through inquiry-based investigations, as they explore topics such as: atomic structure, intermolecular forces and bonding, chemical reactions, kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium.
The key concepts and related content that define the AP Chemistry course and exam are organized around underlying principles called the Big Ideas. They encompass core scientific principles, theories, and processes that cut across traditional boundaries and provide a broad way of thinking about the particulate nature of matter underlying the observations students make about the physical world. The following are Big Ideas:
- The chemical elements are the building blocks of matter, whichcan be understood in terms of the arrangements of atoms.
- Chemical and physical properties of materials can be explainedby the structure and the arrangement of atoms, ions, ormolecules and the forces between them.
- Changes in matter involve the rearrangement and/or reorganization of atoms and/or the transfer of electrons.
- Rates of chemical reactions are determined by details of themolecular collisions.
- The laws of thermodynamics describe the essential role of energy and explain and predict the direction of changes in matter.
- Bonds or attractions that can be formed can be broken. Thesetwo processes are in constant competition, sensitive to initialconditions and external forces or changes.