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The course commenses with a critical look at the Periodic table of elements and why they are classified as such. The table makes it easier to comprehend, early enough, the concepts and facts of chemistry of elements. The chemistry of the s- and p-block (or main block) elements and their compounds which then follows provides a systematic treatment of these elements and their compounds based on their common properties.
In unit 1, which utilises the concept of electronic configuration of the elements, you will review the classification of elements into metals, non-metals and metalloids as well as into s, p, d, and f blocks of the periodic table. This will be followed by a study of the atomic structures and general trends across a period and down a group in unit 2. Unit 3 examines general properties of s- and p- block elements. Unit 4 examines the abundance, occurrence and the extractions of the elements.
In recent years industrial research in the chemistry of main block elements has flourished; many new technological developments, such as Si-Ge transistors in computers and VCRs, have been achieved using these elements or their compounds. Examples of the economic uses are given in unit 5 and we hope that this module will stimulate your interest in inorganic chemistry, a field in which trained personnel are still scarce in both academic institutions and industrial laboratories.
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