Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach,
3rd Edition

Steven S. Zumdahl, Susan A. Zumdahl, Donald J. DeCoste

ISBN-13: 9780357363362 | ISBN-10: 0357363361

Copyright 2021

| Published 2020

| 1216 pages

List Price USD $249.95


Learn the skills you need to succeed in your chemistry course with CHEMISTRY: AN ATOMS FIRST APPROACH, Third Edition. This trusted text will help you learn to “think like a chemist” and develop the problem-solving skills needed to master even the most challenging problems. Known for clear explanations and a wealth of examples, the book will help you gain a new understanding of chemistry through an “atoms first” approach that guides you through the concept of molecules, structure and bonding to more complex materials and their properties. The text combined with the online resources and instant feedback in OWLv2 sets you on your way to developing a deeper understanding of chemistry concepts and solving complex problems in all aspects of your life.

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Meet the Authors

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Steve Zumdahl is the author of market-leading textbooks in introductory chemistry, general chemistry, honors-level chemistry, and high school chemistry. Recently retired from his long-time position as Director of Undergraduate Programs at the University of Illinois, he has received numerous awards for his contributions to chemical education. These include the National Catalyst Award in recognition of his contribution to chemical education, the University of Illinois Teaching Award, the UIUC Liberal Arts and Sciences Advising Award, and the School of Chemical Sciences Teaching Award (five times). He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Wheaton College (IL), and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.

Susan A. Zumdahl earned a B.S. and M.A. in Chemistry at California State University--Fullerton. She has taught science and mathematics at all levels, including middle school, high school, community college, and university. She is past director of the Merit Program for Emerging Scholars in Chemistry at the University of Illinois. In addition, she spearheaded the development of a sophisticated web-based electronic homework system for chemistry and is co-author on several chemistry textbooks.

Donald J. DeCoste is Associate Director of General Chemistry at the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign and has been teaching chemistry at the high school and college levels for 26 years. He earned his BS in Chemistry and PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign. At UIUC he has developed chemistry courses for nonscience majors, preservice secondary teachers, and preservice elementary teachers. He teaches courses in introductory chemistry and the teaching of chemistry and has received the School of Chemical Sciences Teaching Award four times. Don has led workshops for secondary teachers and graduate student teaching assistants, discussing the methods and benefits of getting students more actively involved in class. When not involved in teaching and advising, Don enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.

  • LADDERED ASSESSMENT SETS: Laddered Assessments are new assignment sets in OWLv2 that combine conceptual modules with more traditional homework questions. This provides students a structured learning path to bolster their skills. Students start with conceptual exercises like tutorials and simulations, then practice single concepts and skills in Mastery, then finally practice application in end-of-chapter exercises.
  • EXPANDED TOPICS: The discussion of energy, for example, was expanded to support content referencing energy that appears before chapter 7.
  • IMPROVED CONTEXT: Reminder call-outs were added to help students identify information from previous chapters to trigger a refresh of topics or remediation.
  • ENHANCED CONTENT IN OWLv2: The enhanced content in OWL provides intentional, targeted guidance with a wider range of answer specific feedback, point-of-use remediation, and streamlined course templates.
  • REORGANIZED END-OF-CHAPTER QUESTIONS support the special attention paid to the fluidity of topics relative to learning through the atoms first approach.
  • IMPROVED FLUIDITY OF TOPICS ensures clarity, enhanced understanding and cohesive flow in every chapter. In areas such as measurements, calculations, and bonding, for example, the authors focus on increasing student comprehension of terms relative to placement of concepts as they proceed through the atoms first approach.
  • INCREASED CLARITY: Since nomenclature appears in later chapters, both formulas and names of molecules are referenced to not assume students have a prior knowledge of nomenclature.
  • REACTION ENTHALPY ESTIMATIONS from bond enthalpy was moved from chapter 3 to chapter 7 so that it appears after students have studied reactions in more detail.
  • CHEMWORK PROBLEMS are multi-concept problems found at the end of each chapter and in the OWLv2 platform. These problems replicate the type of assistance a student would get from an instructor while testing their understanding of core chapter concepts.
  • AN ATOMS FIRST APPROACH: By taking an atoms first approach, the authors provide students with a fluid, unified story built around an organizing principle--start the course with the smallest element, the atom, and build from there. Building their explanations around this structure, the authors consistently show the importance and relevance of studying chemistry.
  • A STRONG PROBLEM-SOLVING ORIENTATION: Throughout the text, the authors encourage students learn how to solve problems by thinking them through rather than relying on memorizing. Section 5.3, "Learning to Solve Problems," emphasizes the importance of thoughtful, creative problem solving, which produces more long-term, meaningful learning that can be applied to real life.
  • A FOCUS ON CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING: Rather than focusing on memorizing, the book gives students the tools they need to become critical thinkers: to ask questions, to apply rules and develop models, and to evaluate the outcome.

Table of Contents

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Review: Measurement and Calculations in Chemistry.
1. Chemical Foundations.
2. Atomic Structure and Periodicity.
3. Bonding: General Concepts.
4. Molecular Structure and Orbitals.
5. Stoichiometry.
6. Types of Chemical Reactions and Solution Stoichiometry.
7. Chemical Energy.
8. Gases.
9. Liquids and Solids.
10. Properties of Solutions.
11. Chemical Kinetics.
12. Chemical Equilibrium.
13. Acids and Bases.
14. Acid-Base Equilibria.
15. Solubility and Complex Ion Equilibria.
16. Spontaneity, Entropy, and Free Energy.
17. Electrochemistry.
18. The Nucleus: A Chemist's View.
19. The Representative Elements.
20. Transition Metals and Coordination Chemistry.
21. Organic and Biological Molecules.

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


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Internal Only Complete Solutions Manual (on Instructor Companion Site) for Chem: An Atoms First Approach, 3e


Student Solutions Manual for Zumdahl/Zumdahl/DeCoste's Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach

Improve your performance at exam time with this comprehensive solutions manual, which provides detailed solutions to the odd-numbered end-of-chapter exercises (designated by blue question numbers), using the strategies emphasized in the text.

Study Guide for Zumdahl/Zumdahl/DeCoste's Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach, 3rd

This study guide includes chapter summaries that highlight the main themes, study goals with section references, solutions to all textbook Example problems, and over 1,500 practice problems for all sections of the textbook. The Study Guide helps students organize the material and practice applying the concepts of the core text.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® for Zumdahl/Zumdahl/DeCoste's Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach, Instant Access

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text’s test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want. 

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® for Zumdahl/Zumdahl/DeCoste's Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate content from the text’s test bank or elsewhere, including your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want. 

Lab Manual for Zumdahl/Zumdahl's Chemistry: An Atoms First Approach, 3rd


Internal Only Test Bank (on ICS) for Chemistry: An Atom's First Approach, 3e [Internal]


Internal Only Instructor's Manual (on Instructor Companion Site) for Chem: An Atoms First Approach, 3e


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Pricing Options


  • ISBN-10: 0357363361
  • ISBN-13: 9780357363362

Price USD$ 249.95

eBook: Chemistry 12Months

  • ISBN-10: 8000029219
  • ISBN-13: 9788000029214

Price USD$ 79.49

OWLv2: Chemistry 24Months

  • ISBN-10: 0357560930
  • ISBN-13: 9780357560938

Price USD$ 120.00


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