In offering this book to teachers of elementary chemistry the authors lay no claim to any great originality. It has been their aim to prepare a text-book constructed along lines which have become recognized as best suited to an elementary treatment of the subject. At the same time they have made a consistent effort to make the text clear in outline, simple in style and language, conservatively modern in point of view, and thoroughly teachable.
The question as to what shall be included in an elementary text on chemistry is perhaps the most perplexing one which an author must answer. While an enthusiastic chemist with a broad understanding of the science is very apt to go beyond the capacity of the elementary student, the authors of this text, after an experience of many years, cannot help believing that the tendency has been rather in the other direction. In many texts no mention at all is made of fundamental laws of chemical action because their complete presentation is quite beyond the comprehension of the student, whereas in many cases it is possible to present the essential features of these laws in a way that will be of real assistance in the understanding of the science. For example, it is a difficult matter to deduce the law of mass action in any very simple way; yet the elementary student can readily comprehend that reactions are reversible, and that the point of equilibrium depends upon, rather simple conditions. The authors believe that it is worth while to present such principles in even an elementary and partial manner because they are of great assistance to the general student, and because they make a foundation upon which the student who continues his studies to more advanced courses can securely build.
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