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CHEM 2131: Chemistry of the Elements: Background info & chemical data

Get to know your element

Background reading can help you choose a specific application of your element to research -- encyclopedias and books might have information about the history or use of a particular substance. The references below also contain chemical data and properties.

Find a secondary source that provides helpful information on your topic

In the sciences, primary sources are usually defined as the first reports of original research. But these first reports of original research, which usually appear in peer-reviewed journals, are written by scientists who specialize in a particular area (such as magnetic resonance) for other scientists who specialize in the same area. If you're not specialist in that same sub-field of science, the peer-reviewed article might be difficult for you to read quickly (it would take time and a lot of looking up of words/concepts you're not familiar with).

So, where can you turn for a good summary of new research? Secondary sources, which include popular science articles and books.

Find a book that gives you an overview of your element or topic

The Library Catalog includes records for print and electronic books, theses, media, musical scores, and more owned by the DU Libraries.

Try the Advanced Catalog Search to find materials by type, location, publication year, language, and more.

To retrieve a book you found in the DU Library Catalog, note the:

1. Status: See a green dot & the word "Available"? The book should be on the shelf, ready for you to check out.

2. Location: The most common locations you'll see are:

  • 2a: Main Library, New Book Area : Located on the Main Level of the AAC -- see map below.
  • 2b: Main Library, Main Stacks: Located on the Lower Level of the AAC -- see map below.
  • 2c: Hampden Library, Stacks: This is our off-campus storage facility for books that don't fit in the AAC -- click the "Get It" button for details on how to request the book.
  • 2d: Online access: It's an ebook -- click "Access Online" to read it now.

3. Call number: This is the item's address on the shelf -- bring the entire call number with you to the library. Look on the ends of each shelf for signs indicating what span of call numbers are on that shelf.

The books in the Anderson Academic Commons are arranged by subject, so you can walk through the bookshelves in a particular subject area to see all the print books we have on that topic. Books purchased within the last six month are on the Main Level of AAC, and our main on-campus collection of books is on the Lower Level:

Subject areas of potential interest:

G -- Geography

  • GA: Mathematical geography, Cartography
  • GB: Physical geography
  • GC: Oceanography
  • GE: Environmental Sciences
  • GF: Human ecology

Q -- Science

  • QA: Mathematics
  • QB: Astronomy
  • QC: Physics
  • QD: Chemistry
  • QE: Geology
  • QH: Natural History - Biology
  • QK: Botany
  • QL: Zoology
  • QM: Human anatomy
  • QP: Physiology
  • QR: Microbiology

R -- Medicine

S -- Agriculture

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Example chemistry books from our catalog

Web resources