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What Is Chemistry? The Science of Substances and Interactions Notes, Courses, University


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Chemistry The study of matter Faculty Notes Exams Courses

Chemistryis the study of matter , its properties, how and why substances combine or separate to form other substances, and how substances interact with energy. Many people think of chemists as being white-coated scientists mixing strange liquids in a laboratory, but the truth is we are all chemists.

Doctors, nurses and veterinarians must study chemistry, but understanding basic chemistry concepts is important for almost every profession. Chemistry is part of everything in our lives.

Every material in existence is made up of matter — even our own bodies. Chemistry is involved in everything we do, from growing and cooking food to cleaning our homes and bodies to launching a space shuttle. Chemistry is one of the physical sciences that help us to describe and explain our world.

There are five main branches of chemistry, each of which has many areas of study: Analytical chemistry, Physical chemistry, Organic chemistry, Inorganic chemistry and Biochemistry.

Chemistry is too universal and dynamically-changing a subject to be confined to a fixed definition; it might be better to think of chemistry more as a point of view that places its major focus on the structure and properties of substances— particular kinds of matter— and especially on the changes that they undergo. The real importance of Chemistry is that it serves as the interface to practically all of the other sciences, as well as to many other areas of human endeavor. For this reason, Chemistry is often said (at least by chemists!) to be the "central science".

Chemistry can be "central " in a much more personal way: with a solid background in Chemistry, you will find it far easier to migrate into other fields as your interests develop.

Chemistry is not an isolated discipline, for it merges into physics and biology . The origin of the term is obscure. Chemistry evolved from the medieval practice of alchemy. It's bases were laid by such men as Boyle, Lavoisier, Priestly, Berzelius, Avogadro, Dalton and Pasteur.

Chemistry is a branch of natural science that deals principally with the properties of substances, the changes they undergo, and the natural laws that describe these changes. The study of chemistry spans the range from qualitative in focus to quantitative. The more qualitative chemist might work on synthesizing a new compound used in medicine, for example, while the more quantitative work can seem much like physics applied to the microscopic level of atoms and molecules.

Chemicals are everywhere and are everything. Anything you can touch or smell or see contains one or more chemicals. Many occur naturally but some are man made. Chemists discover naturally occurring chemicals and also make new ones never seen before. Chemists study the properties of the natural and man made chemicals.
This information is used to understand how some chemicals may be modified to make them more useful and they develop the methods to make the modifications. Chemists seek to study the natural world but also seek to improve it by modification on a molecular level. Because everything is a chemical, chemistry is one of the foundations of modern industrial economies. Advancements in the field of chemistry have brought about major improvements in our world. Improvements range from new medicines that cure disease, to new materials that make us safer and stronger, to new sources of energy that enable new activities.

Green Chemistry is the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.
Often referred to as a form of molecular- level pollution prevention, Green Chemistry relies on a set of 12 principles that can be used to design or re-design molecules, materials and chemical transformations to be safer for human health and the environment. The incorporation of green chemistry principles into the curriculum has fueled a fundamentally new approach to the teaching of chemistry and the GEMs database has been designed to be a rich and efficient resource for green chemistry education materials.

Green chemistry is also known as environmentally benign chemistry, or sustainable chemistry. Perhaps the most widely accepted definition of green chemistry is the one offered by chemists Paul Anastas and John Warner, who defined green chemistry as the design of chemical products and processes that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances.


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