Chemistry is 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. Understanding basic chemistry concepts is important for almost every profession.
Chemistry is part of everything in our lives. 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 areas of chemistry:
• Analytical chemistry uses qualitative and quantitative observation to identify and measure the physical and chemical properties of substances.
• Physical chemistry combines chemistry with physics. Physical chemists study how matter and energy interact.
• Organic chemistry specifically studies compounds that contain the element carbon. All of the molecules that make up living tissue have carbon as part of their makeup.
• Inorganic chemistry studies materials such as metals and gases that do not have carbon as part of their makeup.
• Biochemistry is the study of chemical processes that occur within living organisms.