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What is Chemistry?

Chemistry is a wide-ranging science concerned with the synthesis, structures and properties of all types of materials, organic, inorganic and biological, and their transformations.

Chemistry is also known as the central science because its interests lie between those of physics (which focuses on single substances) and biology (which focuses on complicated life processes). Living organisms are complex chemical factories in which precisely regulated reactions occur between thousands of substances. An increased understanding of the chemical behaviour of these substances has led to new ways to treat disease and has even made it possible to change the genetic makeup of an organism.

Chemistry is all about matter, which is anything that has mass and occupies space; chemistry is the study of the composition and properties of matter and the changes which it undergoes. Matter is made up of either pure substances or mixtures of pure substances. The change from one substance to another is what chemists call a chemical reaction or chemical change.

Because the field of chemistry covers such a broad range of topics, chemists usually specialize. Thus, chemistry is divided into a number of branches including:


Analytical chemistry

The analysis of substances, chemists in this field may be trying to find out what substances are in a mixture (qualitive analysis) or how much of a particular substance is present in something (quantitative analysis).



The study of chemical reactions that occur at the molecular level where items are so small that we cannot directly see them. Biochemists study processes such as digestion, metabolism, reproduction, respiration etc...



The application of biochemistry and biology when creating or modifying genetic material or organisms for a specific purpose. It is used in such areas as DNA Cloning and the creation of disease resistant crops, it also have the ability to eliminate genetic diseases in the future.


Inorganic chemistry

The study of inorganic compounds such as salts. It also includes the study of the compounds properties and the study of individual elements of the compounds.


Organic chemistry

The study of carbon and its compounds, this is probably the most organized area of chemistry, this is because there are millions of organic compounds, with thousands more discovered or created each year. The polymer industries, the petrochemical industry and the pharmaceutical industry, all depend on organic chemistry.

Physical chemistry

The study of physical properties and behaviour of matter and try to develop models and theories that describe this behaviour.

Chemistry is an integral part of our everyday lives, and knowing about chemistry will help you interact more effectively with the chemical environment.

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