What Are the Main Branches of Chemistry
When we talk about chemistry, the first images that come to our minds are those of test tubes, molecules, chemicals, reactions and the like. But in reality, chemistry is much beyond simply these things. Ideally, chemistry is the center of all sciences, as it touches all other branches of science, including geology, physics, biology etc. In simple words, chemistry is the science in which we study interactions, properties and characteristics of different matter. Anything that occupies space and has mass is matter. Chemistry refers to the study of atoms, their subatomic particles, atoms, and things like electrons, protons and neutrons. We have already informed you about the branches of Biology, Philosophy and Sociology. Read this oneHOWTO article to find out more about the main branches of chemistry: organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry and inorganic chemistry.
This branch of chemistry deals with the study of life, including the carbon containing compounds that form the basic life structures. It is also related to the composition of life structures with an aim to find out life’s creation, formation and development. Earlier, it dealt in compounds created by living things only, but now it can study compounds from artificial means as well. More than 6 million organic compounds have been discovered so far, which make up almost all the things that we come across in our daily lives, including our food. The study of organic chemistry is useful in creating medicines, clothes, insecticides, plastics and many more, and is widely applied by doctors, researchers, healthcare professionals, veterinarians, dentists, chemical engineers, pharmacists etc.
This type of chemistry is related to inorganic compounds which do not contain carbon or hydrogen bonds. Such compounds are non-biological, and widely cover topics related to agriculture, materials science, medicines, fuel, pigments etc. Inorganic compounds are characterized by higher melting points, and higher or lower conductivity. Some such products include titanium dioxide, chlorine, ammonia etc. People related to the branch of inorganic chemistry are often seen working in mines, recovering metal from waste materials, or making microchips in computers.
Biochemistry is basically a combination of chemistry and biology. It is often applied to study reactions and chemical processes within living organisms. Instead of dealing with the biological sides of things, biochemistry is more associated with the molecular levels of our bodies, including the proteins, lipids and cells. Its one major purpose is to see how cells react when a body is sick or while it is in its growth phase. A number of disciplines are involved in biochemistry, including plant science, forensics, medicine, genetics, microbiology and others. Physicists, engineers and healthcare professionals at universities and hospitals study biochemistry to understand life, health and diseases.
The branch of analytical chemistry studies the making of chemical compositions. Information about the structure of compounds can be applied for problem solving and safety assurance while using them. With the help of important inventions like flame emissive spectrometer and others, compositions of compounds can be separated and analyzed. Chromatography can be used while working with gas, paper and liquid to analyze the compounds involved. Doctors can use this branch to diagnose diseases and work on them. Analytical chemists can use it to assure quality of medicines, food and water that we consume. Chemical analysis performed in this branch of chemistry can be extremely helpful for scientists in interpreting compounds.
The branch of physical chemistry is related to the interpretation of chemistry with regards to physics and its principles. It works as a combination of chemistry and physics, and accounts for the different phenomena found in the study of chemistry.
Physical chemistry itself has a number of disciplines, including thermodynamics, thermochemistry, quantum chemistry, chemical kinetics, electrochemistry etc. For instance, thermodynamics studies how heat is produced during chemical reactions, and how work is done. Basically, it is the study of how molecules behave, and how their physical properties help in holding them together.
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