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An Introduction to Chemistry: A Key to Understanding Science

Science is defined by the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition as “the application of scientific knowledge to natural phenomena”. In other words, science is about understanding, measuring, and experimenting to determine an outcome. It can be used to describe various scientific disciplines such as anatomy, physics, astronomy, cell and tissue biology, computer science, and engineering. The ability to demonstrate a conclusion or support a theory without the use of laboratory instruments is an essential part of the process of science. A strong background in mathematics is also important.

Organic chemistry is the science of measurement and identification of compounds in a mixed natural system. Many students focusing on organic chemistry tend to become intrigued by the subject matter, conduct independent research, and take classes that further their education. These same students may decide to follow a scientific career in applied life sciences, geology, astronomy, mathematics or chemistry. Those who pursue advanced degrees in chemistry, physics, astronomy, and biology are often involved in research, teaching, and applied science.

Biochemistry is the study of living organisms. This science includes everything from protein structure and function to cell adhesion, gene regulation, metabolism, and DNA organization. Biochemistry specialists are also involved in the study of the natural universe, including earth, plants, animals and planets. All life is considered part of the natural system, which is made up of a complex interplay of forces, including natural Selection, biological evolution, and gene expression.

Chemistry is the study of atoms and chemicals. Almost all elements can be found in compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Carbon atoms, together with oxygen and hydrogen atoms, make molecules that contain many different kinds of chemical substances. There are six basic types of elements, including carbon, sulfur, silicon, iron, nitrogen, phosphorus and oxygen. Organic chemistry teaches students how different chemicals react to each other and what kind of reaction is considered important for a compound to exist.

Inorganic chemistry deals with the properties of matter in general, rather than the chemical makeup of individual compounds. Atoms, which are made up of one proton and one electron, are thought to be able to have properties that are similar to many different compounds found in nature. The study of inorganic chemistry involves measuring values of elements to determine whether reactions are catalytic or non-catalytic, the existence and properties of radicals, and how to convert one form of an element to another. Some examples of elements in inorganic chemistry include oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, iron, sulphur, selenium, bromine, iodine, and chloride.

Organic chemistry deals specifically with living things. It uses the properties of certain elements to find out what compounds they are composed of, how they are built and how those components interact with one another. Some examples of organic compounds in chemistry are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and enzymes. Organic chemistry requires a great deal of study, in particular determining which combinations of elements and compounds are available for a variety of chemical reactions.

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