From ArticleWorld

Chemistry is one of the fundamental branches of natural science. It studies the structure, properties, transformations and interactions of matter with energy. It is primarily concerned with the components that make up matter such as atoms, molecules, crystals and metals. Chemistry found its beginnings in the early science of alchemy. This science discovered many of the processes incorporated into chemistry today. Alchemy however focused on the transformation of mundane metals into precious metals and in the search for a super cure for all diseases. The official start of chemistry as a science is considered to be when the law of conservation of mass was introduced in 1783.


There are many sub-disciplines and cross-disciplines in chemistry. These include fields such as analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, theoretical chemistry, nuclear chemistry and many others. Analytical chemistry, for example, deals with the composition of material samples for insight into the chemical composition and structure. This has applications to many other sub-disciplines of chemistry as well as to the environmental sciences.

Another sub-discipline is biochemistry, which creates the link between biology and chemistry. This studies the chemicals found in living organisms. It also studies aspects of another biological sub-discipline, namely, genetics. The list of sub-disciplines continues as the study of chemistry is a very large field. It is considered the connecting science and it is not possible to know everything in chemistry. Chemist, the individuals who study and practice chemistry, normally have generalized knowledge of the field and specialize in a narrow aspect of the field.


Some of the fundamental areas of study include:

  • Nomenclature – the naming of chemical compounds.
  • Atoms – which consist of a positively charged nucleus (containing protons and neutrons) surrounded by electrons.
  • Elements – which are collections of atoms with the same number of protons.
  • Compounds – which are substances with fixed ratios of chemical components.
  • Molecules – consist of two or more atoms boned together covalently.
  • Ions – are atoms which have lost or gained electron making them carry a charge as they have lost their neutrality.