Chemistry is the study of matter – of substances, the particles they are made of – the atoms and molecules, and how these interact with each other. This covers how the atoms make up molecules, what happens when they react – the energy absorbed or released and the new substances formed during these chemical reactions. Everything in the world we can see or touch or smell is a chemical meaning Chemistry is a part of everything we do in our lives. Matter made up of atoms; pure substances with one type of atom only are called elements; those made from molecules, more than one type of atom bound together are called compounds. This means that chemistry is at the heart of everything in the world, from naturally occurring structures such as rivers and mountains, to the materials used to build the tallest skyscrapers or make up the most complex medicines. There are five main areas in the study of Chemistry which do overlap each other:
Physical Chemistry - As the name suggests, this overlaps with Physics and is the study or substances on a macroscopic scale such as energy transfers and physical changes resulting from chemical reactions.
Organic Chemistry - This is based on the chemistry of Carbon, one of the most common elements and capable of existing in different physical and chemical forms and able to form millions of different chemicals. Many of which are found in living organisms.
Inorganic Chemistry - In simple terms this is the study non carbon based chemicals; often those not found in living organisms.
Analytical Chemistry - The study of what matter or substances are made of, identifying the atoms and molecules in a substance to determine its chemical formula and structure and hence the physical and chemical properties.
BioChemistry - The study of the chemical processes and systems that take place in living organisms.