Branches of Chemistry
The organized knowledge of the science of chemistry is so vast that it has been subdivided into several specialized fields. Inorganic chemistry is mainly concerned with the properties and preparation of compounds of the chemical elements contained in minerals. The element carbon forms such a vast variety of compounds that study of these constitutes a separate branch of chemistry, organic chemistry.
Biochemistry is a division of organic chemistry that is specifically concerned with the carbon compounds found in living organisms. It combines biological knowledge with that of chemistry. Physiological chemistry studies the chemical changes occurring in the life functions of living organisms.
Analytical chemistry deals with the identification of the constituents of a substance. It is divided into two main branches, qualitative and quantitative analysis. The methods used in qualitative analysis determine the constituents of substances; those of quantitative analysis determine the amount of each constituent present in the substance.
Physical chemistry is concerned with the physical properties of chemical substances and with interpreting chemical phenomena in terms of underlying physical processes.
Some other specialized branches of chemistry are radiochemistry, which deals with the use of radioactive substances in the study of chemical changes; geochemistry, which deals with the chemical composition of rocks and minerals; electrochemistry, which deals with the relation between electricity and chemical changes; and photochemistry, which deals with chemical changes produced by the action of light.Chemical thermodynamics studies conversion of energy during chemical reactions and effects of pressure and temperature on reactions. Applied chemistry involves the use of theoretical chemistry concepts in practical applications. This includes industrial chemistry, the science of chemical reactions on an industrial scale.
Stereochemistry involves the study of the way atoms and molecules are aligned in a substance and how the alignment affects the properties of the substances. Related to this is polymer chemistry, where chemists study molecules made of a chain of small molecules. Surface chemistry involves the study of the surface properties of substances.
|Major branches of chemistry|
|Analytical chemistry determines the properties of chemical substances and the structure and composition of compounds and mixtures.|
|Qualitative analysis identifies the types of elements and compounds that make up substances.|
|Quantitative analysis measures the amounts of the different chemicals that make up substances.|
|Radiochemistry involves the identification and production of radioactive elements and their use in the study of chemical processes.|
|Applied chemistry refers to the practical use of the knowledge of chemical substances and processes.|
|Agricultural chemistry develops fertilizers and pesticides and studies the chemical processes that occur in the soil and that are involved in crop growth.|
|Environmental chemistry studies, monitors, and controls chemical processes and other factors in the environment and their relationships to living things.|
|Industrial chemistry involves the chemical production of raw materials and the development, study, and control of industrial chemical processes and products.|
|Biochemistry deals with the chemical processes of living things.|
|Inorganic chemistry concerns chemical substances that do not contain carbon-to-carbon bonds.|
|Organic chemistry is the study of chemical substances that contain carbon-to-carbon bonds.|
|Physical chemistry interprets chemical processes in terms of physical properties of matter, such as mass, motion, heat, electricity, and radiation.|
|Chemical kinetics studies the sequence of steps in chemical reactions and the factors that affect the rates at which chemical reactions proceed.|
|Chemical thermodynamics deals with the energy changes that occur during chemical reactions and how temperature and pressure differences affect reactions.|
|Nuclear chemistry is the use of chemical techniques in the study of nuclear reactions.|
|Quantum chemistry analyzes the distribution of electrons inmolecules and interprets the chemical behavior of molecules in terms of their electron structure.|
|Radiation chemistry concerns the chemical effects of high-energy radiation on substances.|
|Solid-state chemistry deals with the composition of solids and the changes that occur within and between solids.|
|Stereochemistry studies the arrangement of atoms in molecules and the properties that follow from such arrangements.|
|Surface chemistry examines the surface characteristics of chemical substances.|
|Polymer chemistry deals with chainlike molecules formed by linking smaller molecules; and with plastics, which consist of chainlike molecules, often combined with other materials.|
|Synthetic chemistry involves combining chemical elements and compounds to duplicate naturally occurring substances or to produce compounds that do not occur naturally.|