About Chemistry and Why It Is Important

Direct Knowlege Contributor Taylor Bauer
  • By Taylor Bauer, Technical Writer & Digital Marketing Expert
  • Taylor is a writer and SEO manager with a B.S. in Political Communication from Illinois State University. He also received his M.S. in Communications from Illinois State. His background comes from journalism, working at an NPR member station for three years before transitioning to blogging and search engine marketing. He lives in Illinois with his wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards.

About Chemistry

What can we learn from the smallest elements of the natural world? Some ideas in the natural sciences seem so massive that researchers find their desired results through knowledge of essential compounds and elements. The study of chemistry articles yields many definitions used as an introduction to some of the field’s most impressive findings.

Chemistry is the analysis of scientific elements, compounds, and reactions that naturally occur in the universe. To explore complex aspects of life and the world, researchers use chemistry to simplify things to their most basic characteristics. Chemists work to help develop an understanding of molecules, atoms, and cells to infer new hypotheses about living and natural phenomena.

This scientific subject is much more than just a class you take in high school. To understand the many definitions associate with its study, let’s go over a brief introduction to topics in chemistry. If you want to get a good start, then it’s best to start with the history of the field.

Articles on the History and Background of Chemistry

Chemistry is one of the fundamental sciences, something you’re likely to take a class in either high school or college as a foundation on which to build. It looks at how the principal parts of matter interact with each other at the molecular level. Elements and compounds -and the atoms and subatomic particles that create their structure- distinctly behave when exposed to each other as well as other environmental factors. By developing chemistry definitions, we can explain how reactions take place to create desired materials to use the findings in future projects. In this category of Direct Knowledge, you’ll find chemistry articles and topics explaining what chemistry is, where it originated, how it’s applied to other areas, and how you can get involved in it.

Efforts to understand chemistry started when people began looking for definitions to explain natural chemical reactions observed in novice experiments. Extracting specific resources like metals from ores, fermenting beverages, creating medicine from plants, or making alloys all required chemistry, even if the people performing these tasks weren’t yet aware of it. Through investigating how to optimize these processes, people discovered the foundations of chemistry definitions and began expanding it through discoveries and theories.

The 1700s to Now

Some of these theories weren’t the best, like alchemy and homeopathic medicines. But, by the 1700s, the term “chemistry” began to take on its current meaning. It has continued to change in minor ways since then, settling in the 1900s into the name we know today; fundamentally, the science of the structure, properties, and reactions of substances. Now, chemistry experiences many discoveries, as well as contribute to developments in other fields. Medicine primarily benefits from it, and we see those benefits in the revolutionary drugs emerge. The chemistry articles in this category can help keep you up to date on current events and developments such as these.

Articles on the Principles and Definitions of Chemistry

Chemical Laws

Now, scientists recognize that chemical reactions exist according to several laws experimentally tested and proven through time. The laws of conservation of mass and energy relate to equilibrium thermodynamics and kinetics. Avogadro’s law describes the volume of gases to their temperature and pressure. Many laws exist, most of them relating to physics, given that chemical compounds made of solid pieces interacting according to the laws of physics.

Fundamentals of Matter

The study of chemistry led to the discovery and analysis of many atomic and subatomic particles. The atom is the basic unit of the field, containing a nucleus, electrons, protons, and neutrons. The number of each of these subatomic particles determines what type of atom it is and how it reacts at the most fundamental level

When a substance is made purely out of atoms of a single type, it is a pure element. The primary characteristic that determines the part is the number of protons in the nuclei of the particles. The number of protons will always be the same, but isotopes of the element may have a different number of neutrons—compounds formed by joining one or more components. A mixture can have very different characteristics than either of the original elements. The chemistry articles in this category contain further details about these fundamentals so that you can study strong foundations in the subject.

Interactions Between the Fundamental Parts

What creates the rich assortment of objects, substances, and events in the universe all comes down to how the fundamental particles reach with one another (and with a few other things like gravity, time, and light). They go through phase changes, bonding, and even reactions. Reactions completely transform a chemical substance due to its interaction with another. Oxidation and reduction, together known as redox, are common reactions that break chemical bonds. Opposites like ions and salts or acids and bases play essential roles in balancing many systems. Acid-base neutralization is a common chemical reaction with many applications.

Chemistry Articles on Modern Areas of Research and Application

Chemistry typically consists of many sub-disciplines in which scientists specialize. The following are some of the main fields that are popular today. Still, you can also find more information on the various topics by checking out the chemistry articles in this category.

Biochemistry

In this area, scientists look at the chemical reactions and processes related to organisms. We all have chemical reactions and interactions occurring inside us, and understanding them can contribute to medicine and general health.

Inorganic and Organic Chemistry

There is some distinction between inorganic and organic disciplines, but often a lot of overlap. Organic compounds are those based on carbon, distinct primarily due to their chemical relationship with carbon-based life on Earth.

Physical Chemistry

This field relates closely to other bodily areas of study, such as thermodynamics, kinetics, mechanics, spectroscopy, and more. Physics plays a vital role in establishing the environmental reasons behind why and how chemical reactions occur.

Materials Chemistry

In materials chemistry, science focuses on the utility of chemical substances. The creation of various materials with unique chemical properties enhances and optimizes useful functions.

Neurochemistry

Neurochemistry looks at chemicals in the nervous system of the body to see how it works on the molecular level. This field helps us understand bodily functions, cure diseases, make medicines, and more.

Chemistry Articles to Study for Professionals and Careers

This category of chemistry articles is more prevalent for those already working in the field. The division also helps recent grads and those looking for more information on careers. You’ll learn that, as with many sciences, chemistry requires higher education of at least a bachelor’s. Potentially, higher degrees are required depending on specific jobs. But this usually leads to good pay, with the median salary for chemists being about 78,000 dollars per year. If looking into becoming a chemist, expect laboratory and office work, and maybe some research or fieldwork. There’s no single manner with which to go about it, as shown by some notable chemists. Just follow the path that best suits you.

Introduction to Chemistry Books

Chemistry provides the chance to implement creativity alongside critical and analytical thinking. Physical laws might govern interactions between substances, but they are also so varied that they offer the opportunity to create new materials and processes that the world has never seen before. Chemists are continually creating new things and helping advance technology and society, so for what are you waiting? Pick up an introduction to the chemistry book and join them.

Chemistry Books Chemist team working together at desk using computer

Chemistry Books for Everyone

Chemistry is an exciting science that uses a great deal of math and physics, but don’t let that scare you. Mastering the introduction to chemistry just takes practice. Practice gives you a wide range of skills and opens doors to many careers. Direct Knowledge can help you along the way with chemistry books tailored to making the most troublesome subjects a breeze.

Books for Beginners

You’ll study the makeup and structure of atoms and molecules. You will also learn how they give specific properties to the matter they create. There are lab manuals and guides to help you through experiments; from the classics to make your own, you can count on doing many in chemistry. But first, you’ll need a base set of skills for performing and analyzing them. Even the most simple calculations using data and results from the experiments use all kinds of rules.

For example, chemists just starting need to learn to use significant figures at all times. Metric units are also the norm, so Americans might have to make some adjustments. But don’t worry; you’ll eventually know most of the formulas for conversions and values for universal constants by heart. All you need is relentless practice, which can emerge in books of detailed explanations with practice questions.

Great Books for Starters

One such book that is very fitting for beginners is General Chemistry: Principles, Patterns, and Applications. It offers students with little to no experience a toolkit for a better understanding of the essential topics in chemistry. This book includes atom structures, states of matter, the periodic table, periodic trends, organic compounds, nuclear chemistry, and more. And in each chapter are essential-skills sections, end-of-chapter-reviews, and relevant examples and exercises.

Because much of what’s in the introduction to chemistry is not visible to the naked eye, pictures are a huge help. You’ll learn to make and understand diagrams, and they’ll become part of your study. Chemistry books at all levels, even the most advanced, will contain pictures to help you know what’s happening in that tiny world.

Moving Up

As you progress to more advanced topics, you’ll begin to read an introduction to chemistry books that do so as well. Chemistry 2e is a good book for intermediate learners, or those trying to add to the basic concepts discussed above. The topics in the book show up in standard chemistry courses in universities, so the book can help boost your grades in classes or review material from previous years you may have forgotten.

The examples in this book tie back to real-world applications and highlight how definitions of chemistry work. Exercises also keep the reader engaged, and an answer key at the end of the book helps let you track your progress.

More Advanced Material

After mastering the basics, books can give you an up-close look at a range of chemistry subjects to study. You could start with the periodic table, which might count as a basic itself. A periodic table is a vital tool for understanding the atomic and molecular structure of the many elements that apply to all other areas.

Then, chemical bonding is a subject that helps you understand how the elements interact. It can lead to more complicated areas like solutions and mixtures, acids and bases, and stoichiometry. Some high-level material covers organic chemistry, biochemistry, electrochemistry, and thermochemistry.

Chemistry books on these topics are perfect for college students trying to get through classes and exams, or even for researchers and professionals looking to read up on the newest advancements. Whatever stage you’re in, you’ll find something to take you to the next level.

Chemistry FAQ

If you want to study more definitions and topics in chemistry, then here are some questions that might help increase your introduction to chemistry.

What is the study of chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of the essential elements of things existing in the natural world. Some areas of research include the makeup of molecules, atoms, and cells. Knowledge of basic building blocks to life and matter is essential to exploring more nuanced topics. That’s why chemistry is so influential and prevalent in the natural sciences.

How do I start chemistry?

To start learning chemistry, explore different articles and books on the subject. Many texts aim to teach newcomers to the field who have little to no knowledge on the topic. From here, consider taking a course online or reading more advanced material.

Who discovered chemistry?

The first modern chemist to discover the field of study was Robert Boyle. Before him, many others helped contribute findings and information to the development of the subject. Despite this, the concept known today as chemistry did not fully manifest itself as a branch of the natural sciences until Boyle’s work.

What is the importance of chemistry?

The importance of chemistry is the development of knowledge about the most elemental parts of the universe. To explore questions about the universe or natural world, scientists must understand what makes up the living and natural parts of the world. From here, they can build on findings with additional questions and studies.