Branches of Chemistry
Chemistry is the branch of natural science that deals with the composition and constitution of substances and the changes that they undergo as a consequence of alternations in the constitution of their molecules. It is also an application of chemical theory and method to a particular substance.
These are the five major branches of chemistry: organic, inorganic, analytical, physical, and biochemistry. These branches of chemistry also has different sub-branches . Chemistry isn’t limited to just the five major branches present, there are other branches of chemistry, but they happen to be linked with other disciplines.
Definition of the five branches of chemistry:
1. Organic Chemistry:
Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon – containing compounds, especially those that occur naturally in living organisms.
It is the study of the structure, properties, composition, reaction and preparation of the carbon – containing atoms. Organic chemistry is applied in several areas such as production of plastics, but is limited in areas like pharmaceuticals, food, explosives etc.
Sub-branches of organic chemistry includes the following: Medicinal chemistry, organometallic chemistry, polymer chemistry, physical organic chemistry, stereochemistry, bio-organic chemistry etc.
2. Inorganic Chemistry:
Inorganic chemistry is the chemistry of elements (including carbon), and those compounds that do not contain carbon. It deals with the synthesis and behaviour of inorganic and organometallic compounds. It is applied in areas such as agriculture, fuels, pigments, medications etc.
Sub-branches of inorganic chemistry – Bioinorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, solid-state chemistry, coordination chemistry etc.
3. Analytical Chemistry:
Analytical chemistry is the branch of chemistry responsible for obtaining and processing information about the composition and structure of matter. It studies and uses instruments and methods used to identify, separate and quantify matter.
4. Physical Chemistry:
Physical Chemistry is the science that uses theories and techniques from physics to study chemical systems. It is a branch of chemistry concerned with interactions and transformation of materials.
Biochemistry is the branch of chemistry that studies compounds that occur in living organisms, and the processes that occur in their metabolism and catabolism. Biochemistry deals with the structure, functions, and interactions of biological macromolecules.
Other disciplines of chemistry:
Agrochemistry is a branch of chemistry that is related to everything about agriculture. It is also the science of the chemical compositions and changes that is involved in the production and use of livestock.
2. Nuclear Chemistry:
Nuclear chemistry is a branch of chemistry that is involved in the application of chemical techniques to the solution of problem in nuclear physics, including the discovery of naturally occurring and synthetic radioactive elements and the results of nuclear fission. Nuclear chemistry also studies the chemical and physical properties of an element influenced by the changes in the structure of it’s atomic nucleus.
Astrochemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies the chemical compositions of the stars and the outer space. Astrochemistry also studies the reactions of molecules in the universe and how they react with radiation.
4. Forensic Chemistry:
Forensic chemistry is the study or analysation of materials to learn the nature of such evidence.
Geochemistry is the branch of chemistry that deals with the chemical compositions, structures, process and other physical aspect of the earth and other planets, and with the chemical process that occur in the formation of rocks and minerals etc.
6. Industrial Chemistry:
Industrial chemistry is the branch of chemistry that is involved in using physical and chemical processes to transform raw materials into products that are beneficial to humanity.
Petrochemistry is a branch of chemistry that deals with petroleum, natural gas and their derivatives. It also studies the transformation of petroleum and natural gas into useful products.
8. Food Chemistry:
Food chemistry is the study of the various biological constituents of food like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
9. Chemical Engineering:
Chemical engineering is a branch of chemistry that deals with the designs, construction and operation of industrial process plants, and the physical, chemical and biological processes to create substances or energy in a useful and economic form. The work of chemical engineers are divided into – innovating new products and industrial applications.
Neurochemistry is a branch of neuroscience concerned with the study of the nervous system.
11. Environmental Chemistry:
Environmental Chemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies the environment and the chemical interactions in air, soil and water.
NB: These are not all the sub-branches of chemistry, there are still some much more out there.
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