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What is chemistry?

Lesson: 01
Unit: 0
State Content Standard: Investigation & Experimentation

Lesson Title: What is chemistry?
Textbook page: Pages 7 - 8
Chemistry Passport: Page 15

1. Define chemistry.
2. Identify five traditional areas of study in chemistry.
3. Relate pure chemistry to applied chemistry.
4. Distinguish between macroscopic and microscopic views.

Lesson Content

Chemistry is an experimental science based on observations of the structure and composition of matter, energy, and the interactions between matter and energy; Chemistry is a physical science based on laws, theories, and models. According to Zumdahl, Zumdahl, and DeCoste, chemistry is a science that deals with the materials of the universe and the changes that these materials undergo.<ref>Zumdahl, S.S., Zumdahl, S. L., DeCoste, D. J. (2006). World of Chemistry. Houghton Mifflin Company.</ref>

The Central Science
Brown, LeMay and Bursten suggested that chemistry is the central science because chemistry touches so many other subjects. For example, chemistry is interwoven with physics, biology, and earth science.

First year students will study atomic structure, chemical bonds, stoichiometry, kinetics, thermochemistry, and chemical reactions. Students will need to be organized, practice solving problems, and constantly ask questions. Additionally, students must be comfortable with math.

Chemistry helps you understand things around you, for instance: Why does a cake rise? or Where does rain come from? <ref>http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/a/basics.htm</ref> Questioning why or how things happen and creating an experiment to answer or research your question is a step toward learning more about something. This is called the scientific method.

Branches of Chemistry

main article: Branches of Chemistry

Branch Definition
Analytical chemistry Study of components and composition of substances
Biochemistry Study of matter and process of living organisms
Inorganic chemistry Study of matter that does not contain carbon
Organic chemistry Study of matter that contains carbon
Physical chemistry Study the behavior of matter and the energy changes

Types of Investigations

Pure, applied, and chance.

Microscopic and Macroscopic

Example Chemistry Problems


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