The Chemical Nature of Things

I was recently looking through one of my old collegiate Chemistry lab handbooks, as well as my wordy notations found within, and came across something that I thought (mistakenly or not) could/would be very interesting to talk and/or write about here today. Although I’ve actually been working on this for the past couple of days, and adding to the idea process for about two weeks, I now finally have the chance to share it in it’s entirety with you. For those of you who remember anything from your basic chemistry classes, this will be a quite simple review of terms and choice other selections- and for those of you in the dark on that subject, it could very well be an intriguing lesson of sorts, although I am no bona fide teacher by any means. Shall we begin?

What exactly is Chemistry? Is it similar to the wily alchemy and alchemists of old? Is it the bonding in existence between all physical items or beings? Or is it possibly all of these things and then even more?

By the boring, textbook definition given to me quite a few years ago, chemistry is simply the study of matter and the changes that it undergoes. So, this brings up another question- what is matter? Before we start exploring every other possibly nook and cranny for answers however, as the process would be virtually endless, and a new term would come up that would appear to answer the old one (such as is the complicated explanation of scientific things), I will simply assume you understand the concept of matter and anti-matter and all of that hookah and continue on my merry way. (Although, as I thought would be so, the very definition given to me by that narcissistic professor years ago for the conceptual means of matter was this: anything that has mass and takes up space. And so you see, in order to grasp matter, and thus chemistry, you must hold firm to what other terms are, especially when involved in that process.) Complicated, no?

Did you know that instead of being one branch of science on it’s own, chemistry is in fact divided evenly (somewhat) into five separate fields of study? As of the current age of science and technology, we now have organic chemistry (based heavily upon the impacts of carbon and like elements upon life), inorganic chemistry (the majority of synthetic and man-made compounds), analytical chemistry (those creepy old crazy hoods who we always see slaving away in labs and asking hypothetical questions), physical chemistry (burn it, soak it, burn it some more), and biochemical chemistry (life and the reactions occurring within biology and chemistry). While these may all sound overtly complicated and partially interesting at best to the majority of you readers out there, it is amazing to recognize the major role that chemistry plays in all life- and not just through the body or world, but through the entire universe (or we do suppose it does).

So with these simple questions, semi-confusing explanations, and the usual complexity that is the norm even in basic physical sciences such as this one- I now leave you (possibly) more in the dark than you were prior to reading this, and/or semi-enlightened as well. Au revoir.


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