Chemistry is a dynamic, abstract, and exciting scientific discipline that intertwines with pretty much every other scientific field - from biology, to physics, to astronomy, to meteorology and medical science. It is often referred to as the "central science" because of its ability to link the physical and natural world. This is because chemistry dictates the makeup of all matter, and how different elements combine into molecules that interact to form the world as we know it. Studying chemistry is to study the underpinnings of virtually every known thing in the universe. People with a passion for wanting to know why molecular matter behaves in the ways that it does, and are able to think in very abstract terms, would do well with a chemical career, of which there are many different sub-fields and inter-disciplines to accomodate a wide range of specific interests.
- Environmental Chemistry: this subfield is ideal for those who would enjoy studying the rols of molecules and particles in ecosystems. The subfield deals primarily with the chemical reactions that occur in natural environments. These can include the biochemical interactions between organic and inorganic matter, such as the interaction between bacteria and soil. It stipulates on the chemical properties of natural environments or specific habitats, and how those chemicals got to be in that place, and what makes it chemically unique, as many natural habitats have distinct chemical "signatures." It should not be confused with Green Chemistry, which deals specifically with toxins and pollutants in the natural environment, and their effects.
- Neurochemistry: this is where psychology and chemistry intertwine, and would be great for those interested in pursuing the understanding of living sensory systems. Neurochemistry deals with how biochemical molecules in the nervous system (such as the brain) affect the human body. Biochemical molecules such as neurotransmitters, glycoproteins, sugars, and nucleic acids all play essential roles in this field of study. This important and relatively new field of chemistry is emerging with some significant discoveries that expand our knowledge on how the brain, perception, and consciousness work.
- Inorganic Chemistry: simply put, this field of study concentrates on the synthesis, behavior, and study of inorganic materials. This would be a great field for those who might be more interested in directly applying chemistry to projects with tangible outcomes. All chemical compounds are included, except those containing carbon-hydrogen bonds (which are therefore classified as organic molecules). There is, however, much overlap between both inorganic and organic chemistry as the two subfields co-exist in the same world and interact heavily with each other. Inorganic chemistry is directly applied in many useful ways, such as materials science, health science, pharmacology, energy, and agricultural science.
- Physical Chemistry: this broad and essential field combines chemistry (the makeup of matter) with physics (the rules that dictate matter). These are studied in terms of theoretical and practical concepts as they apply to core concepts of physics such as fluid dynamics, motion, gravity, time, thermodynamics, and force. Physical chemistry tends to be focused more on the macromolecular scale, rather than looking at atomic and sub-atomic structure. Reaction kinetics, intermolecular forces, and surface chemistry are all important applications, and anyone with a passion for gaining a strong understanding and appreciation for the most basic natural laws of our universe would do very well in this subdiscipline.
- Biochemistry: this field of chemistry is at the forefront of how chemicals affect the living and natural world. Biochemical reactions govern all living things and natural processes. This is a huge and important field that tackles how elements, molecules, and particles form the very nature of the biological world. There is an endless supply of topics within biochemistry to study, as natural chemical reactions are countless and different across all living beings. Biochemistry involves a vast array of topics, from the study of digestion and other organismal processes such as metabolism, energy production, reproduction, and range from the macro- to the micro-molecular scale. This subfield is perhaps one of the most interdisciplinary, as it can involve almost any other scientific discipline. Many people with vastly different interests and specialties end up working together in biochemistry, and therefore this field is great for someone with broader interests.
About the AuthorThis article was composed by Ty Whitworth for the team at http://ChemicalWire.com.