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What is Chemistry?

Chemistry is a basic science whose central concerns are –

  • the structure and behaviour of atoms (elements)
  • the composition and properties of compounds
  • the reactions between substances with their accompanying energy exchange
  • the laws that unite these phenomena into a comprehensive system.

Chemistry is not an isolated discipline, for it merges into physics and biology. The origin of the term is obscure. Chemistry evolved from the medieval practice of alchemy. It’s bases were laid by such men as Boyle, Lavoisier, Priestly, Berzelius, Avogadro, Dalton and Pasteur.


Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and the interactions between them. This is also the definition for physics, by the way. Chemistry and physics are specializations ofphysical science. Chemistry tends to focus on the properties of substances and the interactions between different types of matter, particularly reactions that involve electrons. Physics tends to focus more on the nuclear part of the atom, as well as the subatomic realm. Really, they are two sides of the same coin.

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