Outline of chemistry

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to chemistry:

Chemistryscience of atomic matter (matter that is composed of chemical elements), especially its chemical reactions, but also including its properties, structure, composition, behavior, and changes as they relate the chemical reactions.[1][2] Chemistry is centrally concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds.

Nature of chemistry[edit]

Chemistry can be described as all of the following:

  • An academic discipline: one with academic departments, curricula and degrees; national and international societies; and specialized journals.
  • A scientific field (a branch of science) – widely-recognized category of specialized expertise within science, and typically embodies its own terminology and nomenclature. Such a field will usually be represented by one or more scientific journals, where peer reviewed research is published. There are several geophysics-related scientific journals.


Main article: History of chemistry

Branches of chemistry[edit]

  • Physical chemistry – study of the physical and fundamental basis of chemical systems and processes. In particular, the energetics and dynamics of such systems and processes are of interest to physical chemists. Important areas of study include chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, electrochemistry, statistical mechanics, spectroscopy, and more recently, astrochemistry.[3] Physical chemistry has large overlap with molecular physics. Physical chemistry involves the use of infinitesimal calculus in deriving equations. It is usually associated with quantum chemistry and theoretical chemistry. Physical chemistry is a distinct discipline from chemical physics, but again, there is very strong overlap.
    • Chemical kinetics – is the study of rates of chemical processes.
    • Chemical physics – investigates physicochemical phenomena using techniques from atomic and molecular physics and condensed matter physics; it is the branch of physics that studies chemical processes.
    • Electrochemistry – is a branch of chemistry that studies chemical reactions which take place in a solution at the interface of an electron conductor (the electrode: a metal or a semiconductor) and an ionic conductor (the electrolyte), and which involve electron transfer between the electrode and the electrolyte or species in solution.
    • Femtochemistry – is the area of physical chemistry that studies chemical reactions on extremely short timescales, approximately 10-15 seconds (one femtosecond).
    • Geochemistry – is the chemical study of the mechanisms behind major systems studied in geology.
    • Photochemistry – is the study of chemical reactions that proceed with the absorption of light by atoms or molecules.
    • Quantum chemistry – is a branch of chemistry whose primary focus is the application of quantum mechanics in physical models and experiments of chemical systems.
    • Solid-state chemistry – is the study of the synthesis, structure, and properties of solid phase materials, particularly, but not necessarily exclusively of, non-molecular solids.
    • Spectroscopy – is the study of the interaction between matter and radiated energy.
    • Surface science – is the study of physical and chemical phenomena that occur at the interface of two phases, including solid–liquid interfaces, solid–gas interfaces, solid–vacuum interfaces, and liquid-gas interfaces.
    • Thermochemistry –The branch of chemistry that studies the relation between chemical action and the amount of heat absorbed or generated.
      • Calorimetry – The study of heat changes in physical and chemical processes.
  • Organic chemistry – study of the structure, properties, composition, mechanisms, and reactions of organic compounds. An organic compound is defined as any compound based on a carbon skeleton.
  • Inorganic chemistry – study of the properties and reactions of inorganic compounds. The distinction between organic and inorganic disciplines is not absolute and there is much overlap, most importantly in the sub-discipline of organometallic chemistry.
    • Bioinorganic chemistry
    • Cluster chemistry
    • Materials chemistry – preparation, characterization, and understanding of substances with a useful function. The field is a new breadth of study in graduate programs, and it integrates elements from all classical areas of chemistry with a focus on fundamental issues that are unique to materials. Primary systems of study include the chemistry of condensed phases (solids, liquids, polymers) and interfaces between different phases.
    • Nuclear chemistry – study of how subatomic particles come together and make nuclei. Modern Transmutation is a large component of nuclear chemistry, and the table of nuclides is an important result and tool for this field.
  • Analytical chemistry – analysis of material samples to gain an understanding of their chemical composition and structure. Analytical chemistry incorporates standardized experimental methods in chemistry. These methods may be used in all subdisciplines of chemistry, excluding purely theoretical chemistry.
    • Astrochemistry – is the study of the abundance and reactions of chemical elements and molecules in the universe, and their interaction with radiation.
      • Cosmochemistry – is the study of the chemical composition of matter in the universe and the processes that led to those compositions.
    • Computational chemistry
    • Environmental chemistry – is the study of chemical and biochemical phenomena that occur diverse aspects of the environment such the air, soil, and water. It also studies the effects of human activity on the environment.
    • Green chemistry is a philosophy of chemical research and engineering that encourages the design of products and processes that minimize the use and generation of hazardous substances.
    • Supramolecular chemistry – refers to the domain of chemistry beyond that of molecules and focuses on the chemical systems made up of a discrete number of assembled molecular subunits or components.
    • Theoretical chemistry – study of chemistry via fundamental theoretical reasoning (usually within mathematics or physics). In particular the application of quantum mechanics to chemistry is called quantum chemistry. Since the end of the Second World War, the development of computers has allowed a systematic development of computational chemistry, which is the art of developing and applying computer programs for solving chemical problems. Theoretical chemistry has large overlap with (theoretical and experimental) condensed matter physics and molecular physics.
    • Wet chemistry
  • Other
    • Agrochemistry – is the study and application of both chemistry and biochemistry for agricultural production, the processing of raw products into foods and beverages, and environmental monitoring and remediation.
    • Atmospheric chemistry – is a branch of atmospheric science which studies the chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere and that of other planets.
    • Chemical engineering – is the branch of engineering that applies the physical sciences (e.g., chemistry and physics) and/or life sciences (e.g., biology, microbiology and biochemistry) together with mathematics and economics to processes that convert raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms.
    • Chemical biology – is a scientific discipline spanning the fields of chemistry and biology and involves the application of chemical techniques and tools, often compounds produced through synthetic chemistry, to analyze and manipulation of biological systems.
    • Chemistry education
    • Chemo-informatics – is the use of computer and informational techniques applied to a range of problems in the field of chemistry.
    • Flow chemistry – is the study of chemical reactions in continuous flow, not as stationary batches, in industry and macroprocessing equipment.
    • Immunohistochemistry – involves the process of detecting antigens (e.g., proteins) in cells of a tissue section by exploiting the principle of antibodies binding specifically to antigens in biological tissues.
    • History of chemistry – is the study of the history of ideas and people who have contributed chemistry in the past.
    • Immunochemistry – is a branch of chemistry that involves the study of the reactions and components on the immune system.
    • Chemical oceanography – is the study of ocean chemistry: the behavior of the chemical elements within the Earth's oceans
    • Materials science – is an interdisciplinary field investigating the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties.
    • Mathematical chemistry – is the area of study engaged in novel applications of mathematics to chemistry. It concerns itself principally with the mathematical modeling of chemical phenomena.
    • Mechanochemistry – is the coupling of mechanical and chemical phenomena on a molecular scale and can be seen as a coupling of chemistry and mechanical engineering.
    • Molecular biology – is the study of interactions between the various systems of a cell. It overlaps with biochemistry.
    • Molecular mechanics – applies classical mechanics to model molecular systems.
    • Nanotechnology – is the study and application of matter that is at an atomic and molecular scale. This broad field interacts with chemistry at such scales.
    • Oenology – is the study of all aspects of wine and winemaking.
    • Organometallic chemistry – is the study of chemical compounds containing bonds between carbon and a metal.
    • Petrochemistry – is the study of the transformation of petroleum and natural gas into useful products or raw materials.
    • Pharmacology – is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action along with the chemical effects.
    • Phytochemistry – is the study of phytochemicals which come from plants.
    • Radiochemistry – is the chemistry of radioactive materials.
    • Sonochemistry – is the study of effect of sonic waves and wave properties on chemical systems.
    • Synthetic chemistry – is the study of chemical synthesis.


Atomic Theory[edit]

Main article: Atomic theory

The Atomic Model Timeline

  • The idea of what an atom is has changed over time.
  • Different scientists and their discoveries have led to the development of the current model of an atom.
  • Other examples include:

The Democritus Model

  • A Greek philosopher
  • He conceived the idea of the atom to describe matter.
  • Atom comes from the word atomos which means "indivisible".
  • He believed that matter was finite (had a limit)
  • He believed the smallest piece of matter was an indestructible and indivisible particle which he called the "atom".

The John Dalton Model

J. J. Thomson: The Plum Pudding Model


Main article: Thermochemistry


Thermochemical Equations[edit]

  • Chemical equations that include the heat involved in a reaction, either on the reactant side or the product side.
  • Examples:
    • H2O(l) + 240kJ → H2O(g)
    • N2 + 3H2 → 2NH3 + 92kJ
  • Joule (J) –


How to calculate the enthalpy of N₂+3H₂ =2NH₃?

Enthalpy and Thermochemical Equations[edit]

Endothermic Reactions[edit]

Exothermic Reactions[edit]

Potential Energy Diagrams[edit]

Thermochemistry Stoichiometry[edit]


For more chemists, see: Nobel Prize in Chemistry and List of chemists

Chemistry literature[edit]

List of science magazines


Chemical elements data references
List of compounds

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What is Chemistry?". Chemweb.ucc.ie. Retrieved 2011-06-12. 
  2. ^ Chemistry. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. Retrieved August 19, 2007.
  3. ^ Herbst, Eric (May 12, 2005). "Chemistry of Star-Forming Regions". Journal of Physical Chemistry A 109 (18): 4017–4029. doi:10.1021/jp050461c. PMID 16833724. 

External links[edit]