Most people in the United States have to take at least one chemistry course in high school. They may remember learning about the periodic table and different formulae, but they may not realize that chemistry is not a single field. It contains many specialized disciplines that affect the average person’s life.
Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry
Biochemists study the chemistry inside of living organisms. This is a broad field that has specializations such as neurochemistry and molecular chemistry. Some experts in biochemistry such as Ryan Smith Lexington KY research proteins for pharmaceutical use. Others work for government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration. They can also conduct research for private companies on agriculture, animal studies and medicine.
Organic chemistry also concerns organisms. However, it focuses primarily on reactions involving carbon and hydrogen, the elements necessary for life. Dentists and doctors, as well as chemists, must be able to apply the knowledge associated with this field.
Chemists who apply physics and mathematics to their study of atoms and molecules are called physical chemists. They try to understand chemical reactions and the properties of elements that cause those reactions to occur. These chemists are employed in the pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries and also may conduct research in laboratories.
In inorganic chemistry, chemists test and study the properties of compounds that are not alive or part of living things. Like physical chemists, they may research chemical reactions and properties, but their studies are restricted to compounds like minerals and metals. This branch of chemistry has many applications. Industries such as mining, microchip manufacturing and paint and plastic production utilize inorganic chemistry. It also is crucial to environmental science’s understanding of pollutants and natural chemicals.
The different types of chemistry help to explain how the world works, but most still have much to discover. Although the exact processes involved may be hard to understand, they all play a large role in everyone’s daily life.