Mount Vernon Nazarene University: Life Changing


Chemistry is the scientific study of the structure and composition of matter. There are five major subdisciplines within chemistry. MVNU offers courses in each of these areas.

Organic Chemistry once meant the study of substances found in living organisms. However, it was soon discovered that most biological compounds contain carbon. Today, organic chemistry means the study of carbon compounds regardless of where they come from.

Inorganic Chemistry is the study of compounds that do not contain carbon (plus a few that do contain carbon). Since there are at least 108 different elements, you might think that inorganic chemistry would be more complex than organic chemistry. Actually, just the opposite is true; there are roughly 100 times more organic compounds than there are inorganic.

Biochemistry is the study of substances found in living organisms (including both inorganic and organic compounds), and the chemical reactions they undergo.

Analytical Chemistry is "the art of recognizing different substances and determining their constituents" (Wilhelm Ostwald, 1894). Qualitative Analysis seeks to identify the substances present in a sample of matter; Quantitative Analysis measures the amount of a substance.

Physical Chemistry is a study of chemical structure, chemical reactions, and the energy changes that accompany reactions. Two of the most important topics in physical chemistry are kinetics (how fast is a chemical reaction?) and equilibrium (how far will a reaction go?).

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