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
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?).