What is chemistry: know the branches of this science

Chemistry is an important part of science which is very useful for all of us in our day to day life. The development of human life in the modern era is basically started with the development of knowledge in chemistry. In this article, the definition of chemistry and the classification of this subject into various sub-sciences is discussed.


Chemistry is a very important subject which forms the centre of all sciences. Chemistry is a science which will have its relation to all other important sciences. This subject is having a very close relation with physics and biological sciences. Chemistry makes us understand the various properties, constituents and behaviour of various materials in this universe in a systematic way. A book definition of chemistry is that it is a science which deals with the study of matter, energy and their interaction.

The knowledge of basic mathematics will help us to understand chemistry better.

Classification of chemistry

Chemical science is classified mainly in two ways. The first classification is based on the constituents available in the substance. Based on this the chemistry is divided into two main branches. They are organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry. The second one is the classification based on the study that is being conducted. Based on this the subject is divided into two parts. They are analytical chemistry and physical chemistry.

  • Organic chemistry is the study of materials which will have carbon and hydrogen mainly. All organic compounds will have carbon as a constituent. But all compounds containing carbon are not organic. The best two examples of this are carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. This chemistry will have its application in many fields and based on this application part this can be again classified as medicinal chemistry, organometallic chemistry and polymer chemistry, etc.

  • Biochemistry is also a branch of organic chemistry. But some will consider this also as a main branch of chemistry. Biochemistry is basically a chemistry which deals with the chemical processes and changes in living organisms. This chemistry basically deals with genetics, pharmacology, molecular biology, clinical biochemistry and agricultural biochemistry.

  • Inorganic chemistry is the chemistry which deals with all other substances which are not organic. All metals, ores and a study related to them will come under this classification. This inorganic chemistry will also have many sub-branches like bioinorganic chemistry, organometallic chemistry, solid state chemistry, nuclear chemistry etc.

  • If the analysis is being carried out to know the constituents and their percentages in the compound either organic or inorganic, this particular part of chemistry is known as analytical chemistry. Analytical chemistry is an important branch of chemistry which finds its application in almost all branches of chemistry. It plays an important role in understanding the new compounds and their constituents.
    Forensic chemistry, environmental chemistry, bioanalytical chemist etc., will all come under analytical chemistry.

  • If the study is related to changes in the energy in physical and chemical processes it is known as physical chemistry. This chemistry mainly deals with the physical properties of the substances. Physical chemistry is an important branch of chemistry which deals with the structure of the compounds, their reactivity, thermodynamics and crystallography of compounds. Geochemistry, surface chemistry, quantum chemistry, spectroscopy etc., will be extensively using physical chemistry.

  • Final words

    Chemistry is one of the basic sciences and the entire study related to materials will always be around chemistry only. Chemistry is divided into many branches. The knowledge of basic chemistry is very important in the world for the day to day living. That is why this subject will be taught to all students in this primary school and high school as a part of Physical sciences.


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