Return to: Physical Sciences
Chemistry is a physical science that helps us describe and explain our world. It is the study of matter, its properties, how and why substances combine or separate to form others and how substances interact with energy. Every material in existence, including the human body, is made of matter. Almost everything humans touch, taste or smell is made of chemicals. Chemistry is involved in daily and monumental tasks, from growing and cooking food to cleaning our homes and bodies to launching a space shuttle.
An understanding of basic chemistry concepts is important in almost every profession. Chemistry opens doors to exciting careers in medical research, biological sciences, nanotechnology, earth and atmospheric sciences, energy, pharmacy, new materials discovery and forensics opportunities. Studying chemistry provides tools to understand the world around you: How does ozone protect us from the sun? What makes hot sauce hot? What causes snake venom to be poisonous? Just what are calories, and why do they make people gain weight? Chemical scientists know the answers to such questions. They educate us about our surroundings and make our lives safer and longer.