Branches of CHemistry

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Branches of CHemistry

Branches of CHemistry
Inorganic chemistry 
Chemists in this field focus on elements and compounds other than carbon or hydrocarbons. 
Simply put, inorganic chemistry covers all materials that are not organic and are termed as non-living 
substances – those compounds that do not contain a carbon hydrogen (C-H) bond. 
Compounds studied by inorganic chemists include crystal structures, minerals, metals, catalysts, 
and most elements on the periodic table. An example is the strength of a power beam used to 
carry a specific weight or investigating how gold is formed in the earth. 
Branches of inorganic chemistry include: 
1. Bioinorganic chemistry (study of role of metals in biology) 
2. Coordination chemistry (study of coordination compounds and interactions of ligands) 
3. Geochemistry (study of the earth’s chemical composition, rocks, minerals & atmosphere) 
4. Inorganic technology (synthesizing new inorganic compounds) 
5. Nuclear chemistry (study of radioactive substances) 
6. Organometallic chemistry (study of chemicals that contain bonds between a metal and 
carbon – overlaps into organic chemistry) 
7. Solid-state chemistry/materials chemistry (study of the forming, structure, and 
characteristics of solid phase materials) 
8. Synthetic inorganic chemistry (study of synthesizing chemicals) 
9. Industrial inorganic chemistry (study of materials used in manufacturing. E.g.: fertilizers) 
Physical chemistry 
The study of the physical properties of molecules, and their relation to the ways in which 
molecules and atoms are put together. Physical chemistry deals with the principles and 
methodologies of both chemistry and physics and is the study of how chemical structure impacts 
physical properties of a substance. An example is baking brownies, as you’re mixing materials 
and using heat and energy to get the final product. 
Physical chemists would typically study the rate of a chemical reaction, the interaction of 
molecules with radiation, and the calculation of structures and properties. 
Sub-branches of physical chemistry include: 
1. Electrochemistry (study of the interaction of atoms, molecules, ions and electric current) 
2. Photochemistry (study of the chemical effects of light; photochemical reactions) 
3. Surface chemistry (study of chemical reactions at interfaces) 
4. Chemical Kinetics (study of rates of chemical reactions) 
5. Thermodynamics/Thermochemistry (study of how heat relates to chemical change) 
6. Quantum Mechanics/Quantum Chemistry (study of quantum mechanics and how it 
relates to chemical phenomena) 
7. Spectroscopy (study of spectra of light or radiation)
Organic chemistry 
The study of carbon compounds such as fuels, plastics, food additives, and drugs. An opposite of 
inorganic chemistry that focuses on non-living matter and non-carbon based substances, organic 
chemistry deals with the study of carbon and the chemicals in living organisms. An example is 
the process of photosynthesis in a leaf because there is a change in the chemical composition of 
the living plant. 
Organic chemists are often the ones who devise experimental methods to isolate or synthesize 
new materials, or to study their properties, and usually work and research in a lab. Some 
examples on the work they do include formulating a conditioner that keeps hair softer, 
developing a better drug for headaches and creating a non-toxic home cleaning product. 
The branches of organic chemistry involve many different disciplines including the study of 
ketones, aldehydes, hydrocarbons (alkenes, alkanes, alkynes) and alcohols. 
1. Stereochemistry (study of the 3-dimensional structure of molecules) 
2. Medicinal chemistry (deals with designing, developing and synthesizing pharmaceutical 
drugs) 
3. Organometallic chemistry (study of chemicals that contain bonds between a carbon and a 
metal) 
4. Physical organic chemistry (study of structure and reactivity in organic molecules) 
5. Polymer chemistry (study of the composition and creation of polymer molecules) 
Biochemistry 
The study of life or more aptly put, of chemical processes in living organisms. Biochemists 
research includes cancer and stem cell biology, infectious disease as well as membrane and 
structural biology and spans molecular biology, genetics, mechanistic biochemistry, genomics, 
evolution and systems biology. 
Biochemistry, according to many scientists can also be explained as a discipline in which 
biological phenomena are examined in chemical terms. Examples are digestion and cellular 
respiration. 
For this reason biochemistry is also known as Chemical Biology or Biological Chemistry. 
Under the main umbrella of biochemistry many new sub-branches have emerged that modern 
chemists may specialize in solely. Some of these disciplines include: 
1. Enzymology (study of enzymes) 
2. Endocrinology (study of hormones) 
3. Clinical Biochemistry (study of diseases) 
4. Molecular Biochemistry (Study of Biomolecules and their functions).
Analytical Chemistry 
Analytical chemistry is the study involving how we analyze the chemical components of 
samples. How much caffeine is really in a cup of coffee? Are there drugs found in athlete’s urine 
samples? What is the pH level of my swimming pool? Examples of areas using analytical 
chemistry include forensic science, environmental science, and drug testing. 
Analytical chemistry is divided into two main branches: qualitative and quantitative analysis. 
Qualitative analysis employs methods/measurements to help determine the components of 
substances. Quantitative analysis on the other hand, helps to identify how much of each 
component is present in a substance. 
Both types of analysis can be used to provide important information about an unidentified 
sample and help to identify what the sample is.
THE IMPACT OF FILIPINO AND FOREIGN SCIENTISTS ON WORLD SCIENCE 
As a nation, we are not publishing as many scientific papers as many of our neighbors do. Yet, 
individual Filipino scientists, here and abroad, are making significant contributions to world 
science. How much are our scientists contributing? How do their contributions compare with the 
best of the world? What impact has Filipino scientists made on world science? 
There are numerous measures of the impact of the scientific work of a scientist. An analysis of 
the various metrics used in the evaluation of a researcher and his work is the topic of a recent 
Nature magazine special. One is the number of papers he has published, especially in peer-reviewed 
journals. An often-used gauge of the quality of work is the number of his publications 
in high-impact, i.e. frequently cited, journals. Another measure is how often his publications are 
cited by others. There are arguments against the use of any of the measures currently being used, 
since there are inherent difficulties in the proper assessment of the impact of one scientific 
publication. 
For one thing, the number of papers a scientist has published is a measure of his output not 
necessarily the quality of his work. We all know of several individuals in the past who had 
published only a small number of papers, but whose work is still remembered to this day. One 
example is Francis Crick of the double-helix fame, who did seminal work not only in molecular 
biology but also in protein crystallography, but who published only 87 several times fewer than 
the output of a number of scientists I know. Further, the number of papers in which an individual 
has published as a co-author does not necessarily reflect his true contribution to science. 
Indeed, a major difficulty arises from the question of authorship. There is no problem when there 
is only one author. In a paper with multiple authors, proper attribution of credit is often not 
straightforward. What did each author contribute to the project and how can it be quantified? 
One could think of a measure that is somehow related to the order in which the authors are listed. 
But there is no uniform convention in the listing of authors. Sometimes, the listing of authors is 
done alphabetically this is especially true in the old days. These days, the first-listed author is 
supposed to have contributed more to the project and the last-listed author (the senior author) is 
supposed to have been the originator of the idea behind the project. That is not always the case. 
More and more, we see papers where two or more of the authors are noted as having contributed 
equally to the work. Further, more projects are collaborations of several independent groups, so 
that the listing of authors is often the result of negotiation and does not necessarily reflect the 
contribution of the individual authors. 
And there is an inherent difficulty in judging the quality of a paper that was published in a high-impact 
journal. A journal factor is based on the number of times the articles in that journal are 
cited by others, so that it represents the average impact of all the articles which appeared in that 
journal and is not a measure of the impact of any individual article. The impact factor is so 
misused that the European Association of Science Editors has recommended that journal impact 
factors be used only and cautiously for measuring and comparing the influence of entire journals, 
but not for the assessment of single papers, and certainly not for the assessment of researchers or 
research programs either directly or as a surrogate.

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Branches of CHemistry

  • 2. Inorganic chemistry Chemists in this field focus on elements and compounds other than carbon or hydrocarbons. Simply put, inorganic chemistry covers all materials that are not organic and are termed as non-living substances – those compounds that do not contain a carbon hydrogen (C-H) bond. Compounds studied by inorganic chemists include crystal structures, minerals, metals, catalysts, and most elements on the periodic table. An example is the strength of a power beam used to carry a specific weight or investigating how gold is formed in the earth. Branches of inorganic chemistry include: 1. Bioinorganic chemistry (study of role of metals in biology) 2. Coordination chemistry (study of coordination compounds and interactions of ligands) 3. Geochemistry (study of the earth’s chemical composition, rocks, minerals & atmosphere) 4. Inorganic technology (synthesizing new inorganic compounds) 5. Nuclear chemistry (study of radioactive substances) 6. Organometallic chemistry (study of chemicals that contain bonds between a metal and carbon – overlaps into organic chemistry) 7. Solid-state chemistry/materials chemistry (study of the forming, structure, and characteristics of solid phase materials) 8. Synthetic inorganic chemistry (study of synthesizing chemicals) 9. Industrial inorganic chemistry (study of materials used in manufacturing. E.g.: fertilizers) Physical chemistry The study of the physical properties of molecules, and their relation to the ways in which molecules and atoms are put together. Physical chemistry deals with the principles and methodologies of both chemistry and physics and is the study of how chemical structure impacts physical properties of a substance. An example is baking brownies, as you’re mixing materials and using heat and energy to get the final product. Physical chemists would typically study the rate of a chemical reaction, the interaction of molecules with radiation, and the calculation of structures and properties. Sub-branches of physical chemistry include: 1. Electrochemistry (study of the interaction of atoms, molecules, ions and electric current) 2. Photochemistry (study of the chemical effects of light; photochemical reactions) 3. Surface chemistry (study of chemical reactions at interfaces) 4. Chemical Kinetics (study of rates of chemical reactions) 5. Thermodynamics/Thermochemistry (study of how heat relates to chemical change) 6. Quantum Mechanics/Quantum Chemistry (study of quantum mechanics and how it relates to chemical phenomena) 7. Spectroscopy (study of spectra of light or radiation)
  • 3. Organic chemistry The study of carbon compounds such as fuels, plastics, food additives, and drugs. An opposite of inorganic chemistry that focuses on non-living matter and non-carbon based substances, organic chemistry deals with the study of carbon and the chemicals in living organisms. An example is the process of photosynthesis in a leaf because there is a change in the chemical composition of the living plant. Organic chemists are often the ones who devise experimental methods to isolate or synthesize new materials, or to study their properties, and usually work and research in a lab. Some examples on the work they do include formulating a conditioner that keeps hair softer, developing a better drug for headaches and creating a non-toxic home cleaning product. The branches of organic chemistry involve many different disciplines including the study of ketones, aldehydes, hydrocarbons (alkenes, alkanes, alkynes) and alcohols. 1. Stereochemistry (study of the 3-dimensional structure of molecules) 2. Medicinal chemistry (deals with designing, developing and synthesizing pharmaceutical drugs) 3. Organometallic chemistry (study of chemicals that contain bonds between a carbon and a metal) 4. Physical organic chemistry (study of structure and reactivity in organic molecules) 5. Polymer chemistry (study of the composition and creation of polymer molecules) Biochemistry The study of life or more aptly put, of chemical processes in living organisms. Biochemists research includes cancer and stem cell biology, infectious disease as well as membrane and structural biology and spans molecular biology, genetics, mechanistic biochemistry, genomics, evolution and systems biology. Biochemistry, according to many scientists can also be explained as a discipline in which biological phenomena are examined in chemical terms. Examples are digestion and cellular respiration. For this reason biochemistry is also known as Chemical Biology or Biological Chemistry. Under the main umbrella of biochemistry many new sub-branches have emerged that modern chemists may specialize in solely. Some of these disciplines include: 1. Enzymology (study of enzymes) 2. Endocrinology (study of hormones) 3. Clinical Biochemistry (study of diseases) 4. Molecular Biochemistry (Study of Biomolecules and their functions).
  • 4. Analytical Chemistry Analytical chemistry is the study involving how we analyze the chemical components of samples. How much caffeine is really in a cup of coffee? Are there drugs found in athlete’s urine samples? What is the pH level of my swimming pool? Examples of areas using analytical chemistry include forensic science, environmental science, and drug testing. Analytical chemistry is divided into two main branches: qualitative and quantitative analysis. Qualitative analysis employs methods/measurements to help determine the components of substances. Quantitative analysis on the other hand, helps to identify how much of each component is present in a substance. Both types of analysis can be used to provide important information about an unidentified sample and help to identify what the sample is.
  • 5. THE IMPACT OF FILIPINO AND FOREIGN SCIENTISTS ON WORLD SCIENCE As a nation, we are not publishing as many scientific papers as many of our neighbors do. Yet, individual Filipino scientists, here and abroad, are making significant contributions to world science. How much are our scientists contributing? How do their contributions compare with the best of the world? What impact has Filipino scientists made on world science? There are numerous measures of the impact of the scientific work of a scientist. An analysis of the various metrics used in the evaluation of a researcher and his work is the topic of a recent Nature magazine special. One is the number of papers he has published, especially in peer-reviewed journals. An often-used gauge of the quality of work is the number of his publications in high-impact, i.e. frequently cited, journals. Another measure is how often his publications are cited by others. There are arguments against the use of any of the measures currently being used, since there are inherent difficulties in the proper assessment of the impact of one scientific publication. For one thing, the number of papers a scientist has published is a measure of his output not necessarily the quality of his work. We all know of several individuals in the past who had published only a small number of papers, but whose work is still remembered to this day. One example is Francis Crick of the double-helix fame, who did seminal work not only in molecular biology but also in protein crystallography, but who published only 87 several times fewer than the output of a number of scientists I know. Further, the number of papers in which an individual has published as a co-author does not necessarily reflect his true contribution to science. Indeed, a major difficulty arises from the question of authorship. There is no problem when there is only one author. In a paper with multiple authors, proper attribution of credit is often not straightforward. What did each author contribute to the project and how can it be quantified? One could think of a measure that is somehow related to the order in which the authors are listed. But there is no uniform convention in the listing of authors. Sometimes, the listing of authors is done alphabetically this is especially true in the old days. These days, the first-listed author is supposed to have contributed more to the project and the last-listed author (the senior author) is supposed to have been the originator of the idea behind the project. That is not always the case. More and more, we see papers where two or more of the authors are noted as having contributed equally to the work. Further, more projects are collaborations of several independent groups, so that the listing of authors is often the result of negotiation and does not necessarily reflect the contribution of the individual authors. And there is an inherent difficulty in judging the quality of a paper that was published in a high-impact journal. A journal factor is based on the number of times the articles in that journal are cited by others, so that it represents the average impact of all the articles which appeared in that journal and is not a measure of the impact of any individual article. The impact factor is so misused that the European Association of Science Editors has recommended that journal impact factors be used only and cautiously for measuring and comparing the influence of entire journals, but not for the assessment of single papers, and certainly not for the assessment of researchers or research programs either directly or as a surrogate.