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Introduction to Chemistry
It is the branch of science which deals with the study of fundamental constituents such as atoms, molecules and their transformation. It also deals with the study of the composition, structure and properties of matter. Thus chemistry is referred as science of atoms and molecules. To study the physics, biology, geology and many other subjects’ the basic knowledge of chemistry is essential.
In other words, chemistry is the study of physical and chemical properties of elements and their applications. The word chemistry is derived from Greek word “Chemia” which means black. The old name of Egyptian soil was Chemia due to its black colour. Probably the word chemistry was used for ‘The Egyptian Art.
Contribution of Indian Scientists in the field of Chemistry
Since ancient times, Indian scientists gave outstanding contribution in development of chemistry. Expansive description of this contribution is given in “History of Hindu Chemistry” written by Aacharya Prafful Chandra Rai in 1901.
In ancient time, Maharishi Kanad proposed the Atomic theory. Nagarjun, Van Bhatt, Govindacharya, Ramchandra Somdev etc. played valuable role in development of chemistry. After sometimes Acharyas Nagarjun, Charak and Sushrut* wrote famous books like Charak Sanhita and Sushrut Sanhita propounded the science of life and instead of this, many Indian scientists like Professor C.N.R. Rao (Bangalore), Professor Goverdhan Mehta (Bangalore), Professor R.A. Mashelkar (C.S.I.R. Delhi), Professor M.M Sharma (Mumbai) etc. are contributing in development of chemistry at International level.
Importance and Uses of Chemistry
Chemistry plays an important role in daily life. The importance of chemistry in various fields is given below.
1. In the field of Agriculture: In the field of agriculture, chemistry has provided fertilizers, improve seeds, fungicides and pesticides to improve the production of crops and fruits various fertilizers such as urea, superphosphates of lime, ammonium sulphate etc.
2. In food Materials: To provide the food materials in suitable quantity for continuous increasing population, chemistry plays a valuable role. Various types of nutrients and delicious foods like pickel, gem, jelly, ghee chocolate, biscuit, tea, coffee are the result of chemistry.
3. In the field of medical and health: Various chemical are being used in diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. Chemistry has helped for better health and sanitation. The diseases like cholera, small pox, dengue etc are now easily curable. Chemistry also provided variety of drugs such as antipyretics, analgesics tranquilizers, antibiotics and many life saving drugs. Various chemicals are used in various diseases. For example, isotope of iodine 1131 is used for detection of brain tumor, Radium (223 Ra) and cobalt (60 Co) are used in cancer treatment.
4. In Industrial field: Many industries are developed due to knowledge and uses of chemistry. Some important applications are given below.
(i) In Building Materials : Cement, lime, iron, asbestos, water proof and fire proof compounds are available due to chemistry.
(ii) In Fabric Industry : Chemistry provided various types of artificial fibres like rayon, c terylene, nylon, dacron etc.
(iii) In the field of glass and plastics: Different types of glass wares and plastic wares are produced now a days. These all are due to chemistry.
(iv) In Cosmetic Industry: Various cosmetic produces like perfume, cream, soap, powders, lipstick, etc are formed with the help of chemistry.
(5) In the Field of Biology: Various processes taking place in plants and animals can be studied with the help of numerous chemicals only. For example, radioactive phosphorus is used to study the movement of food inplants from root to stem.
(6) In the Field of War: A number of explosive used in war like TNT, dynamite, nitroglycerine, hydrogen bomb, poisonous gases are prepared by the use of chemistry only.
(7) Other Uses of Chemistry : The other uses of chemistry are following:
(a) In the form of fuel. (b) In the purification of metals and alloys. (c) Synthesis of some specific materials. (d) In purifying environment.
Classification of Chemistry
As we have studied earlier that chemistry is the branch of science concerned with the substances from which matter is composed, the investigation of their properties and reactions, and the use of such reactions to form new substances. For the shake of study of chemistry it is classified in various branches. Some of these are given below:
(1) Inorganic Chemistry: Inorganic chemistry is the study of the properties and behaviour of inorganic compounds. It covers all chemical compounds except organic compounds.
(2) Organic chemistry: Organic chemistry involves the study of the structure, properties and preparation of chemical compounds that consist primarily of carbon and hydrogen.
(3) Physical Chemistry: Physical chemistry deals with the study of physical laws and principles of chemical reactions.
(4) Analytical Chemistry : Analytical chemistry involves the qualitative and quantitative determination of the chemical components of substances.
(5) Industrial Chemistry : It is the branch of chemistry which deals with the physical and chemical processes towards the transformation of raw material into products.
(6) Bio Chemistry: It is study of chemical reactions that take place in living things and also the material obtained from plants and animals.
(7) Agricultural Chemistry: Agricultural chemistry deals with the study of chemicals which are related to agriculture such as fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides etc. It also includes the processing of raw products into foods and beverages.
(8) Nuclear Chemistry: It is the branch of science which deals with the chemistry of radioactive materials and nuclear process such as nuclear fusion and nuclear fission.