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Chemistry is the
scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual test for a statement of fac ...

scientific
study of the properties and behavior of
matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, which are made up of interacting subatomic particl ...
. It is a
natural science Natural science is a Branches of science, branch of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Phenomenon, natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer r ...

natural science
that covers the elements that make up matter to the
compounds Compound may refer to: Architecture and built environments * Compound (enclosure), a cluster of buildings having a shared purpose, usually inside a fence or wall ** Compound (fortification), a version of the above fortified with defensive structu ...
composed of
atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atom ...

atom
s,
molecule A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion I ...

molecule
s and
ion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ...
s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a
reaction Reaction may refer to a process or to a response to an action, event, or exposure: Physics and chemistry *Chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the IUPAC nomenclature for organic transformations, chemical transformat ...

reaction
with other substances. In the scope of its subject, chemistry occupies an intermediate position between
physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular succession of eve ...

physics
and
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
. It is sometimes called
the central science Chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molec ...
because it provides a foundation for understanding both
basic BASIC (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming language In computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the ar ...
and applied scientific disciplines at a fundamental level. For example, chemistry explains aspects of plant chemistry (
botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek wo ...

botany
), the formation of igneous rocks (
geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ...

geology
), how atmospheric ozone is formed and how environmental pollutants are degraded (
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
), the properties of the soil on the moon (
cosmochemistry Meteorites are often studied as part of cosmochemistry. Cosmochemistry (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in ...
), how medications work (
pharmacology Pharmacology is a branch of , and concerned with or action, where a drug may be defined as any artificial, natural, or endogenous (from within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemical or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ ...
), and how to collect
DNA Deoxyribonucleic acid (; DNA) is a molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically neutral gro ...

DNA
evidence at a crime scene (
forensic Forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is the application of science to Criminal law, criminal and Civil law (legal system), civil laws, mainly—on the criminal side—during criminal investigation, as governed by the legal standards ...
s). Chemistry addresses topics such as how atoms and molecules interact via
chemical bond A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyda ...
s to form new
chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together by chemical bonds. A homonuclear molecule, m ...
s. There are two types of chemical bonds: 1. primary chemical bonds e.g
covalent A covalent bond is a chemical bond A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and take ...

covalent
bonds, in which atoms share one or more electron(s);
ionic bond Ionic bonding is a type of chemical bond A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and t ...
s, in which an atom donates one or more
electron The electron is a subatomic particle (denoted by the symbol or ) whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are general ...

electron
s to another atom to produce
ion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ...
s (
cation An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are u ...
s and
anion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ...
s); metallic bonds and 2. secondary chemical bonds e.g.
hydrogen bond A hydrogen bond (or H-bond) is a primarily electrostatic Electrostatics is a branch of physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department ...

hydrogen bond
s;
Van der Waals force In molecular physics Molecular physics is the study of the physical properties of molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings ...
bonds, ion-ion interaction, ion-dipole interaction etc.


Etymology

The word ''
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. T ...
'' comes from a modification of the word ''
alchemy Alchemy (from Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countri ...
,'' which referred to an earlier set of practices that encompassed elements of chemistry,
metallurgy Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering ''Materials Science and Engineering'' may refer to several journals in the field of materials science and engineering: * '' Materials Science and Engineering A'' * '' Materials Science ...
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
,
astrology Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divination, divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of Celestial objects in astrology, celestial objects. Astrology has be ...
,
astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
,
mysticism Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute, but may refer to any kind of ecstasy Ecstasy may refer to: * Ecstasy (emotion), a trance or trance-like state in which a person transcends normal consciousness * Religious ...
and
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
. Alchemy is often seen as linked to the quest to turn lead or other base metals into gold, though alchemists were also interested in many of the questions of modern chemistry. The modern word ''alchemy'' in turn is derived from the
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
word (). This may have
Egyptian Egyptian describes something of, from, or related to Egypt. Egyptian or Egyptians may refer to: Nations and ethnic groups * Egyptians, a national group in North Africa ** Egyptian culture, a complex and stable culture with thousands of years of r ...
origins since is derived from the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
, which is in turn derived from the word , which is the ancient name of Egypt in the Egyptian language."alchemy", entry in ''The Oxford English Dictionary'', J.A. Simpson and E.S.C. Weiner, vol. 1, 2nd ed., 1989, . Alternately, may derive from 'cast together'.


Modern principles

The current model of atomic structure is the quantum mechanical model. Traditional chemistry starts with the study of
elementary particles In particle physics, an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a subatomic particle that is not composed of other particles. Particles currently thought to be elementary include the fundamental fermions (quarks, leptons, antiquarks, and a ...
,
atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atom ...

atom
s,
molecule A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion I ...

molecule
s, substances,
metal A metal (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

metal
s,
crystal A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformatio ...

crystal
s and other aggregates of
matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, which are made up of interacting subatomic particl ...
. Matter can be studied in solid, liquid, gas and plasma
states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
, in isolation or in combination. The interactions,
reactions
reactions
and transformations that are studied in chemistry are usually the result of interactions between atoms, leading to rearrangements of the chemical bonds which hold atoms together. Such behaviors are studied in a chemistry
laboratory A laboratory (; ; colloquially lab) is a facility that provides controlled conditions in which scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testabl ...

laboratory
. The chemistry laboratory stereotypically uses various forms of
laboratory glassware Laboratory glassware refers to a variety of equipment used in scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the ...
. However glassware is not central to chemistry, and a great deal of experimental (as well as applied/industrial) chemistry is done without it. A
chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and t ...

chemical reaction
is a transformation of some substances into one or more different substances. The basis of such a chemical transformation is the rearrangement of electrons in the chemical bonds between atoms. It can be symbolically depicted through a
chemical equation A chemical equation is the symbolic representation of a chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical ...
, which usually involves atoms as subjects. The number of atoms on the left and the right in the equation for a chemical transformation is equal. (When the number of atoms on either side is unequal, the transformation is referred to as a
nuclear reaction In nuclear physics and nuclear chemistry, a nuclear reaction is a process in which two atomic nucleus, nuclei, or a nucleus and an external subatomic particle, collide to produce one or more new nuclides. Thus, a nuclear reaction must cause a t ...
or
radioactive decay Radioactive decay (also known as nuclear decay, radioactivity, radioactive disintegration or nuclear disintegration) is the process by which an unstable atomic nucleus loses energy by radiation. A material containing unstable nuclei is consi ...

radioactive decay
.) The type of chemical reactions a substance may undergo and the energy changes that may accompany it are constrained by certain basic rules, known as
chemical law Chemical laws are those Physical law, laws of nature relevant to chemistry. The most fundamental concept in chemistry is the law of conservation of mass, which states that there is no detectable change in the quantity of matter during an ordinary c ...
s.
Energy In physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regula ...

Energy
and
entropy Entropy is a scientific concept as well as a measurable physical property that is most commonly associated with a state of disorder, randomness, or uncertainty. The term and the concept are used in diverse fields, from classical thermodynamic ...

entropy
considerations are invariably important in almost all chemical studies. Chemical substances are classified in terms of their
structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. ...

structure
, phase, as well as their
chemical composition {{Unreferenced, date=December 2017 Chemical composition refers to identity and number of the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an el ...
s. They can be analyzed using the tools of
chemical analysis Analytical chemistry studies and uses instruments and methods used to separate, identify, and quantify matter. In practice, separation, identification or quantification may constitute the entire analysis or be combined with another method. Separ ...
, e.g.
spectroscopy Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way ...

spectroscopy
and
chromatography In chemical analysis, chromatography is a laboratory technique for the Separation process, separation of a mixture into its components. The mixture is dissolved in a fluid solvent (gas or liquid) called the ''mobile phase'', which carries it ...

chromatography
. Scientists engaged in chemical research are known as
chemists A chemist (from Greek ''chēm(ía)'' alchemy; replacing ''chymist'' from Medieval Latin ''alchemist'') is a scientist trained in the study of chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and che ...
. Most chemists specialize in one or more sub-disciplines. Several
concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the bo ...

concept
s are essential for the study of chemistry; some of them are:


Matter

In chemistry, matter is defined as anything that has
rest mass The invariant mass, rest mass, intrinsic mass, proper mass, or in the case of bound systems simply mass, is the portion of the total mass of an object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** ...
and
volume Volume is a scalar quantity expressing the amount Quantity or amount is a property that can exist as a multitude Multitude is a term for a group of people who cannot be classed under any other distinct category, except for their shared fact ...

volume
(it takes up space) and is made up of
particle In the Outline of physical science, physical sciences, a particle (or corpuscule in older texts) is a small wikt:local, localized physical body, object to which can be ascribed several physical property, physical or chemical property, chemical p ...

particle
s. The particles that make up matter have rest mass as well – not all particles have rest mass, such as the
photon The photon ( el, φῶς, phōs, light) is a type of elementary particle In , an elementary particle or fundamental particle is a that is not composed of other particles. Particles currently thought to be elementary include the fundamental s ...

photon
. Matter can be a pure
chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, which ...
or a
mixture In chemistry, a mixture is a material made up of two or more different chemical substances which are not chemically combined. A mixture is the physical combination of two or more substances in which the identities are retained and are mixed in th ...

mixture
of substances.


Atom

The
atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atom ...

atom
is the basic unit of chemistry. It consists of a dense core called the
atomic nucleus The atomic nucleus is the small, dense region consisting of s and s at the center of an , discovered in 1911 by based on the 1909 . After the discovery of the neutron in 1932, models for a nucleus composed of protons and neutrons were quickl ...
surrounded by a space occupied by an
electron cloud In atomic theory Atomic theory is the scientific theory A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world and universe that has been repeatedly tested and verified in accordance with the scientific method The sc ...
. The nucleus is made up of positively charged
protons A proton is a subatomic particle, symbol or , with a positive electric charge Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when placed in an electromagnetic field. There are two types of electric cha ...
and uncharged
neutrons The neutron is a subatomic particle In physical sciences, subatomic particles are smaller than atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass ...

neutrons
(together called
nucleon In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during ...
s), while the
electron The electron is a subatomic particle (denoted by the symbol or ) whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are general ...

electron
cloud consists of negatively charged
electron The electron is a subatomic particle (denoted by the symbol or ) whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are general ...

electron
s which orbit the nucleus. In a neutral atom, the negatively charged electrons balance out the positive charge of the protons. The nucleus is dense; the mass of a nucleon is approximately 1,836 times that of an electron, yet the radius of an atom is about 10,000 times that of its nucleus. The atom is also the smallest entity that can be envisaged to retain the
chemical properties A chemical property is any of a material's properties that becomes evident during, or after, a chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substan ...
of the element, such as
electronegativity Electronegativity, symbolized as '' χ'', is the tendency for an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume ...

electronegativity
,
ionization potential In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. ...
, preferred
oxidation state The oxidation state, or oxidation number, is the hypothetical charge Charge or charged may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Charge, Zero Emissions/Maximum Speed'', a 2011 documentary Music * Charge (David Ford album), ''Charge ...
(s),
coordination number In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the ...

coordination number
, and preferred types of bonds to form (e.g.,
metal A metal (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

metal
lic,
ion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ...
ic,
covalent A covalent bond is a chemical bond A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and take ...

covalent
).


Element

A chemical element is a pure substance which is composed of a single type of atom, characterized by its particular number of
proton A proton is a subatomic particle, symbol or , with a positive electric charge of +1''e'' elementary charge and a mass slightly less than that of a neutron. Protons and neutrons, each with masses of approximately one atomic mass unit, are collecti ...

proton
s in the nuclei of its atoms, known as the
atomic number The atomic number or proton number (symbol ''Z'') of a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. ...
and represented by the symbol ''Z''. The
mass number The mass number (symbol ''A'', from the German word ''Atomgewicht'' tomic weight, also called atomic mass number or nucleon number, is the total number of s and s (together known as s) in an . It is approximately equal to the of the expre ...
is the sum of the number of protons and neutrons in a nucleus. Although all the nuclei of all atoms belonging to one element will have the same atomic number, they may not necessarily have the same mass number; atoms of an element which have different mass numbers are known as
isotope Isotopes are two or more types of atoms that have the same atomic number 300px, The Rutherford–Bohr model of the hydrogen atom () or a hydrogen-like ion (). In this model it is an essential feature that the photon energy (or frequency) of ...
s. For example, all atoms with 6 protons in their nuclei are atoms of the chemical element
carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.025 percent of Earth's crust. Three occur naturally, ...

carbon
, but atoms of carbon may have mass numbers of 12 or 13. The standard presentation of the chemical elements is in the
periodic table The periodic table, also known as the periodic table of (the) chemical elements, is a tabular display of the chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is ...

periodic table
, which orders elements by atomic number. The periodic table is arranged in
groups A group is a number of people or things that are located, gathered, or classed together. Groups of people * Cultural group, a group whose members share the same cultural identity * Ethnic group, a group whose members share the same ethnic identi ...
, or columns, and periods, or rows. The periodic table is useful in identifying
periodic trends Periodic trends are specific patterns in the properties of chemical elements 400px, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemic ...

periodic trends
.


Compound

A ''compound'' is a pure chemical substance composed of more than one element. The properties of a compound bear little similarity to those of its elements. The standard nomenclature of compounds is set by the
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC ) is an international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries. It is a member of the International Science Council (ISC). IUPAC ...
(IUPAC).
Organic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during ...
s are named according to the
organic nomenclature In chemical nomenclature, the IUPAC nomenclature of organic chemistry is a method of naming organic compound, organic chemical compounds as recommended by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). It is published in the ''Nom ...
system. The names for
inorganic compound In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a ...
s are created according to the inorganic nomenclature system. When a compound has more than one component, then they are divided into two classes, the electropositive and the electronegative components. In addition the
Chemical Abstracts Service Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) is a division of the American Chemical Society The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a scientific society A learned society (; also known as a learned academy, scholarly society, or academic association) i ...
has devised a method to index chemical substances. In this scheme each chemical substance is identifiable by a number known as its
CAS registry number A CAS Registry Number, also referred to as CASRN or CAS Number, is a unique numerical identifier An identifier is a name that identifies (that is, labels the identity of) either a unique object or a unique ''class'' of objects, where the "object" ...
.


Molecule

A ''molecule'' is the smallest indivisible portion of a pure
chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, which ...
that has its unique set of chemical properties, that is, its potential to undergo a certain set of chemical reactions with other substances. However, this definition only works well for substances that are composed of molecules, which is not true of many substances (see below). Molecules are typically a set of atoms bound together by
covalent bond A covalent bond is a chemical bond that involves the sharing of electron pairs between atoms. These electron pairs are known as shared pairs or bonding pairs, and the stable balance of attractive and repulsive forces between atoms, when they s ...
s, such that the structure is electrically neutral and all valence electrons are paired with other electrons either in bonds or in
lone pair In chemistry, a lone pair refers to a pair of valence electrons that are not shared with another atom in a covalent bondIUPAC ''Gold Book'' definition''lone (electron) pair''/ref> and is sometimes called an unshared pair or non-bonding pair. Lone p ...
s. Thus, molecules exist as electrically neutral units, unlike ions. When this rule is broken, giving the "molecule" a charge, the result is sometimes named a
molecular ion A polyatomic ion, also known as a molecular ion, is a Covalent bond, covalently bonded set of two or more atoms, or of a complex (chemistry), metal complex, that can be considered to behave as a single unit and that has a net electrical charge, c ...
or a polyatomic ion. However, the discrete and separate nature of the molecular concept usually requires that molecular ions be present only in well-separated form, such as a directed beam in a vacuum in a
mass spectrometer Mass spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technique that is used to measure the mass-to-charge ratio of ions. The results are presented as a ''mass spectrum'', a plot of intensity as a function of the mass-to-charge ratio. Mass spectrometry is used i ...
. Charged polyatomic collections residing in solids (for example, common sulfate or nitrate ions) are generally not considered "molecules" in chemistry. Some molecules contain one or more unpaired electrons, creating radicals. Most radicals are comparatively reactive, but some, such as nitric oxide (NO) can be stable. The "inert" or noble gas elements (
helium Helium (from el, ἥλιος, helios Helios; Homeric Greek: ), Latinized as Helius; Hyperion and Phaethon are also the names of his father and son respectively. often given the epithets Hyperion ("the one above") and Phaethon ("the shining" ...

helium
,
neon Neon is a chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that co ...

neon
,
argon Argon is a chemical element In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behav ...

argon
,
krypton Krypton (from grc, κρυπτός, translit=kryptos 'the hidden one') is a chemical element with the symbol (chemistry), symbol Kr and atomic number 36. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas that occurs in trace element, tr ...

krypton
,
xenon Xenon is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

xenon
and
radon Radon is a chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that c ...

radon
) are composed of lone atoms as their smallest discrete unit, but the other isolated chemical elements consist of either molecules or networks of atoms bonded to each other in some way. Identifiable molecules compose familiar substances such as water, air, and many organic compounds like alcohol, sugar, gasoline, and the various
pharmaceutical A medication (also called medicament, medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug used to medical diagnosis, diagnose, cure, therapy, treat, or preventive medicine, prevent disease. Drug therapy (pharmacotherapy) ...
s. However, not all substances or chemical compounds consist of discrete molecules, and indeed most of the solid substances that make up the solid crust, mantle, and core of the Earth are chemical compounds without molecules. These other types of substances, such as
ionic compounds structure of sodium chloride, NaCl, a typical ionic compound. The purple spheres represent sodium cations, Na+, and the green spheres represent chloride anions, Cl−. In chemistry, an ionic compound is a chemical compound composed of ions held to ...
and network solids, are organized in such a way as to lack the existence of identifiable molecules ''per se''. Instead, these substances are discussed in terms of
formula unitA formula unit in chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, compounds compose ...
s or
unit cell In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest branches of mathematics. It is concerned with properties of space t ...

unit cell
s as the smallest repeating structure within the substance. Examples of such substances are mineral salts (such as
table salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in the form of a natural crystallinity, crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. ...
), solids like carbon and diamond, metals, and familiar
silica Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is an oxide An oxide () is a chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any su ...

silica
and
silicate minerals Silicate minerals are rock-forming minerals made up of silicate groups. They are the largest and most important class of minerals and make up approximately 90 percent of Earth's crust. In mineralogy, silica (silicon dioxide) is usually conside ...
such as quartz and granite. One of the main characteristics of a molecule is its geometry often called its
structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. ...
. While the structure of diatomic, triatomic or tetra-atomic molecules may be trivial, (linear, angular pyramidal etc.) the structure of polyatomic molecules, that are constituted of more than six atoms (of several elements) can be crucial for its chemical nature.


Substance and mixture

A chemical substance is a kind of matter with a definite
composition Composition or Compositions may refer to: Arts * Composition (dance), practice and teaching of choreography * Composition (music), an original piece of music and its creation *Composition (visual arts) The term composition means "putting togethe ...
and set of
properties Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this article, it is one or more components (rather than attributes), whether phys ...
. A collection of substances is called a mixture. Examples of mixtures are
air The atmosphere of Earth is the layer of gas Gas is one of the four fundamental states of matter In physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (ph ...

air
and
alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in ...
s.


Mole and amount of substance

The mole is a unit of measurement that denotes an
amount of substance In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo during a ...
(also called chemical amount). One mole is defined to contain exactly particles (
atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atom ...

atom
s,
molecule A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion I ...

molecule
s,
ion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ...
s, or
electron The electron is a subatomic particle (denoted by the symbol or ) whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are general ...

electron
s), where the
number of particles The particle number (or number of particles) of a thermodynamic system A thermodynamic system is a body of matter and/or radiation, confined in space by walls, with defined permeabilities, which separate it from its surroundings. The surrounding ...
per mole is known as the
Avogadro constant The Avogadro constant (''N''A or ''L'') is the proportionality factor that relates the number of constituent particles (usually molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which ...
.
Molar concentration Molar concentration (also called molarity, amount concentration or substance concentration) is a measure of the concentration In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organize ...
is the amount of a particular substance per volume of
solution Solution may refer to: * Solution (chemistry) Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, upMaking a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water. The salt is the solute and the water the solvent. In chemistry ...
, and is commonly reported in mol/ dm3.


Phase

In addition to the specific chemical properties that distinguish different chemical classifications, chemicals can exist in several phases. For the most part, the chemical classifications are independent of these bulk phase classifications; however, some more exotic phases are incompatible with certain chemical properties. A ''phase'' is a set of states of a chemical system that have similar bulk structural properties, over a range of conditions, such as
pressure Pressure (symbol: ''p'' or ''P'') is the force In physics, a force is an influence that can change the motion (physics), motion of an Physical object, object. A force can cause an object with mass to change its velocity (e.g. moving fr ...

pressure
or
temperature Temperature ( ) is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on this hot metalwork. Thermal energy refers to several distinct physical concept ...

temperature
. Physical properties, such as
density The density (more precisely, the volumetric mass density; also known as specific mass), of a substance is its per unit . The symbol most often used for density is ''ρ'' (the lower case Greek letter ), although the Latin letter ''D'' can also ...

density
and
refractive index In optics Optics is the branch of physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or ...

refractive index
tend to fall within values characteristic of the phase. The phase of matter is defined by the ''
phase transition In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in ...
'', which is when energy put into or taken out of the system goes into rearranging the structure of the system, instead of changing the bulk conditions. Sometimes the distinction between phases can be continuous instead of having a discrete boundary' in this case the matter is considered to be in a supercritical fluid, supercritical state. When three states meet based on the conditions, it is known as a triple point and since this is invariant, it is a convenient way to define a set of conditions. The most familiar examples of phases are solids, liquids, and gases. Many substances exhibit multiple solid phases. For example, there are three phases of solid iron (alpha, gamma, and delta) that vary based on temperature and pressure. A principal difference between solid phases is the crystal structure, or arrangement, of the atoms. Another phase commonly encountered in the study of chemistry is the ''aqueous'' phase, which is the state of substances dissolved in aqueous solution (that is, in water). Less familiar phases include plasma physics, plasmas, Bose–Einstein condensates and fermionic condensates and the paramagnetism, paramagnetic and ferromagnetism, ferromagnetic phases of magnetic materials. While most familiar phases deal with three-dimensional systems, it is also possible to define analogs in two-dimensional systems, which has received attention for its relevance to systems in
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
.


Bonding

Atoms sticking together in molecules or crystals are said to be bonded with one another. A chemical bond may be visualized as the multipole balance between the positive charges in the nuclei and the negative charges oscillating about them. More than simple attraction and repulsion, the energies and distributions characterize the availability of an electron to bond to another atom. The chemical bond can be a
covalent bond A covalent bond is a chemical bond that involves the sharing of electron pairs between atoms. These electron pairs are known as shared pairs or bonding pairs, and the stable balance of attractive and repulsive forces between atoms, when they s ...
, an
ionic bond Ionic bonding is a type of chemical bond A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and t ...
, a
hydrogen bond A hydrogen bond (or H-bond) is a primarily electrostatic Electrostatics is a branch of physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department ...

hydrogen bond
or just because of
Van der Waals force In molecular physics Molecular physics is the study of the physical properties of molecule File:Pentacene on Ni(111) STM.jpg, A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings ...
. Each of these kinds of bonds is ascribed to some potential. These potentials create the interactions which hold atoms together in
molecule A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion I ...

molecule
s or
crystal A crystal or crystalline solid is a solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformatio ...

crystal
s. In many simple compounds, valence bond theory, the Valence Shell Electron Pair Repulsion model (VSEPR), and the concept of oxidation number can be used to explain molecular structure and composition. An ionic bond is formed when a metal loses one or more of its electrons, becoming a positively charged cation, and the electrons are then gained by the non-metal atom, becoming a negatively charged anion. The two oppositely charged ions attract one another, and the ionic bond is the electrostatic force of attraction between them. For example, sodium (Na), a metal, loses one electron to become an Na+ cation while chlorine (Cl), a non-metal, gains this electron to become Cl. The ions are held together due to electrostatic attraction, and that compound sodium chloride (NaCl), or common table salt, is formed. In a covalent bond, one or more pairs of valence electrons are shared by two atoms: the resulting electrically neutral group of bonded atoms is termed a
molecule A scanning tunneling microscopy image of pentacene molecules, which consist of linear chains of five carbon rings. A molecule is an electrically Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion I ...

molecule
. Atoms will share valence electrons in such a way as to create a noble gas electron configuration (eight electrons in their outermost shell) for each atom. Atoms that tend to combine in such a way that they each have eight electrons in their valence shell are said to follow the octet rule. However, some elements like hydrogen and lithium need only two electrons in their outermost shell to attain this stable configuration; these atoms are said to follow the ''duet rule'', and in this way they are reaching the electron configuration of the noble gas
helium Helium (from el, ἥλιος, helios Helios; Homeric Greek: ), Latinized as Helius; Hyperion and Phaethon are also the names of his father and son respectively. often given the epithets Hyperion ("the one above") and Phaethon ("the shining" ...

helium
, which has two electrons in its outer shell. Similarly, theories from classical physics can be used to predict many ionic structures. With more complicated compounds, such as complex (chemistry), metal complexes, valence bond theory is less applicable and alternative approaches, such as the molecular orbital theory, are generally used. See diagram on electronic orbitals.


Energy

In the context of chemistry, energy is an attribute of a substance as a consequence of its atomic structure, atomic, molecular structure, molecular or aggregate chemical structure, structure. Since a chemical transformation is accompanied by a change in one or more of these kinds of structures, it is invariably accompanied by an endothermic reaction, increase or exothermic reaction, decrease of energy of the substances involved. Some energy is transferred between the surroundings and the reactants of the reaction in the form of heat or photochemistry, light; thus the products of a reaction may have more or less energy than the reactants. A reaction is said to be exergonic reaction, exergonic if the final state is lower on the energy scale than the initial state; in the case of endergonic reactions the situation is the reverse. A reaction is said to be exothermic reaction, exothermic if the reaction releases heat to the surroundings; in the case of endothermic reactions, the reaction absorbs heat from the surroundings. Chemical reactions are invariably not possible unless the reactants surmount an energy barrier known as the activation energy. The ''speed'' of a chemical reaction (at given temperature T) is related to the activation energy E, by the Boltzmann's population factor e^ – that is the probability of a molecule to have energy greater than or equal to E at the given temperature T. This exponential dependence of a reaction rate on temperature is known as the Arrhenius equation. The activation energy necessary for a chemical reaction to occur can be in the form of heat, light, electricity or mechanical force in the form of ultrasound. A related concept thermodynamic free energy, free energy, which also incorporates entropy considerations, is a very useful means for predicting the feasibility of a reaction and determining the state of equilibrium of a chemical reaction, in chemical thermodynamics. A reaction is feasible only if the total change in the Gibbs free energy is negative, \Delta G \le 0 \,; if it is equal to zero the chemical reaction is said to be at chemical equilibrium, equilibrium. There exist only limited possible states of energy for electrons, atoms and molecules. These are determined by the rules of quantum mechanics, which require quantization (physics), quantization of energy of a bound system. The atoms/molecules in a higher energy state are said to be excited. The molecules/atoms of substance in an excited energy state are often much more reactive; that is, more amenable to chemical reactions. The phase of a substance is invariably determined by its energy and the energy of its surroundings. When the intermolecular forces of a substance are such that the energy of the surroundings is not sufficient to overcome them, it occurs in a more ordered phase like liquid or solid as is the case with water (H2O); a liquid at room temperature because its molecules are bound by hydrogen bonds. Whereas hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is a gas at room temperature and standard pressure, as its molecules are bound by weaker dipole-dipole interactions. The transfer of energy from one chemical substance to another depends on the ''size'' of energy quantum, quanta emitted from one substance. However, heat energy is often transferred more easily from almost any substance to another because the phonons responsible for vibrational and rotational energy levels in a substance have much less energy than photons invoked for the electronic energy transfer. Thus, because vibrational and rotational energy levels are more closely spaced than electronic energy levels, heat is more easily transferred between substances relative to light or other forms of electronic energy. For example, ultraviolet electromagnetic radiation is not transferred with as much efficacy from one substance to another as thermal or electrical energy. The existence of characteristic energy levels for different
chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ultimately composed of atoms, which ...
s is useful for their identification by the analysis of spectral lines. Different kinds of spectra are often used in chemical
spectroscopy Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way ...

spectroscopy
, e.g. infrared spectroscopy, IR, microwave spectroscopy, microwave, NMR, electron spin resonance, ESR, etc. Spectroscopy is also used to identify the composition of remote objects – like stars and distant galaxies – by analyzing their radiation spectra. The term Energy#Chemical energy, chemical energy is often used to indicate the potential of a chemical substance to undergo a transformation through a
chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and t ...

chemical reaction
or to transform other chemical substances.


Reaction

When a chemical substance is transformed as a result of its interaction with another substance or with energy, a chemical reaction is said to have occurred. A ''chemical reaction'' is therefore a concept related to the "reaction" of a substance when it comes in close contact with another, whether as a mixture or a
solution Solution may refer to: * Solution (chemistry) Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, upMaking a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in water. The salt is the solute and the water the solvent. In chemistry ...
; exposure to some form of energy, or both. It results in some energy exchange between the constituents of the reaction as well as with the system environment, which may be designed vessels—often
laboratory glassware Laboratory glassware refers to a variety of equipment used in scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the ...
. Chemical reactions can result in the formation or dissociation (chemistry), dissociation of molecules, that is, molecules breaking apart to form two or more molecules or rearrangement of atoms within or across molecules. Chemical reactions usually involve the making or breaking of chemical bonds. Redox, Oxidation, reduction, dissociation (chemistry), dissociation, acid–base neutralization (chemistry), neutralization and molecular rearrangement reaction, rearrangement are some of the commonly used kinds of chemical reactions. A chemical reaction can be symbolically depicted through a
chemical equation A chemical equation is the symbolic representation of a chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical ...
. While in a non-nuclear chemical reaction the number and kind of atoms on both sides of the equation are equal, for a nuclear reaction this holds true only for the nuclear particles viz. protons and neutrons. The sequence of steps in which the reorganization of chemical bonds may be taking place in the course of a chemical reaction is called its Reaction mechanism, mechanism. A chemical reaction can be envisioned to take place in a number of steps, each of which may have a different speed. Many reaction intermediates with variable stability can thus be envisaged during the course of a reaction. Reaction mechanisms are proposed to explain the chemical kinetics, kinetics and the relative product mix of a reaction. Many chemists, physical chemists specialize in exploring and proposing the mechanisms of various chemical reactions. Several empirical rules, like the Woodward–Hoffmann rules often come in handy while proposing a mechanism for a chemical reaction. According to the IUPAC gold book, a chemical reaction is "a process that results in the interconversion of chemical species." Accordingly, a chemical reaction may be an elementary reaction or a stepwise reaction. An additional caveat is made, in that this definition includes cases where the conformer, interconversion of conformers is experimentally observable. Such detectable chemical reactions normally involve sets of molecular entities as indicated by this definition, but it is often conceptually convenient to use the term also for changes involving single molecular entities (i.e. 'microscopic chemical events').


Ions and salts

An ''ion'' is a charged species, an atom or a molecule, that has lost or gained one or more electrons. When an atom loses an electron and thus has more protons than electrons, the atom is a positively charged ion or
cation An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are u ...
. When an atom gains an electron and thus has more electrons than protons, the atom is a negatively charged ion or
anion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ...
. Cations and anions can form a crystalline lattice of neutral salt (chemistry), salts, such as the Na+ and Cl ions forming sodium chloride, or NaCl. Examples of polyatomic ions that do not split up during acid–base reactions are hydroxide (OH) and phosphate (PO43−). plasma (physics), Plasma is composed of gaseous matter that has been completely ionized, usually through high temperature.


Acidity and basicity

A substance can often be classified as an acid or a base (chemistry), base. There are several different theories which explain acid–base behavior. The simplest is Arrhenius acid, Arrhenius theory, which states that acid is a substance that produces hydronium ions when it is dissolved in water, and a base is one that produces hydroxide ions when dissolved in water. According to Brønsted–Lowry acid–base theory, acids are substances that donate a positive hydrogen
ion An ion () is an atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can be touched are ...
to another substance in a chemical reaction; by extension, a base is the substance which receives that hydrogen ion. A third common theory is Lewis acids and bases, Lewis acid–base theory, which is based on the formation of new chemical bonds. Lewis theory explains that an acid is a substance which is capable of accepting a pair of electrons from another substance during the process of bond formation, while a base is a substance which can provide a pair of electrons to form a new bond. According to this theory, the crucial things being exchanged are charges. There are several other ways in which a substance may be classified as an acid or a base, as is evident in the history of this concept. Acid strength is commonly measured by two methods. One measurement, based on the Arrhenius definition of acidity, is pH, which is a measurement of the hydronium ion concentration in a solution, as expressed on a negative logarithmic scale. Thus, solutions that have a low pH have a high hydronium ion concentration and can be said to be more acidic. The other measurement, based on the Brønsted–Lowry definition, is the acid dissociation constant (Ka), which measures the relative ability of a substance to act as an acid under the Brønsted–Lowry definition of an acid. That is, substances with a higher Ka are more likely to donate hydrogen ions in chemical reactions than those with lower Ka values.


Redox

Redox (''red''uction-''ox''idation) reactions include all
chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and t ...

chemical reaction
s in which atoms have their
oxidation state The oxidation state, or oxidation number, is the hypothetical charge Charge or charged may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Charge, Zero Emissions/Maximum Speed'', a 2011 documentary Music * Charge (David Ford album), ''Charge ...
changed by either gaining electrons (reduction) or losing electrons (oxidation). Substances that have the ability to oxidize other substances are said to be oxidative and are known as oxidizing agents, oxidants or oxidizers. An oxidant removes electrons from another substance. Similarly, substances that have the ability to reduce other substances are said to be reductive and are known as reducing agents, reductants, or reducers. A reductant transfers electrons to another substance and is thus oxidized itself. And because it "donates" electrons it is also called an electron donor. Oxidation and reduction properly refer to a change in oxidation number—the actual transfer of electrons may never occur. Thus, oxidation is better defined as an increase in oxidation number, and reduction as a decrease in oxidation number.


Equilibrium

Although the concept of Chemical equilibrium, equilibrium is widely used across sciences, in the context of chemistry, it arises whenever a number of different states of the chemical composition are possible, as for example, in a mixture of several chemical compounds that can react with one another, or when a substance can be present in more than one kind of phase. A system of chemical substances at equilibrium, even though having an unchanging composition, is most often not static equilibrium, static; molecules of the substances continue to react with one another thus giving rise to a dynamic equilibrium. Thus the concept describes the state in which the parameters such as chemical composition remain unchanged over time.


Chemical laws

Chemical reactions are governed by certain laws, which have become fundamental concepts in chemistry. Some of them are: * Avogadro's law * Beer–Lambert law * Boyle's law (1662, relating pressure and volume) * Charles's law (1787, relating volume and temperature) * Fick's laws of diffusion * Pressure law, Gay-Lussac's law (1809, relating pressure and temperature) * Le Chatelier's principle * Henry's law * Hess's law * Conservation of energy, Law of conservation of energy leads to the important concepts of Chemical equilibrium, equilibrium, thermodynamics, and chemical kinetics, kinetics. * Law of conservation of mass continues to be conserved in isolated systems, even in modern physics. However, special relativity shows that due to mass–energy equivalence, whenever non-material "energy" (heat, light, kinetic energy) is removed from a non-isolated system, some mass will be lost with it. High energy losses result in loss of weighable amounts of mass, an important topic in nuclear chemistry. * Law of definite composition, although in many systems (notably biomacromolecules and minerals) the ratios tend to require large numbers, and are frequently represented as a fraction. * Law of multiple proportions * Raoult's law


History

The history of chemistry spans a period from very old times to the present. Since several millennia BC, civilizations were using technologies that would eventually form the basis of the various branches of chemistry. Examples include extracting
metal A metal (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

metal
s from ores, making pottery and glazes, fermenting beer and wine, extracting chemicals from plants for medicine and perfume, rendering fat into soap, making glass, and making
alloy An alloy is an admixture of metal A metal (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in ...
s like bronze. Chemistry was preceded by its protoscience,
alchemy Alchemy (from Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countri ...
, which is an intuitive but non-scientific approach to understanding the constituents of matter and their interactions. It was unsuccessful in explaining the nature of matter and its transformations, but, by performing experiments and recording the results, alchemists set the stage for modern chemistry. Chemistry as a body of knowledge distinct from alchemy began to emerge when a clear differentiation was made between them by Robert Boyle in his work ''The Sceptical Chymist'' (1661). While both alchemy and chemistry are concerned with matter and its transformations, the crucial difference was given by the scientific method that chemists employed in their work. Chemistry is considered to have become an established science with the work of Antoine Lavoisier, who developed a law of conservation of mass that demanded careful measurement and quantitative observations of chemical phenomena. The history of chemistry is intertwined with the history of thermodynamics, especially through the work of Willard Gibbs.


Definition

The definition of chemistry has changed over time, as new discoveries and theories add to the functionality of the science. The term "chymistry", in the view of noted scientist Robert Boyle in 1661, meant the subject of the material principles of mixed bodies. In 1663, the chemist Christopher Glaser described "chymistry" as a scientific art, by which one learns to dissolve bodies, and draw from them the different substances on their composition, and how to unite them again, and exalt them to a higher perfection. The 1730 definition of the word "chemistry", as used by Georg Ernst Stahl, meant the art of resolving mixed, compound, or aggregate bodies into their principles; and of composing such bodies from those principles. In 1837, Jean-Baptiste Dumas considered the word "chemistry" to refer to the science concerned with the laws and effects of molecular forces. This definition further evolved until, in 1947, it came to mean the science of substances: their structure, their properties, and the reactions that change them into other substances – a characterization accepted by Linus Pauling. More recently, in 1998, Professor Raymond Chang (chemist), Raymond Chang broadened the definition of "chemistry" to mean the study of matter and the changes it undergoes.


Discipline

Early civilizations, such as the Ancient Egypt, Egyptians Mesopotamia, Babylonians and History of metallurgy in the Indian subcontinent, Indians amassed practical knowledge concerning the arts of metallurgy, pottery and dyes, but didn't develop a systematic theory. A basic chemical hypothesis first emerged in Classical Greece with the theory of four elements as propounded definitively by Aristotle stating that fire (classical element), fire, air (classical element), air, earth (classical element), earth and water (classical element), water were the fundamental elements from which everything is formed as a combination. Ancient Greece, Greek atomism dates back to 440 BC, arising in works by philosophers such as Democritus and Epicurus. In 50 BCE, the Ancient Rome, Roman philosopher Lucretius expanded upon the theory in his book ''De rerum natura'' (On The Nature of Things). Unlike modern concepts of science, Greek atomism was purely philosophical in nature, with little concern for empirical observations and no concern for chemical experiments. An early form of the idea of conservation of mass is the notion that "Nothing comes from nothing" in Ancient Greek philosophy, which can be found in Empedocles (approx. 4th century BC): "For it is impossible for anything to come to be from what is not, and it cannot be brought about or heard of that what is should be utterly destroyed." and Epicurus (3rd century BC), who, describing the nature of the Universe, wrote that "the totality of things was always such as it is now, and always will be". In the Hellenistic world the art of alchemy first proliferated, mingling magic and occultism into the study of natural substances with the ultimate goal of transmuting elements into gold and discovering the elixir of eternal life. Work, particularly the development of distillation, continued in the early Byzantine period with the most famous practitioner being the 4th century Greek-Egyptian Zosimos of Panopolis. Alchemy continued to be developed and practised throughout the Arab world after the Muslim conquests, and from there, and from the Byzantine remnants, diffused into medieval and Renaissance Europe through Latin translations. The development of the modern scientific method was slow and arduous, but an early scientific method for chemistry began emerging among early Muslim chemists, beginning with the 9th century Perso-Arab chemist Jābir ibn Hayyān, popularly known as "the father of chemistry". The Arabic works attributed to him introduced a systematic classification of chemical substances, and provided instructions for deriving an inorganic compound (sal ammoniac or ammonium chloride) from Organic compound, organic substances (such as plants, blood, and hair) by chemical means. Some Arabic Jabirian works (e.g., the "Book of Mercy", and the "Book of Seventy") were later translated into Latin under the Latinisation of names, Latinized name "Geber", and in 13th-century Europe an anonymous writer, usually referred to as pseudo-Geber, started to produce alchemical and metallurgical writings under this name. Later influential Muslim philosophers, such as Abū al-Rayhān al-Bīrūnī and Avicenna disputed the theories of alchemy, particularly the theory of the Philosopher's stone, transmutation of metals. Under the influence of the scientific revolution, new empirical methods propounded by Sir Francis Bacon and others, a group of chemists at Oxford, Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke and John Mayow began to reshape the old alchemical traditions into a scientific discipline. Boyle in particular is regarded as the founding father of chemistry due to his most important work, the classic chemistry text ''The Sceptical Chymist'' where the differentiation is made between the claims of alchemy and the empirical scientific discoveries of the new chemistry. He formulated Boyle's law, rejected the classical "four elements" and proposed a mechanistic alternative of atoms and
chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and t ...

chemical reaction
s that could be subject to rigorous experiment. The theory of phlogiston (a substance at the root of all combustion) was propounded by the German Georg Ernst Stahl in the early 18th century and was only overturned by the end of the century by the French chemist Antoine Lavoisier, the chemical analogue of Newton in physics; who did more than any other to establish the new science on proper theoretical footing, by elucidating the principle of conservation of mass and developing a new system of chemical nomenclature used to this day. Before his work, though, many important discoveries had been made, specifically relating to the nature of 'air' which was discovered to be composed of many different gases. The Scottish chemist Joseph Black (the first experimental chemist) and the Flemish Jan Baptist van Helmont discovered carbon dioxide, or what Black called 'fixed air' in 1754; Henry Cavendish discovered hydrogen and elucidated its properties and Joseph Priestley and, independently, Carl Wilhelm Scheele isolated pure oxygen. English scientist John Dalton proposed the modern atomic theory, theory of atoms; that all substances are composed of indivisible 'atoms' of matter and that different atoms have varying atomic weights. The development of the electrochemical theory of chemical combinations occurred in the early 19th century as the result of the work of two scientists in particular, Jöns Jacob Berzelius and Humphry Davy, made possible by the prior invention of the voltaic pile by Alessandro Volta. Davy discovered nine new elements including the alkali metals by extracting them from their oxides with electric current. British William Prout first proposed ordering all the elements by their atomic weight as all atoms had a weight that was an exact multiple of the atomic weight of hydrogen. J.A.R. Newlands devised an early table of elements, which was then developed into the modern
periodic table The periodic table, also known as the periodic table of (the) chemical elements, is a tabular display of the chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is ...

periodic table
of elements in the 1860s by Dmitri Mendeleev and independently by several other scientists including Julius Lothar Meyer. The inert gases, later called the noble gases were discovered by William Ramsay in collaboration with Lord Rayleigh at the end of the century, thereby filling in the basic structure of the table. At the turn of the twentieth century the theoretical underpinnings of chemistry were finally understood due to a series of remarkable discoveries that succeeded in probing and discovering the very nature of the internal structure of atoms. In 1897, J.J. Thomson of Cambridge University discovered the
electron The electron is a subatomic particle (denoted by the symbol or ) whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation (particle physics), generation of the lepton particle family, and are general ...

electron
and soon after the French scientist Becquerel as well as the couple Pierre Curie, Pierre and Marie Curie investigated the phenomenon of radioactivity. In a series of pioneering scattering experiments Ernest Rutherford at the University of Manchester discovered the internal structure of the atom and the existence of the proton, classified and explained the different types of radioactivity and successfully Nuclear transmutation, transmuted the first element by bombarding nitrogen with alpha particles. His work on atomic structure was improved on by his students, the Danish physicist Niels Bohr and Henry Moseley. The electronic theory of
chemical bond A chemical bond is a lasting attraction between atom An atom is the smallest unit of ordinary matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyda ...
s and molecular orbitals was developed by the American scientists Linus Pauling and Gilbert N. Lewis. The year 2011 was declared by the United Nations as the International Year of Chemistry. It was an initiative of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, and of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and involves chemical societies, academics, and institutions worldwide and relied on individual initiatives to organize local and regional activities. Organic chemistry was developed by Justus von Liebig and others, following Friedrich Wöhler's synthesis of urea which proved that living organisms were, in theory, reducible to chemistry. Other crucial 19th century advances were; an understanding of valence bonding (Edward Frankland in 1852) and the application of thermodynamics to chemistry (J. W. Gibbs and Svante Arrhenius in the 1870s).


Practice


Subdisciplines

Chemistry is typically divided into several major sub-disciplines. There are also several main cross-disciplinary and more specialized fields of chemistry. * Analytical chemistry is the analysis of material samples to gain an understanding of their
chemical composition {{Unreferenced, date=December 2017 Chemical composition refers to identity and number of the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an el ...
and Chemical structure, structure. Analytical chemistry incorporates standardized experimental methods in chemistry. These methods may be used in all subdisciplines of chemistry, excluding purely theoretical chemistry. * Biochemistry is the study of the chemical compound, chemicals,
chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and t ...

chemical reaction
s and chemical interactions that take place in living organisms. Biochemistry and organic chemistry are closely related, as in medicinal chemistry or neurochemistry. Biochemistry is also associated with molecular biology and genetics. * Inorganic chemistry is the study of the properties and reactions of inorganic compounds. The distinction between organic and inorganic disciplines is not absolute and there is much overlap, most importantly in the sub-discipline of organometallic chemistry. * Materials science, Materials chemistry is the preparation, characterization, and understanding of substances with a useful function. The field is a new breadth of study in graduate programs, and it integrates elements from all classical areas of chemistry with a focus on fundamental issues that are unique to materials. Primary systems of study include the chemistry of condensed phases (solids, liquids, polymers) and interface (chemistry), interfaces between different phases. * Neurochemistry is the study of neurochemicals; including transmitters, peptides, proteins, lipids, sugars, and nucleic acids; their interactions, and the roles they play in forming, maintaining, and modifying the nervous system. * Nuclear chemistry is the study of how subatomic particles come together and make nuclei. Modern Nuclear transmutation, Transmutation is a large component of nuclear chemistry, and the table of nuclides is an important result and tool for this field. * Organic chemistry is the study of the structure, properties, composition, mechanisms, and chemical reaction, reactions of organic compounds. An organic compound is defined as any compound based on a carbon skeleton. * Physical chemistry is the study of the physical and fundamental basis of chemical systems and processes. In particular, the energetics and dynamics of such systems and processes are of interest to physical chemists. Important areas of study include chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, electrochemistry, statistical mechanics,
spectroscopy Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way ...

spectroscopy
, and more recently, astrochemistry. Physical chemistry has large overlap with molecular physics. Physical chemistry involves the use of calculus, infinitesimal calculus in deriving equations. It is usually associated with quantum chemistry and theoretical chemistry. Physical chemistry is a distinct discipline from chemical physics, but again, there is very strong overlap. * Theoretical chemistry is the study of chemistry via fundamental theoretical reasoning (usually within mathematics or
physics Physics is the that studies , its , its and behavior through , and the related entities of and . "Physical science is that department of knowledge which relates to the order of nature, or, in other words, to the regular succession of eve ...

physics
). In particular the application of quantum mechanics to chemistry is called quantum chemistry. Since the end of the World War II, Second World War, the development of computers has allowed a systematic development of computational chemistry, which is the art of developing and applying computer programs for solving chemical problems. Theoretical chemistry has large overlap with (theoretical and experimental) condensed matter physics and molecular physics. Other disciplines within chemistry are traditionally grouped by the type of matter being studied or the kind of study. These include inorganic chemistry, the study of inorganic matter; organic chemistry, the study of organic compound, organic (carbon-based) matter; biochemistry, the study of substances found in organisms, biological organisms; physical chemistry, the study of chemical processes using physical concepts such as thermodynamics and quantum mechanics; and analytical chemistry, the analysis of material samples to gain an understanding of their
chemical composition {{Unreferenced, date=December 2017 Chemical composition refers to identity and number of the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an el ...
and Chemical structure, structure. Many more specialized disciplines have emerged in recent years, e.g. neurochemistry the chemical study of the nervous system (see #Subdisciplines, subdisciplines). Other fields include agrochemistry, astrochemistry (and
cosmochemistry Meteorites are often studied as part of cosmochemistry. Cosmochemistry (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in ...
), atmospheric chemistry, chemical engineering, chemical biology, chemo-informatics, electrochemistry, environmental chemistry, femtochemistry, flavor, flavor chemistry, flow chemistry, geochemistry, green chemistry, histochemistry, history of chemistry, hydrogenation, hydrogenation chemistry, immunochemistry, marine chemistry, materials science, mathematical chemistry, mechanochemistry, medicinal chemistry, molecular biology, molecular mechanics, nanotechnology, natural product chemistry, oenology, organometallic chemistry, petrochemistry,
pharmacology Pharmacology is a branch of , and concerned with or action, where a drug may be defined as any artificial, natural, or endogenous (from within the body) molecule which exerts a biochemical or physiological effect on the cell, tissue, organ ...
, photochemistry, physical organic chemistry, phytochemistry, polymer chemistry, radiochemistry, solid-state chemistry, sonochemistry, supramolecular chemistry, surface chemistry, synthetic chemistry, thermochemistry, and many others.


Industry

The chemical industry represents an important economic activity worldwide. The List of largest chemical producers, global top 50 chemical producers in 2013 had sales of United States dollar, US$980.5 billion with a profit margin of 10.3%.


Professional societies

* American Chemical Society * American Society for Neurochemistry * Chemical Institute of Canada * Chemical Society of Peru *
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC ) is an international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries. It is a member of the International Science Council (ISC). IUPAC ...
* Royal Australian Chemical Institute * Royal Netherlands Chemical Society * Royal Society of Chemistry * Society of Chemical Industry * World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists * List of chemistry societies


See also

* Comparison of software for molecular mechanics modeling * Glossary of chemistry terms * International Year of Chemistry * List of chemists * List of compounds * List of important publications in chemistry * List of unsolved problems in chemistry * Outline of chemistry * Periodic systems of small molecules * Philosophy of chemistry * Science tourism


References


Bibliography

* * *


Further reading

; Popular reading * Atkins, P.W. ''Galileo's Finger'' (Oxford University Press) * Atkins, P.W. ''Atkins' Molecules'' (Cambridge University Press) * Kean, Sam. ''The Disappearing Spoon – and Other True Tales from the Periodic Table'' (Black Swan) London, 2010 * Primo Levi, Levi, Primo ''The Periodic Table'' (Penguin Books) [1975] translated from the Italian by Raymond Rosenthal (1984) * Stwertka, A. ''A Guide to the Elements'' (Oxford University Press) * * ; Introductory undergraduate textbooks * Atkins, P.W., Overton, T., Rourke, J., Weller, M. and Armstrong, F. ''Shriver and Atkins Inorganic Chemistry'' (4th edition) 2006 (Oxford University Press) * Chang, Raymond. ''Chemistry'' 6th ed. Boston: James M. Smith, 1998. . * * Voet and Voet. ''Biochemistry'' (Wiley) ; Advanced undergraduate-level or graduate textbooks * Atkins, P. W. ''Physical Chemistry'' (Oxford University Press) * Atkins, P. W. et al. ''Molecular Quantum Mechanics'' (Oxford University Press) * McWeeny, R. ''Coulson's Valence'' (Oxford Science Publications) * Pauling, L. ''The Nature of the chemical bond'' (Cornell University Press) * Pauling, L., and Wilson, E.B. ''Introduction to Quantum Mechanics with Applications to Chemistry'' (Dover Publications) * Smart and Moore. ''Solid State Chemistry: An Introduction'' (Chapman and Hall) * Stephenson, G. ''Mathematical Methods for Science Students'' (Longman)


External links


General Chemistry principles, patterns and applications
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