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Fundamentals of Chemistry, Physics, and Biology

The Periodic Table_122820A
[The Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements - Wikipedia]

- Overview

Science learns about the world by seeing, listening, and recording. Science has multiple branches, two of which are physics and chemistry. Both of these branches involve the study of matter, but they differ in the way and focus of attention. 

Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Physics is concerned with how matter interacts, while chemistry is concerned with what matter is made of.


- Chemistry: Matter and Measurement

Chemistry is the study of matter - what it's made of, what its properties are, and how it changes. Being able to describe the ingredients in a cake and how they change when the cake is baked is called chemistry. 
Matter is anything that has mass and occupies space—that is, anything that is physically real. Matter can be described by physical and chemical properties. A substance can be identified as an element, a compound or a mixture. 
Chemists measure properties of substances and express these measurements as quantities. Quantity is the amount of something, made up of numbers and units.


- The Modern Goal of Chemistry

Chemistry studies how matter is made - its properties, chemical composition and how it reacts and changes. The modern goal of chemistry is to study the composition of matter in order to describe its state, structure, composition, and properties, and to understand how it reacts and changes. 

A big part of that is studying atoms, how electrons are organized, and how it causes chemical reactions. Like physics, there are many fields of study in chemistry. There are five main areas: 

  • Physical chemistry, which looks at the atomic properties of matter.
  • Organic chemistry, the study of chemicals containing carbon and hydrogen. Most chemicals in all living organisms include carbon.
  • Inorganic chemistry, focusing on substances that do not contain carbon.
  • Analytical chemistry, the study of how substances are made up.
  • Biochemistry, the study of chemical processes that take place in living organisms.

The beginnings of chemistry focused more on practical uses, such as creating new things to improve lives. Making soaps, perfumes, etc. is the goal of chemists who do not understand what these substances are made of and their properties. Alchemy was also an early form of chemistry. People who practice alchemy are called alchemists and believe that everything is made up of four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. By changing the proportions of these elements, matter can be turned into something else. Alchemists used symbols to represent matter and kept their "knowledge" secret from ordinary people.

When Robert Boyle began his research in the 1600s, chemistry began to make great strides. He came up with ideas about how gases behave and theories that small particles can bind together to form molecules. John Dalton used these ideas to help develop his atomic theory in 1807. After Boyle paved the way, the field of chemistry took off by leaps and bounds. Some famous chemists came after this. Mendeleev had a huge influence on the modern periodic table. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and the Nobel Peace Prize is named after him. Louis Pasteur developed a process that uses heat to sterilize milk and wine, killing the microorganisms found in it.


- The Ultimate Goal Physics

Physics is the study of how matter interacts. Physicists observe, experiment and collect data to find the laws of physics that explain the behavior and function of everything in the universe. The ultimate goal of physics is to explain how everything in the universe works and interacts. Using the laws of mathematics, physics strives to fundamentally explain the entire universe. 

There are two broad categories of physics - classical physics and modern physics. Classical physics involves any study prior to the 20th century. This includes topics such as force and motion, sound, astronomy, light, electricity, heat, and magnets. Modern physics involves the study of anything developed since the early 20th century, basically matter on a smaller scale and with more precise measurements. Topics such as atoms, lasers, astrophysics, the origin of the universe, relativity and nanotechnology are part of modern physics.

Physics originated in ancient Greek philosophy and was not commonly referred to as "natural philosophy" until the late 18th century. Many Greek philosophers, such as Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle, tried to understand how the universe worked and came up with theories and laws to explain it. 

Most of these theories and laws come from observations rather than mathematical formulas and experiments. Since then, other physicists have studied the universe, combining mathematics and experiments to challenge existing theories and come up with their own laws to explain what they observe. 

Some famous physicists including Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton have greatly advanced our understanding of how celestial bodies move, how gravity works and the laws of motion. Modern physics is said to have developed around the beginning of the 20th century, as scientists such as Albert Einstein developed his theory of relativity and Bohr developed the theory of atoms. 



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