Introductory Chemistry: A Foundation - Zumdahl S.S., DeCoste D.J. 2019

Chemistry: An Introduction
What Is Chemistry?


· To define chemistry.

Chemistry can be defined as the science that deals with the materials of the universe and the changes that these materials undergo. Chemists are involved in activities as diverse as examining the fundamental particles of matter, looking for molecules in space, synthesizing and formulating new materials of all types, using bacteria to produce such chemicals as insulin, and inventing new diagnostic methods for early detection of disease.

Chemistry is often called the central science—and with good reason. Most of the phenomena that occur in the world around us involve chemical changes, changes where one or more substances become different substances. Here are some examples of chemical changes:

· Wood burns in air, forming water, carbon dioxide, and other substances.

· A plant grows by assembling simple substances into more complex substances.

· The steel in a car rusts.

Eggs, flour, sugar, and baking powder are mixed and baked to yield a cake.

The definition of the term chemistry is learned and stored in the brain.

Emissions from a power plant lead to the formation of acid rain.

As we proceed, you will see how the concepts of chemistry allow us to understand the nature of these and other changes and thus help us manipulate natural materials to our benefit.