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Chemistry LibreTexts

1: What Is Chemistry?

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  • What is chemistry? Simply put, chemistry is the study of the interactions of matter with other matter and with energy. This seems straightforward enough. However, the definition of chemistry includes a wide range of topics that must be understood to gain a mastery of the topic or even take additional courses in chemistry. In this book, we will lay the foundations of chemistry in a topic-by-topic fashion to provide you with the background you need to successfully understand chemistry.

    • 1.0: Prelude to Chemistry
      Get ready for a fantastic journey through a world of wonder, delight, and knowledge. One of the themes of this book is “chemistry is everywhere,” and indeed it is; you would not be alive if it weren’t for chemistry because your body is a big chemical machine. If you don’t believe it, don’t worry. Every chapter in this book contains examples that will show you how chemistry is, in fact, everywhere. So enjoy the ride—and enjoy chemistry.
    • 1.1: Basic Definitions
      Chemistry is the study of matter and its interactions with other matter and energy. Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Matter can be described in terms of physical properties and chemical properties. Physical properties and chemical properties of matter can change. Matter is composed of elements and compounds. Combinations of different substances are called mixtures. Elements can be described as metals, nonmetals, and semimetals.
    • 1.2: Chemistry as a Science
      Science is a process of knowing about the natural universe through observation and experiment. Scientists go through a rigorous process to determine new knowledge about the universe; this process is generally referred to as the scientific method. Science is broken down into various fields, of which chemistry is one. Science, including chemistry, is both qualitative and quantitative.
    • 1.E: What Is Chemistry? (Exercises)
      These are exercises and select solutions to company the "Beginning Chemistry" Textmap formulated around the Ball et al. textbook.