Chemistry, a branch of physical science, is the study of the composition, properties and behavior of matter. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds. Chemistry is also concerned with the interactions between atoms (or groups of atoms) and various forms of energy (e.g. photochemical reactions, changes in phases of matter, separation of mixtures, properties of polymers, etc.).
Chemistry is sometimes called "the central science" because it connects physics with other natural sciences such as geology and biology. Chemistry is a branch of physical science but distinct from physics.
The etymology of the word chemistry has been much disputed. The genesis of chemistry can be traced to certain practices, known as alchemy, which had been practiced for several millennia in various parts of the world, particularly the Middle East.
Famous quotes containing the word chemistry:
“For me chemistry represented an indefinite cloud of future potentialities which enveloped my life to come in black volutes torn by fiery flashes, like those which had hidden Mount Sinai. Like Moses, from that cloud I expected my law, the principle of order in me, around me, and in the world.... I would watch the buds swell in spring, the mica glint in the granite, my own hands, and I would say to myself: I will understand this, too, I will understand everything.”
—Primo Levi (19191987)
“Science with its retorts would have put me to sleep; it was the opportunity to be ignorant that I improved. It suggested to me that there was something to be seen if one had eyes. It made a believer of me more than before. I believed that the woods were not tenantless, but choke-full of honest spirits as good as myself any day,not an empty chamber, in which chemistry was left to work alone, but an inhabited house,and for a few moments I enjoyed fellowship with them.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“If thought makes free, so does the moral sentiment. The mixtures of spiritual chemistry refuse to be analyzed.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)