Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation (by synthesis or by other means) of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives. These compounds may contain any number of other elements, including hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, the halogens as well as phosphorus, silicon, and sulfur.
Organic compounds form the basis of all earthly life. They are structurally diverse. The range of application of organic compounds is enormous. They either form the basis of, or are important constituents of, many products including plastics, drugs, petrochemicals, food, explosive material, and paints.
Famous quotes containing the words organic and/or chemistry:
“When life has been well spent, age is a loss of what it can well spare,muscular strength, organic instincts, gross bulk, and works that belong to these. But the central wisdom, which was old in infancy, is young in fourscore years, and dropping off obstructions, leaves in happy subjects the mind purified and wise.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“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)