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:
“And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversely framed,
That tremble into thought, as oer them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all?”
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (17721834)
“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)