What are the 10 branches of chemistry?

Are you curious about the constitution of the elements that surround us? Do you consider yourself a scientist, do you like to work with precise data, exact calculations and formulas? 

So, don’t stop checking this article on the branches of Chemistry. We take into account all the current derivations of this field of knowledge so that you know it from cover to cover.

What are the 10 branches of chemistry?

  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Quantum Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Industrial Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry

In general, Chemistry analyzes the composition, characteristics and transformative processes of matter on a microstructural scale; that is, it considers the essential elements or particles that make it up. This definition, although it may seem brief, hides a high complexity inside.

It is certainly quite a challenging area of ​​knowledge and research; that is why it is necessary to divide its multiple objects of study in a precise and detailed way. Read on and find out which branches of Chemistry are considered by Universities, laboratories and institutions around the world today.

Inorganic chemistry

This discipline studies extracts and synthesizes the optical, electrical and magnetic qualities of those chemical compounds made up of non-carbonic atoms. Among the elements most studied by Inorganic Chemistry are the bases, acids and transition metals.

Traditionally, some authors have called this science “Mineral Chemistry” because it is these simple-type compounds that lack the hydrogen-carbon bonds typical of Organic Chemistry. We will talk more about the latter in the next section

Organic chemistry

Contrary to the previous branch, Organic Chemistry takes into account the elements that are made up of carbon chains. Most of the materials addressed by this science have carbon covalent bonds, such as hydrogen-carbon and carbon-carbon.

In addition, the so-called “heteroatoms” or organic compounds are included as an object of study in this scientific field. Certainly, Organic Chemistry has a very wide range of applications, given the large number of molecules that naturally (and even today artificially) have a higher or lower carbon content.

Computational Chemistry

You may be wondering what chemistry has to do with computers, but let us tell you a lot. Today, Computational Chemistry is in charge of solving questions and phenomena of a chemical nature with computer programs.

There is specific software that calculates the properties and architecture of molecules and solid compounds to interpret data extracted from chemical experiments. Furthermore, this discipline is capable of anticipating chemical phenomena not yet observed empirically.

Quantum chemistry

It is a branch of main science that applies concepts from Quantum Physics and field theory to respond to certain chemical phenomena.

This set of theoretical postulates tries to describe, from the mathematical point of view, the essential behavior of the elements at the molecular level. 

Quantum Chemistry is relatively new when compared to other currents of the same discipline that have a long journey completed on the path of science. This makes sense if we think that only the latest technological advances and developments have made it possible to observe chemical phenomena on ever-smaller scales.

Biochemistry

We are facing a discipline that analyzes the chemical reactions of living entities (hence its name). Biochemistry considers both substances and chemical reactions and exchanges that occur in living beings.

Among the different branches of Chemistry that exist, this is one of the most interdisciplinary; Indeed, it maintains relationships with multiple areas such as Neuro-chemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology. It is noteworthy that Biochemistry has allowed enormous advances in health matters; for example, in the detection of pathogens in body fluids and the development of vaccines for the prevention of certain diseases.

Environmental Chemistry

As its name suggests, it has interference or acts on the level of the environment, since it analyzes the influence of chemical elements that exist on our planet, both in a natural state and intervened by humans.

Environmental Chemistry is essential to design policies for the conservation of biomes that respect natural chemical processes, help the industry to develop new products of habitual consumption whose waste is biodegradable, promote recycling techniques and waste reuse, among other practical applications.

Physical Chemistry

Maybe you don’t know it by this name but you do know it by “Physicochemistry”. This field of knowledge consists of the study of the bases and pillars on which the processes and systems of a chemical nature are sustained. Take into account, above all, the energy and movement of such dynamics.

To work in-depth, Physical Chemistry takes concepts from various disciplines such as Kinetics, Thermodynamics, Statistical Mechanics and Electrochemistry, among others that should be mentioned.

Industrial Chemistry

As you may have guessed, it is one of the branches of Chemistry that has to do with industry or production processes, factories, companies, etc. Industrial Chemistry tests methodologies for manufacturing chemical reagents in large quantities, in order to obtain the most economical way and at the same time that it implies less environmental damage.

Undoubtedly, this scientific ramification touches borders with Environmental Chemistry, since both are concerned with the relationship between artificial and natural chemicals, the production of consumable goods or services and the care of the natural environment in which we live.

Analytical chemistry

This subarea is dedicated to identifying and quantifying chemical substances in a given sample. Such analysis can be qualitative or quantitative, according to the interests and needs of the case.

An excellent example of the work of Analytical Chemistry consists of blood tests since this fluid present in animals and humans contains a large number of differentiable elements by submitting it to laboratory studies.

Electrochemistry

It consists of an interdisciplinary field of study that deals with the transformation process that occurs between electrical energy and chemical energy. 

You may be wondering right now what relationship exists between Chemistry and Electricity, well, electricity as we know it works by means of electrical charges that are produced by certain chemical reactions between the elements. Without this process, the current would not be generated directly.

So, what are the 10 branches of chemistry?

You see that there is a wide variety of branches of Chemistry; and although each of them implies its peculiarities, they all coincide in the interest on the composition of matter in its different states. It is good to consider them to have a comprehensive look at what this science includes.

We hope that after this overview you will have a much clearer vision of what it means to talk about Chemistry and its various research or work possibilities. If you want to leave us a comment below the article, we will be happy to hear your opinion and we will try to answer you as soon as possible.

References

Ridenour, M. (2004) “A brief history of Chemistry”. Awsna.

Hudson, J. (1992) “The History of Chemistry”. Springer.

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