Reflection on Chemistry - Essay Example

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Reflection on Chemistry Chemistry is a branch of science that deals with the composition, structure and the properties of matter. These aspects can be best described and understood in terms of the basic constituents of matter: atoms and molecules. Due to this, chemistry is often referred to as the science of atoms and molecules…
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Reflection on Chemistry
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"Reflection on Chemistry"

Chemistry can be divided into branches according to either the substances studied or the types of study conducted. Based on the substances studied, it is ramified into organic chemistry and inorganic chemistry. Considering the second way chemistry is divided into physical chemistry and analytical chemistry. In chemistry, a substance that cannot be decomposed into simpler substances by chemical means is called an element. Unlike compounds elements cannot be further decomposed by chemical reactions. However they are broken down into constituent protons and electrons, by subjecting them to particle physics processes. The smallest unit of a chemical element that has the properties of that element is called an atom. A lot of elements have molecules made up of single atoms. Other elements occur as molecules made up of more than one atom. Some elements that have diatomic molecules include hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and the halogens, but oxygen also occurs as a triatomic form called ozone. Phosphorus usually occurs as a tetra-atomic molecule, and crystalline sulphur occurs as molecules containing eight atoms. The smallest combination of atoms which has independent existence is called as a molecule. A molecule consists of several atoms held together by covalent or ionic bonds. Several non-metal elements exist as molecules. As an example, hydrogen atoms at room temperature exist in diatomic form. The molecular formula is made up of the chemical symbols representing each element in the molecule and numbers showing how many atoms of each element are present. The molecular formula for hydrogen is H2, and for carbon dioxide it is CO2. Molecules vary in size and complexity; some organic compounds are made up of huge number of atoms. It is to be observed that elements or compounds that have molecular structure have low melting points that can be attributed to the weak covalent bonds in operation. Atoms combine to form molecules, due to the chemical bonds present between them. The number of hydrogen atoms or their equivalent, a given atom combines with is called its valence. This is precisely the number of bonds a given atom forms. The amount of energy that is required to break a bond is known as the bond energy. The different types of chemical bonds are ionic, covalent, metallic and hydrogen bonds. The new substances are formed when chemical reactions take place between given substances. When a reaction takes place energy is either absorbed or released, but the total molecular weight remains the same. In a chemical reaction, the properties of substances are lost. As an example water consists of hydrogen and oxygen. However water is not inflammable or does it aid in combustion, but hydrogen is highly inflammable and oxygen supports combustion. The energy that is stored in chemical bonds, is a measure of the strength of the given bond. It can also be considered as the energy that is required to break the bond per mole of the substance. As an example, the C-H bond energy in methane can be considered to be breaking a molecule of methane into a carbon radical and four hydrogen radicals. The discovery, development, and application of sustainable chemical reactions that create no waste or generate only benign wastes is classified as green chemistry. The notion that poisonous toxins, once created can be disposed easily without entering the environment is highly unrealistic. Once formed, these substances will surely be introduced into the Read More
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