What is Chemistry?
Chemistry is the study of matter and energy and the interactions between them. This is also the definition for physics, by the way. Chemistry and physics are specializations of physical science. Chemistry tends to focus on the properties of substances and the interactions between different types of matter, particularly reactions that involve electrons. Physics tends to focus more on the nuclear part of the atom, as well as the subatomic realm. Really, they are two sides of the same coin.
You could use chemistry in most fields, but it's commonly seen in the sciences and in medicine.Chemists, physicists, biologists, and engineers study chemistry. Doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists, and veterinarians all take chemistry courses. Science teachers study chemistry. Fire fighters and people who make fireworks learn about chemistry. So do truck drivers, plumbers, artists, hairdressers, chefs... the list is extensive.
Why is Chemistry Important?
Chemistry has a reputation for being a complicated and boring science, but for the most part, that reputation is undeserved. Fireworks and explosions are based on chemistry, so it's definitely not a boring science. If you take classes in chemistry, you'll apply math and logic, which can make studying chemistry a challenge if you are weak in those areas. However, anyone can understand the basics of how things work... and that's the study of chemistry. In a nutshell, the importance of chemistry is that it explains the world around you.
As a field, chemistry is inherently more challenging to pitch to the public compared to physics or biology. If you are a physicist and you say to a layman that you are investigating the Big Bang, you don't have to say anything more to get his or her attention. A biologist who works on human evolution will get similar nods. But what about chemists? One of the reasons for the relatively dim public appreciation of chemical science was mentioned before; it is because the field apparently lacks "big ideas" that people can instantly latch on to (but see below). But what chemistry may lack in terms of the grand picture, it more than compensates for in terms of its identity as a "central science" and the sheer number of explanations and applications that it lends to almost every other discipline, from physics and biology to art and engineering. No other field does this in such a palpable way. In this sense chemistry is akin to engineering, but much more fundamental.
Learn the Basics of Chemistry and Go Deeper
Wan't to learn the What, When, Where and How's of Chemistry? If yes, then let us start.