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Laboratory glassware

Chemistry (The origin of the word is from the Greek word chemeia) is the study of chemical structure (inter-atomic bonding in molecules), composition, and properties of matter, as well as reactions of chemical elements and compounds. Along with physics, chemistry is one of the physical sciences. Chemistry is the modern counterpart to alchemy. Chemistry can be divided into several branches.

Basic Concepts

Subatomic resolution of atoms by an atomic force microscope

Each Discipline of Chemistry has specific concepts that relate to it, however there are some concepts that are universal to the study of Chemistry, some of which are below:

Chemical Element

For a more detailed treatment, see Element.
An Element is a single type of atom, and is defined by its Atomic Number, or the number of protons present in the nucleus of the atom. All known elements are grouped together in the Periodic table of the elements.


For a more detailed treatment, see Atom.
An atom is a particle of matter indivisible by chemical means [1] which form the building blocks of molecules. In the atomic nucleus there are positively charged protons and electrically neutral neutrons. Spinning around the nucleus are negatively charged electrons.


For a more detailed treatment, see Molecule.
A molecule is an electronically neutral grouping of two or more atoms by covalent bonds. A molecule may contain more than one element, although this case is generally referred to as a compound.

Disciplines of Chemistry

Notable Chemists

See also