DEPARTMENT OF CHEMISTRY
Department of Chemistry
Chemistry is the study of atoms, molecules and materials - their properties, composition and reactions. Chemistry has traditionally been divided into organic (organic compounds - containing carbon and hydrogen) and inorganic chemistry (chemistry that is not related to organic molecules) but the boundaries between the disciplines are not as clear these days.
Chemistry is basic in the studies of medicine, biology and technology. The Department has close cooperation with disciplines such as physics, biotechnology, biology, medicine, materials technology and chemical engineering at the university.
Why Study Chemistry?
Because it involves math and equations, many people shy away from chemistry or are afraid its too difficult to learn. However, understanding basic chemical principles is important, even if you dont have to take a chemistry class for a grade. Chemistry is at the heart of understanding everyday materials and processes. Here are some examples of chemistry in daily life:
- Cooking food is applied chemistry, as recipes are basically chemical reactions. Baking a cake and boiling an egg are examples of chemistry in action.
- Once you cook the food, you eat it. Digestion is another set of chemical reactions, intended to break down complex molecules into a form the body can absorb and use.
- How the body uses food and how cells and organs function is more chemistry. Biochemical processes of metabolism (catabolism and anabolism) and homeostasis govern health and illness. Even if you dont understand the details of the processes, its important to understand why, for example, you need to breathe oxygen or the purpose served by molecules, such as insulin and estrogen.
- Drugs and supplements are a matter of chemistry. Knowing how chemicals are named can help you decipher labels, not only on a bottle of pills, but also a box of breakfast cereal. You can learn what types of molecules are related to make the best choices for yourself and your family.
- Everything is made of molecules! Some types of molecules combine in ways that can present health risks. If you know the basics of chemistry, you can avoid mixing household products that inadvertently form poisons.
- Understanding chemistry or any science means learning the scientific method. This is a process of asking questions about the world and finding answers that extends beyond science. It can be used to reach logical conclusions, based on evidence.