Skip to Main Content

CHEM 15: Introduction to Research


green and blue link+ logoImages curtesy of Vedrana Filipvoic and Scott Graham. Image on left depict two people working on a document with two open laptops. Image on right shows a periodic table with a beaker.

What is Chemistry?

"Chemistry, the science that deals with the properties, composition, and structure of substances (defined as elements and compounds), the transformations they undergo, and the energy that is released or absorbed during these processes. Every substance, whether naturally occurring or artificially produced, consists of one or more of the hundred-odd species of atoms that have been identified as elements. Although these atoms, in turn, are composed of more elementary particles, they are the basic building blocks of chemical substances; there is no quantity of oxygen, mercury, or gold, for example, smaller than an atom of that substance. Chemistry, therefore, is concerned not with the subatomic domain but with the properties of atoms and the laws governing their combinations and how the knowledge of these properties can be used to achieve specific purposes."

Britannica. (accessed October 12, 2020).