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What is chemistry?

Most people think chemistry is something done in lab, but you practice aspects of chemistry everyday. You might think of chemistry only in the context of lab tests, food additives or dangerous substances, but the field of chemistry involves everything around us.

“Everything you hear, see, smell, taste, and touch involves chemistry and chemicals (matter),” according to the American Chemical Society (ACS), a non-profit science organization for the advancement of chemistry, chartered by the U.S. Congress. “And hearing, seeing, tasting, and touching all involve intricate series of chemical reactions and interactions in your body.”

So, even if you don’t work as a chemist, you’re doing chemistry, or something that involves chemistry, with pretty much everything you do. In everyday life, you do chemistry when you cook, when you use cleaning detergents to wipe off your counter, when you take medicine or when you dilute concentrated juice so that the taste isn’t as intense.

According to the ACS, chemistry is the study of matter , defined as anything that has mass and takes up space, and the changes that matter can undergo when it is subject to different environments and conditions. Chemistry seeks to understand not only the properties of matter, like the […]

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