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Poll: What is chemistry?
The study of the structure and properties of matter.(Text book definition) --- 11 (26.83%)
The interaction of elements and atoms. --- 5 (12.2%)
Chemical change due to the outer electrons in a atom. --- 16 (39.02%)
The branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed --- 2 (4.88%)
The Science of change. --- 2 (4.88%)
Studying matter. --- 1 (2.44%)
Anything that has to do with the periodic table --- 1 (2.44%)
Other (post below). --- 2 (4.88%)
Blowing things up and making drugs. --- 1 (2.44%)

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99chemicals
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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 11:41
What is chemistry?


How would you best describe chemistry? If you want to explain why you chose what you did please do.



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Hexavalent
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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 11:47


Personally, I would say all of above in their own ways.



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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 11:50


Quote: Originally posted by Hexavalent  
Personally, I would say all of above in their own ways.


All of above even ''Blowing things up and making drugs.'' ???

Seriously I like the text book definition.




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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 11:54


I have chosen the third option. A few other options can be applied as well, but I find them either too wide (such as studying matter and its properties, which also is part of physics) or too narrow (such as everything which has to do with the periodic table).

Chemistry is about interactions of atoms by means of the electrons surrounding the nuclei. In almost all cases only the outer electrons are involved in chemical reactions.

The only flaw in the third option is that this is strongly centered about our modern view of the structure of atoms and of a highly abstract nature. In practice, chemistry also many times involves investigating the properties of certain compounds simply by means of experimenting. Let's say 200 years ago, there also was chemistry which was well beyond alchemy and this chemistry certainly was attempting to find patterns in chemical reactions and to try to understand things. The concept of stoichiometry and atomic weights was formed in that period and at that time the first option was more applicable, because the concept of electrons in orbital around nuclei was not yet known.




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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 12:24


Quote: Originally posted by plante1999  
Quote: Originally posted by Hexavalent  
Personally, I would say all of above in their own ways.


All of above even ''Blowing things up and making drugs.'' ???

Seriously I like the text book definition.


Yep. They are chemistry - not good chemistry, I completely agree - but nonetheless an aspect of chemistry.




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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 12:48


None of the proposed options are entirely correct. Let me explain why.

1. The study of the structure and properties of matter.(Text book definition) - the closest definition, but the most important thing it lacks is "science". Chemistry is a science. You can study the structure and properties of matter in a woo woo way, and then it's called alchemy. However, if you use scientific method, you get a science.

2. The interaction of elements and atoms. - this should be called reaction properties or something like that

3. Chemical change due to the outer electrons in a atom. - similar to 2.

4. The branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed - that's analytical chemistry, only one part of chemistry.

5. The Science of change. - Everything, except natural constants and laws, is subjected to changing. Not very helpful, because every science, natural or social, can be put into this definition.

6. Studying matter. - like 1., there are more than one way to study matter. In this case, 6. envelops 1.

7. Anything that has to do with the periodic table - even the art design or the history of its development? I think not.

8. Blowing things up and making drugs. - no comment


Chemistry is a natural science that studies the structure, composition, properties and reactions of atomic matter.
It is important to say "atomic", too, because there are other kinds of matter that chemistry doesn't study, although can use. For example, radiochemistry uses neutrons which are non-atomic matter, but doesn't study them.




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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 12:53


Good point there Endimion.

Just for reference, this is what Wikipedia says in the first bit of its page titled 'Chemistry';

"Chemistry is the science of atomic matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds.

Chemistry is sometimes called "the central science" because it connects physics with other natural sciences such as geology and biology. Chemistry is a branch of physical science but distinct from physics.

The etymology of the word chemistry has been much disputed. The genesis of chemistry can be traced to certain practices, known as alchemy, which had been practiced for several millennia in various parts of the world, particularly the Middle East."


and there is also this on the caption of the first photo;

"Chemistry is the science of matter, its properties, structure, composition and its changes during interactions and chemical reactions. In particular, chemistry studies interactions between atoms, and chemical bonds.".




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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 13:07


Quote: Originally posted by Endimion17  
None of the proposed options are entirely correct. Let me explain why.

1. The study of the structure and properties of matter.(Text book definition) - the closest definition, but the most important thing it lacks is "science". Chemistry is a science. You can study the structure and properties of matter in a woo woo way, and then it's called alchemy. However, if you use scientific method, you get a science.

2. The interaction of elements and atoms. - this should be called reaction properties or something like that

3. Chemical change due to the outer electrons in a atom. - similar to 2.

4. The branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed - that's analytical chemistry, only one part of chemistry.

5. The Science of change. - Everything, except natural constants and laws, is subjected to changing. Not very helpful, because every science, natural or social, can be put into this definition.

6. Studying matter. - like 1., there are more than one way to study matter. In this case, 6. envelops 1.

7. Anything that has to do with the periodic table - even the art design or the history of its development? I think not.

8. Blowing things up and making drugs. - no comment


Chemistry is a natural science that studies the structure, composition, properties and reactions of atomic matter.
It is important to say "atomic", too, because there are other kinds of matter that chemistry doesn't study, although can use. For example, radiochemistry uses neutrons which are non-atomic matter, but doesn't study them.


Interesting. I have never heard of radiochemistry before.

I put in the last option as a "kewl" detector.

[Edited on 6-25-2012 by 99chemicals]




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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 13:20


I'm not a k3wl; I just acknowledged that that area of science does actually exist and is indeed (unfortunately) an aspect of chemistry.



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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 13:27


Quote: Originally posted by Hexavalent  
I'm not a k3wl; I just acknowledged that that area of science does actually exist and is indeed (unfortunately) an aspect of chemistry.


I did not mean that you were one. I just said that if any body voted for that option then they were k3wl.




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[*] posted on 25-6-2012 at 18:21


I see chemistry as an explorative and humble means to play with consensual reality. I voted for the first option however :).



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[*] posted on 26-6-2012 at 16:40


even though blowing things up and making drugs is an essential part of chemistry, where would we be without this?
no drugs=no penicillin, no antibiotics, no pain killers (when nessecary),...
no ''blowing thing up''=no dynamite for clearing rocks and boulders and blasting in mines etc., no 500 lb bombs to drop from planes on the bad guys :P (joke, we don't really need that)
but i chose the fourth, and would have liked to choose the first as well.




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[*] posted on 2-7-2012 at 11:07


I chose option three, however I also think that it's incomplete all by itself. The periodic table choice gave me a good laugh though:)

I think chemistry has more to do with electrons than anything else. How electrons are shared, stolen and accepted; how they shield the nucleus, how they influence electronegativity, how they can become delocalised in metallic crystals, how they can lead to resonance, how they contribute to stability, instability and reactivity etc...




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[*] posted on 3-7-2012 at 07:11


Here is Dictionary.com definition of "study":

"1. application of the mind to the acquisition of knowledge, as by reading, investigation, or reflection: long hours of study. "

And further, "investigation" is defined by the same source as:

"1. to examine, study, or inquire into systematically; search or examine into the particulars of; examine in detail.
2. to search out and examine the particulars of in an attempt to learn the facts about something hidden, unique, or complex, especially in an attempt to find a motive, cause, or culprit: The police are investigating the murder. ".

So I would argue that any definition of chemistry using the term study is close but not accurate as there is a large degree, in my opinion, of also pure speculation, or even exploration, that routinely occurs in the "science" of chemistry.

In other words, is it best to describe a pursuit that employs frequent interactive speculation and exploration as simply a "study"? If you think yes, then Captain Kirk also studies outer space and is a space scientist.

Thus, the 1st textbook definition of chemistry, which is probably the best, must be either modified or rejected.

[Edited on 3-7-2012 by AJKOER]
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[*] posted on 6-7-2012 at 11:33


I chose the textbook definition :D

I think it's funny how we are all really just stumbling around in the dark, trying to make sense of it all :D
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[*] posted on 6-7-2012 at 15:17


i think there are several people who would take exception to being labeled a "kewl" that are involved in the pharmaceutical and demolitions industries. these are both areas of chemistry that are vital to life as we know it. i, however, voted for option 3.
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[*] posted on 6-7-2012 at 16:28


I made the last option thinking that know one would vote for it.

This poll is about the DEFINEITION of chemistry NOT specific aspects of it.

I just wanted to clear that up.




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[*] posted on 19-7-2012 at 08:21


fun...



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[*] posted on 19-7-2012 at 11:25


Quote: Originally posted by Hexavalent  

All of above even ''Blowing things up and making drugs.'' ???

Yep. They are chemistry - not good chemistry, I completely agree - but nonetheless an aspect of chemistry.


There is lots of good chemistry in blowing things up and making drugs. That does not always mean they are done correctly or for the right reasons, but energetics and medicinal chemistry are two great areas of chemistry. But there is a difference between kids making pipe bombs and quality pyrotechnics or useful HEs. Same with drugs, there is good science and then there are rednecks making drugs in their kitchen.
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