5 Branches of Chemistry The feces angle: • 5 chemists from each of the 5 branches of chemistry are out hiking the Appalachian trail on a cold day. They come upon some fresh, steaming scat. Did it come from a rabbit? A deer? A bear?! Organic Chemistry • Organic Chemistry is the study of compounds that contain the elements carbon and hydrogen. – Petroleum – Almost all medicine – Food • The organic chemist would take a sample of scat and test it (NMR and IR tests) to see if the animal was a vegetarian or carnivore based on the various degraded foods present in the scat. Inorganic Chemistry • The study of compounds that are made of only one or no carbon elements. – What we’ll focus on in Chem IB – Most of what is not alive falls under this category • The inorganic chemist would take a sample of scat and figure out if it is an acid (like vinegar) or a base (like lye) by dropping into a pH indicator liquid. Physical Chemistry • Chemistry that relies on a lot of physics and math to study the changes in energy that happen to matter. – The study of the shape of non-living matter and how that affects matter at the visible scale. • The physical chemist might take the results that the organic chemist found and get more information about the degraded food. The physical chemist would not touch the scat! Analytical Chemistry • Chemistry that detects & identifies if a substance is present in a sample (qualitative analysis) and how much is there (quantitative analysis). – CSI folk – Determine if a white powder is cocaine or just sugar. • The analytical chemist would take a sample of scat and calculate if the animal was drinking clean or polluted water based on the levels of pollution chemicals in the feces. This chemist would also tell you the quantities of everything that is in the scat. Biochemistry • Chemistry that deals with chemical processes in living organisms. – The study of digestion – The study of bugs – The study of cancer • A biochemist would take a sample of scat and test it to see if the animal was infected with any kinds of worms or other intestinal parasites. This chemist would also tell you how well the animal was digesting his food.