Day 7 - 5 branches of chemistry

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
• 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
• 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
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.
• 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.