Chemistry TWDK Chemistry doodle by Giles Meakin

The science of ‘stuff’, Chemistry seeks to understand what things are made of, and how these constituents behave. This involves studying the interactions between atoms and the larger structures they form, predicting further interactions, and deriving practical applications of this knowledge.

Due to the highly versatile nature of carbon and the way it interacts with the other elements, chemistry is traditionally divided into three main subdisciplines. The first is organic chemistry: the study of molecules built around a framework of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The second subdiscipline is inorganic chemistry, which is the study of all of the remaining chemicals and their interactions. Finally, physical chemists crunch numbers to analyse the inherent properties of chemical reactions and apply the laws of physics to chemical phenomena. These three subdisciplines overlap, combine and are applied to many different fields to produce a range of branches impacting on practically every aspect of the world around us.

We've published 20 articles and 30 specialist blog posts about chemistry so far, featuring 372 unanswered chemistry questions! But we're not done yet as there are still plenty of ongoing chemistry research areas to write about, so come back soon!

Recent Chemistry News

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Researchers create the “whitest paint” — it reflects 98% of sunlight
19th April, 2021
Buildings in hot areas could greatly benefit from this -- and the paint could become widely available very soon.
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How Does Water go From Interstellar Clouds to Habitable Worlds?
19th April, 2021
Water moves.  On Earth, it moves in the form of rivers, rain, or ocean swells.  In space, its movements are more subtle but no less more important, and so far we understand very little about that process.  Luckily, we had a tool to help us try to understand it better – the Hershel Space Observatory.  … Continue reading "How Does Water go From Interstellar Clouds to Habitable World…
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Meet 12 Columbia Graduates Taking on the Climate Crisis
16th April, 2021
These students are serious about Earth Day, and doing their part to protect the environment. They are committed to thinking and acting more sustainably. The post Meet 12 Columbia Graduates Taking on the Climate Crisis appeared first on State of the Planet.
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How the Biden Administration Could Improve the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program
15th April, 2021
A variety of changes could be put in place to reduce methane emissions. The post How the Biden Administration Could Improve the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program appeared first on State of the Planet.

Our chemistry articles

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Image credit: ©Courtesy: The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, IPECHE
Geoengineering
Geoengineering the climate would mean venturing into new technology with huge consequences. But what might those consequences be and is there an alternative solution to anthropogenic climate change?
Image credit: ©Photo: R Fletcher-Wood, Artist: Jason Heppenstall
Ambient chemistry
Chemists are exploring ways to mimic nature’s selective, low-temperature biochemical reactions that make delicate and reactive structures. Previously, chemists had copied high temperature geological reactions.
Image credit:
Whisky
There’s a lot of chemistry going on in whisky. Despite tight regulations on food hygiene, processing and labelling, we still don’t know much about the chemistry of whisky – nor how they may affect us.
Image credit: ©
Entropy
Entropy or disorder, is a scientific measure of things spreading out, of uncertainty, or of the information required to describe something. Entropy always increases, so what impact does it have on our universe, our materials, and our concept of exist
Image credit: via Pixabay.
Pregnancy
There are many unknowns when it comes to pregnancy, and many accepted phenomena are still unexplained, or simply attributed to "hormones" or "the placenta" (a complex and poorly understood organ!)
Image credit: ©Andrew (Flickr, attribution)
Plastics
What happens to plastic when it gets disposed of into the environment, and how might it affect us?
Image credit: ©Tom Bech (attribution)
Keystone species
If a keystone species is lost, the entire ecosystem can collapse.
Image credit: © ©John Fowler (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Extraterrestrial life
The search for alien life catches many people's imagination and has always been a very public branch of science. So with all this investigation, why has our search revealed nothing? Are we truly alone in the Universe?
Image credit: ©Via Wikipedia Commons GONDRAN Alexandre Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Particles
On scales too small to see are weird and wonderful particles. Their bizarre properties make up the world around us, yet we hardly know a thing about them!
Image credit: Public Domain via Pixabay
Vision
Vision is arguably a human's primary sense – we use it to spot danger and navigate our environment. Despite this, there is still plenty we don't know about how this sense works.
Image credit: CC0 Public Domain via  Skeeze (Pixabay)
Senses
Our senses allow us to explore and interact with the world around us. Even the simplest living organisms have some way to sense their environment - and some animals can sense in ways we can't even imagine!
Image credit: Photo by Jim Gathany
Vaccines
There are many open questions surrounding vaccines – but perhaps not the first questions that come to mind. Vaccines do not cause autism, but there are many things we don’t know about them, such as why some wear off.
Image credit: ©© Gavin Hubbard for TWDK
Microbiome
The ecosystem in your gut – how the microbiome might affect what we eat, what illnesses we get and whether we gain weight easily. How to change your microbiome and why it's such a fuzzy business.
Image credit: Stevepb (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Pain
Pain, while unpleasant, is vital for our survival. But in many cases it can get out of hand, and limit people's activity and quality of life. More needs to be understood about pain before we can develop ways to help people with chronic conditions.
Image credit: CCO Public Domain via Pixabay
Smell
Smell is probably the least well understood of our five main senses, despite playing a huge role in our lives and impacting our well being more than we realise.
Image credit: James Gathany (CDC Public Health Image library ID 11162) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Immune system
Our immune systems are vital for our survival as they protect us from bacterial, viruses and other pathogens that could cause us harm. But sometimes, they can go wrong, and cause damage to our bodies.
Image credit: diego_torres (CC0 Public Domain via Pixabay)
Water
Water is vital for our survival, but how much do we really know about it?
Image credit: ©© Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
Origin of life
The Origins of Life - Where and how did life begin?
Image credit: gallery4share
Climate change
Scientists agree that human activities are causing climate change, but the finer details are still unknown.
Image credit:
Thermodynamics
Thermodynamics is very successful at describing the way energy interacts with itself and matter – but every now and then a paradox will pop up, or someone will spot an event which no one has an explanation for yet.

Our latest chemistry blog posts

Our blog posts focus on a specialist topic.
Many are written by scientists about their ongoing research, others by the TWDK team.

TWDK red science flask
Performing dogs and molecular roulette
Wednesday 10th of March 2021
TWDK red science flask
Discovery
Thursday 25th of February 2021
TWDK red science flask
Counterfeit brandy
Wednesday 10th of February 2021
TWDK red science flask
One Nobel Prize Later...
Wednesday 9th of December 2020
TWDK red science flask
Cop That!
Saturday 28th of November 2020
TWDK red science flask
Categorising Things is “Evil”
Thursday 21st of May 2020
More blog posts about chemistry...

Delve deeper into Chemistry

Can't find what you're looking for? Browse the branches of chemistry that interest you most.

TWDK magnifying glassAnalytical Chemistry looks at what things are made of, and finding new ways to determine what they're made of.

TWDK magnifying glassAstrochemistry is the study of the chemical make-up of the universe, and the reactions and interactions that take place in stars and other astronomical bodies.

TWDK magnifying glassBiochemistry is a broad area of chemistry covering the chemical processes involved in life itself.

TWDK magnifying glassEnvironmental Chemistry tracks chemical processes in soil, air and water, and studies how they interact with humans, plants and animals.

TWDK magnifying glassGeochemistry is the use of Chemistry to study the composition and mechanisms of major geological systems such as Earth.

TWDK magnifying glassGreen Chemistry is concerned with the design and development of new sustainable technologies and products.

TWDK magnifying glassInorganic Chemistry looks at the entire periodic table, its trends, the formation of non-carbon-based compounds and their applications in new technologies.

TWDK magnifying glassMaterials Science deals with the structures and properties of materials.

TWDK magnifying glassNuclear Chemistry is the science of radioactive elements, and studies the effect of radiation on the chemistry of materials.

TWDK magnifying glassOrganic Chemistry focusses on carbon-based compounds such as those that make up life, and deals with molecular reactions and drug syntheses.

TWDK magnifying glassPhysical Chemistry uses mathematical modelling to discover the rate laws, mechanisms and underlying principles behind core chemistry.

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