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Video:What Is the Importance of Chemistry?

with Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Chemistry is the study of matter and its interactions with other matter and energy. Here's a guide to how chemistry plays into all aspects of life.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is the Importance of Chemistry?

Basics of Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of matter and its interactions with other matter and energy. The basics of how things work is the study of chemistry. In a nutshell, the importance of chemistry is that it explains the world around you. Chemistry explains how food changes as you cook it, how it rots, how to preserve food, how your body uses the food you eat, and how ingredients interact to make food. You use chemistry to help decide what cleaner is best for dishes, laundry, yourself, and your home. You use chemistry when you use bleaches and disinfectants and even ordinary soap and water. You need to understand basic chemistry so you can understand how vitamins, supplements, and drugs can help or harm you.

Chemistry Relates to Human Life

A part of the importance of chemistry lies in developing and testing new medical treatments and medicines. Chemistry is at the heart of environmental issues as well. What makes one chemical a nutrient and another chemical a pollutant? How can you clean up the environment? What processes can produce the things you need without harming the environment? Chemistry is important because everything you do is chemistry! Even your body is made of chemicals. Chemical reactions occur when you breathe, eat, or just sit there reading. It's important to understand chemistry if you are studying any of the sciences because all of the sciences involve matter and the interactions between types of matter.

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