Chemistry

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Chemistry (the etymology of the word has been much disputed[1]) is the science of matter and the changes it undergoes. The science of matter is also addressed by physics, but while physics takes a more general and fundamental approach, chemistry is more specialized, being concerned with the composition, behavior, structure, and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions.[2] It is a physical science which studies various substances, atoms, molecules, crystals and other aggregates of matter whether in isolation or combination, and which incorporates the concepts of energy and entropy in relation to the spontaneity of chemical processes.

Disciplines within chemistry are traditionally grouped by the type of matter being studied or the kind of study. These include inorganic chemistry, the study of inorganic matter; organic chemistry, the study of organic (carbon based) matter; biochemistry, the study of substances found in biological organisms; physical chemistry, the study of chemical processes using physical concepts such as thermodynamics and quantum mechanics; and analytical chemistry, the analysis of material samples to gain an understanding of their chemical composition and structure. Many more specialized disciplines have emerged in recent years, e.g. neurochemistry the chemical study of the nervous system (see subdisciplines).

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