What Are Five Branches of Chemistry?

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The five branches of chemistry include organic chemistry, among others. Find out about the five branches of chemistry with help from an experienced chemistry professional in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Chemistry Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Robin Higgins and this is what are five branches of chemistry. So, chemists do thousands of different things and lots of different experiments, but they can pretty much be broken down into five major categories. So, let's start with organic. And, so, organic chemists pretty much deal with anything that involves carbon and hydrogen in kind of the top right of the Periodic Table. So, one of the applications for organic chemistry is the pharmaceutical industry. So, any type of pill you've ever had was made by an organic chemist. And so, let's move on to now inorganic chemistry. So, inorganic chemistry is basically everything except the top right of the Periodic Table, which we already said organic chemists were taking care of. So, inorganic chemists are going to study how crystals form and, in general, the properties of metals. So, we'll put this little metals for them. And so, next, let's cover physical chemistry. So, as you can probably already guess by the name, physical chemists combine physics plus chemistry. So, this means a lot of math and, actually, quantum mechanics falls under physical chemistry, so lots of cool stuff there. And, just a fun fact, physical chemists are often the nerdiest of all chemists. I personally think it's because they like math so much. Next, let's go to biochemistry. So, just like how we could tell from physical chemistry by the name, biochemists focus on biology. And so, if we're kind of looking at what's happening in the body, but also in the chemical sense, we're going to do biochemists and so, just as an example, one thing they study, they like to study enzymes a lot, so kind of how the body does its own little personal chemistry and keeps us going. And last, but not least, is analytical chemistry. And, analytical chemistry is basically the study of making sure that we do experiments correctly and the most efficiently. So, let's say we have a cup of coffee and we wanted to figure out how much caffeine was in that coffee, then we would have an analytical chemist figure that out for us. So, I'm Robin Higgins and this has been what are five branches of chemistry.


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