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history of chemistry

By michelleeagle Apr 24, 2014 1339 Words

how chemistry affects us today.
Our entire universe is made up of matter which is constantly changing forms and evolving into other forms of energy. Most people have chosen to write their essay about how chemistry has played an important role in everyday life. The simple fact is that chemistry plays an important role in every person’s daily activities from the moment we’re born. Chemistry is the branch of science that deals with the structure of organic and inorganic matter( any substance or organism which has a mass and occupies space), its properties and reactions; however chemistry is primarily the study of reactions that any given substance takes on when interacting with another substance. Chemistry is the main incentive for the life that we live today; it has provided modern society with facilities that make our day to day lives easier. chemistry has allowed us to understand the composition of the world. In short this branch of science has enabled us to lead a better quality of life.

the beginning
when did we start studying chemistry? the first study of chemistry goes back to the days of alchemy. Alchemy is an ancient and philosophical study of chemistry, the subject ranged from ancient Egypt to Islamic empires. Alchemists were the first researchers to discover elements, however today their work has been put down as wrong and meaningless. It is an ingrained in our minds that alchemists believed that lead could be turned into gold and that earth was composed of only four elements, air, water, earth and fire. Alchemists were uneducated, but this in fact would be a negative image. They did not have to ability than to investigate the how's and whys, and any chemical reaction was believed to be a magical phenomenon put forth by the gods themselves.

An interesting discovery in chemistry was benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide has aided many teenagers and adults in eradicating their skins problems; this is because benzoyl peroxide is an effective treatment of most forms of acne. It has been formulated into substances such as creams and gels and is applied over the affected area. It is not fully known how benzoyl peroxide helps fight against acne but it is a presumed fact that benzoyl peroxide is absorbed into the skin and destroys acne causing bacteria through oxidisation. Other uses for benzoyl peroxide are hair dying and teeth whitening.

Joseph Lister has been one of the most influential contributors to the world of chemistry. In 1965 another scientist Louis Pasteur claimed that wounds became infected from exposure to living organisms in the air, Lister realized that this had something to do with sepsis (The presence of pus-forming bacteria or their toxins in the blood or tissues), which was an undergoing research for Lister. Lister soon discovered that a substance known as carbolic acid was being used to treat pastures infected with parasite that caused diseases in cows. And so Joseph Lister began to dress wounds with carbolic acid to prevent decay and infection in the wound. Up to this day the method is still used to treat patients who otherwise would have been left to rot away with their injuries. Problems

One of the most controversial and publicized invention of chemistry would have to be the atomic bomb. A devastating yet interesting creation, the atomic bomb was designed for warfare. The first ever uses of the bomb was during World War 2, when the USA dropped it on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then the weapon has not been used. The atomic bomb is developed from a fusion of uranium (A heavy toxic silvery-white radioactive metallic element) and plutonium (A solid silvery grey radioactive transuranic element whose atoms can be split when bombarded with neutrons), both components of the basics of chemistry. (Wikipedia)

One of the most recognized advancement made in science through chemistry has been the cloning of the sheep Dolly. The BBC reports that Dolly was the first ever mammal to be cloned from and adult cell, all previous clones were designed from embryo cells. The cloning of the sheep raised many moral enquiries and many believe that cloning would be the beginning of an end for humans. Speculations have been made by the media at whether an attempt has been made to clone humans. This had raised an even larger outcry from the public. In January 2002 Dolly had developed arthritis at an unusually young age; she also developed a lung disease. This further proved that cloning was not made for mammals and to do so was a crime against humanity. On February 14 2003 Dolly's death was announced. However authorities claimed that her death was not related to the cloning but was in fact a common sheep disease. After Dolly many other and larger animals have been cloned such as cows and bulls. Cloning offers the security of preservation; however its ethical issues are a consideration. If human cloning was to take place effectively, it would be one of the greatest advancement in human power. It would provide us with readymade organs for patients, the chance to study the human body more precisely.

day to day
So what role does chemistry really plays in everyday life? This involvement usually begins first thing each morning. Most people wake up to an alarm or radio. These common household items contain batteries, which make them very chemically dependent. These batteries contain positive and negative electrodes. The positive electrode consists of a carbon rod surrounded by a mixture of carbon and manganese dioxide. The negative electrode is made of zinc. Chemistry plays an important role in the discovery and understanding of materials contained in these and many other common household items. Things like household cleaners and water purification systems are vitally dependent on chemistry. Without chemistry something as simple as scrubbing a toilet without fear of severe burns or small explosions might not be possible.

on the first day of class you asked a simple question one that I have heard over and over. "what is your major?" while this question was asked of every student you gave us a little history lesson about yourself. one such thing that you said was that you used to work for NASA. I will admit that this surprised me as this was the very place that I wanted to end up in my life. from that point on I wondered what the difference between chemistry and astronomy really is, as it turns out not much. though it isn’t widely known, chemistry is also heavily involved with the study of the universe itself. one branch of chemistry is called astrochemistry, astrochemistry is the study of the chemical elements found in outer space, generally on larger scales than the Solar System, generally in molecular gas clouds and the study of their formation. as it is it represents an overlap of both astronomy and chemistry.( On the Solar System scale, the study of chemical elements is usually called cosmochemistry.) Astrochemistry involves the use of telescopes to measure various aspects of bodies in space, such as their temperature and composition. Findings from the use of spectroscopy in chemistry laboratories can be used in determining the types of molecules in astronomical bodies such as a star or a interstellar cloud. Research is progressing on the way interstellar molecules form and interact, and this research could have a great impact on our understanding of the origin of life on earth. There is actually quite a lot of Chemistry used in various areas of Astronomy.

Christopher; Jones, Camille; Goldsmith, Jonas I.; Rosenbauer, Robert J. (June 7, 2012). "Differentiating biotic from abiotic methane genesis in hydrothermally active planetary surfaces".

"alchemy." Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. 10 Aug. 2013.

2005 – 2014 American Chemistry Council, Inc. The ACC mark, Responsible Care,

"Chemistry in Archaeology" Alison Diefenderfer, Jun 25, 2011

National Aeronautics and Space Administration. "Guided Tours of BGA." Glenn Research Center. Last updated July 11, 2008.

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