Chemistry is the study of the phenomena of matter at various levels, and can be classified as the following:
Organic Chemistry begins with a base that you are familiar with, of General Organic Chemistry and organic reactions, and moves on to its deeper aspects and applications. Synthesis is a large component of organic chemistry, which is applied in drug design, manufacture of natural products, catalysis. Other applications include semiconducting organic polymers and organic solar cells. Through coursework and labwork, we learn the reactions that constitute synthesis and principles such as controlling regioselectivity, stereoselectivity, and chemoselectivity. We also learn extensively the analysis of organic compounds using spectroscopic and chemical method.
This field attempts to understand chemical phenomena by reducing them to their fundamental molecular levels and studying them in terms of physical forces. One of the primary goals of the field is to constantly develop new understanding to model the behavior of molecular systems successfully and accurately. The fields most extensively involved in this work are Quantum Mechanics and Statistical Mechanics. The applications range from biophysics, biochemistry and medicine, to material science, and spectroscopy. This field is an overlap of Chemistry with Physics and Mathematics.
Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy
Analytical chemistry involves the separation, identification and quantification of artificially synthesized compounds or chemicals isolated from natural sources. Analytical chemistry is mostly explored in the form of labwork. Spectroscopy is used to obtain a picture of the molecular world. MRI scans are based on the same concept as NMR Spectroscopy. The course content introduces you to the inherent quantum mechanical nature of spectroscopy, different types of spectroscopy.
Inorganic chemistry encompasses the structure and reactivity of a wide range of compounds made of elements ranging from metals to non-metals, solids to gases and ionic salts to covalent polymers. Core courses focus on periodicity and its consequences, properties of transition metals including magnetism, complex formation and reactivity. Inorganic chemistry finds applications in molecular magnets, hydrogen gas storage materials, catalysts, fuel, agriculture etc.
Computers have made access to hypothetical or experimentally inaccessible molecules and chemical systems possible. It is the study of matter at the microscopic level (even individual molecules) or involving short time frames (as much as just a femtosecond!) with the help of simulations that use a basic understanding of physical forces. It varies from a study of bond-breaking to the macroscopic study of proteins. This study uses programs that simulate the interactions between atoms and molecules using a theoretical and statistical understanding of chemistry. This gives the field a two-sided approach, understanding and evolving the methods of computational chemistry, as well as analyzing the results that are obtained. This method often goes hand in hand with Theoretical Chemistry.
Physical Chemistry studies the physical properties of matter, chemicals, and molecules at macroscopic and molecular levels. The macroscopic properties include the thermodynamic and electrochemical, while at the molecular level, the quantum mechanical properties of chemical bonds are studied in their experimental manifestation- spectroscopy. The thermodynamic properties of biomolecules are of great interest and are studied extensively at our department. Electrochemistry delves into cutting edge problems, for example that of solar cells.