Chemistry is unique among the sciences in that it studies interactions between matter and energy at the atomic level. Why focus on atoms? Consider this - all of the matter that we see around us, a bird, a rock, or a computer screen, is made entirely out of atoms, yet there are only 80 or 90 kinds of atoms. How can such a small set of atomic building blocks produce so many different kinds of matter? The answer lies in the combining power of atoms. Putting atoms together in different combinations and arrangements creates different kinds of matter. This makes chemistry, which is the study of the "what, how, and why" of atom combination, an essential tool for understanding the natural world.
Reed Community Members