Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Types of Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of matter, as well as the changes that take place in matter. There are five basic areas of chemistry. These are Organic, Inorganic, Analytical, Physical, and Biochemistry.

Organic Chemistry
Organic chemistry is the study of Carbon based compounds. Other elements that are commonly seen in organic chemistry are hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. Others are seen to a lesser degree. Organic molecules are the molecules of life.

Inorganic Chemistry
Inorganic chemistry is the study of inorganic molecules. This does not mean that they lack carbon. It means that they are not carbon based molecules. Inorganic chemistry deals primarily with the elements in the center of the periodic table, the metals. There are several inorganic compounds that can be found in biological systems, therefore inorganic does not mean they are not found in living organisms.

Analytical Chemistry
Analytical chemistry is the field of identifying and distinguishing between different molecules in a mixture, as well as quantifying the amounts. This involves testing using laboratory equipment and interpretation of laboratory results.

Physical Chemistry
Physical chemistry is the study of the physics behind chemistry. It involves studying the laws of physics as they apply to subatomic particles, atoms, and molecules in a chemical setting. This includes the effect of light, heat, and kinetic energy on chemical systems.

Biochemistry
Biochemistry is the study of the chemistry in a biological setting. The primary goal of biochemistry is to understand the chemical reactions that take place in biological macromolecules. These include carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids.

Monday, January 28, 2013

     Scientists at Rice University have come up with a process to create a single layer of atoms with conductor material and insulator material. For those who don't understand what that is, let me explain. A conductor is a material that conducts electricity, meaning electrons can flow through it easily. An insulator is something that slows the flow of electrons to a point where they can't make enough progress through the material to be noticeable. Think about a copper wire. The outside is a rubber like material and the inside is copper. Copper is the conductor, the outside layer is the insulator.
Graphene
h-BN
     In the case of the Rice discovery, the conductor is graphene, a pure carbon compound. The insulator is a material known as hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN). These two materials are made into a single layer of atoms in patterns like one would see on a microchip, except this is in terms of nanotechnology. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.
     So what this means is once this can be perfected and other necessary electronic materials can be integrated on the right scale, technology will once again be shrinking and getting more light weight than ever. Not only that, but bending and dropping will be far less damaging to electronics. I don't know about everyone else, but I'll be first in line to get a bendy iPod. (obviously that's a joke, but technology is heading in a flexible direction)
     The next step for scientists is finding a way to place a semiconductor in the single layer atom construction. This could take some time, however. After that there are a few other electronic components that need integration before this can be used in any form. Of course, once all circuitry necessary is integrated, it will still be a long time before we see this technology in use in products we all have.

It is still an exciting development in the world of science.