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What is Physical Chemistry? Different branches of physical chemistry

what is physical chemistry

Hello guys how are you? I hope you all are endeavouring to achieve your goals. Today in this blog I am going to discuss Physical Chemistry and its branches. I am sure you are going to get some vital information today through this blog post. The blog is divided into various sections which are related to chemistry. Let’s have a look at all the sections which I have discussed in this blog:

  • What is chemistry?
  • Different branches of chemistry
  • What is Physical chemistry?
  • Branches of physical chemistry

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Let’s read the blog to clear the concepts related to chemistry and physical chemistry.

What is chemistry?

Chemistry is a scientific subject involving elements and compounds which are made up of Atoms, ions, Molecules. Chemistry deals with the structure, composition, behavior and changes these elements and compounds undergo when they react with other substances present in the environment. 

Science has three main branches Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Chemistry is the intermediate subject in science. One can see both principles of physics as well as of biology in chemistry. Saying chemistry a mixture of both physics and biology would be correct. Chemistry explains plant chemistry which is also known as botany, the formation of rocks comes under geology, atmospheric ozone formation and environmental changes known as ecology. Study of soil property on the moon which is known as astrophysics, medicine science known as Pharmacology, working on DNA evidence at crime scenes called forensics. As you can see chemistry is involved in all the fields related to science. 

Chemistry subject studies how different atoms and molecules in the environment or through catalyst react and form different kinds of bonds. These chemical bonds lead to the formation of new compounds. There are four main types of bond students read in chemistry they are:

Ionic bonds

In these types of bonds a compound gives one or more electrons to another compound which results in the formation of Ions (cations and anions)

Covalent bonds: In such bonds compounds share one or more than one electrons.

Hydrogen bonds

They are also known as H-Bond. Hydrogen bonds are electrostatic attraction force between hydrogen atoms. They are bond with a more electronegative atom or group of atoms. H-bond is specifically formed with 2nd row elements like oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine.

Van der Waals

They are the weak electric forces, and they attract neutral molecules towards each other in gases, and also in almost all organic liquids and solids.

Different branches of chemistry

Analytical chemistry

Analytical chemistry is about qualitative and quantitative observations which help in identifying physical and chemical properties of substances. That is why it is called as analytical chemistry as it involves analysis.

Physical Chemistry

This branch of chemistry has involvement in physics in chemistry. In this branch of chemistry, you will study the interaction of matter and energy. Thermodynamics and quantum are the most important part of Physical chemistry.

Organic chemistry

Organic chemistry is all about the study of Carbon and compounds that contain carbon. We all know the chemical properties of Carbon are very strange, and that is why it forms complex chemical bonds and large molecules. Chemistry of life is the name given to organic chemistry. The reason behind this is simple; all the living tissues have carbon in them.

Inorganic chemistry

This branch of chemistry studies metals and different gases that do not have carbon in their formation.

Biochemistry

This branch of chemistry is about the chemical processes that take place in living organisms.

What is Physical chemistry?

Physical chemistry is all about studying atomic, subatomic, macroscopic chemical elements. Researchers study principles, concepts of physics such as motion, energy, force, time, thermodynamics, quantum, statistical mechanics, analytical dynamics and chemical equilibrium of the chemical elements.

There are some relations that physical chemistry clears out:

  1. Intermolecular forces are working on the physical nature of materials such as tensile strength, plasticity, the tension of liquids on the surface.
  2. Reaction kinetics on the rate of a reaction.
  3. Ions identity and electrical conductivity.
  4. Electrochemistry of membranes of cells and surface science.
  5. Concepts of thermodynamics.
  6. Heat transfer in a chemical system and environment surrounding it when a chemical reaction takes place.
  7. Study of colligative properties of a number of species present in solution.
  8. Electrochemical cells reaction.

Branches of physical chemistry

There are several branches of Physical chemistry that holds vital importance in this subject. Every student must be familiar with these branches only then you can have mastery over the subject. Below you can read in brief about different branches of chemistry.

Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics is a branch of physical chemistry. It deals with the relation between heat, work, energy and temperature. Thermodynamics study dynamic nature of heat, or we can say the transfer of energy from place to place and change in its form. The main concept here is that heat is a form of energy which is equal to a specific amount of mechanical work.

There are four important laws of thermodynamics which everyone should know

There are four laws of thermodynamics which you will learn under physical chemistry. These laws define physical quantities which are energy, temperature, and entropy. This whole makes thermodynamic system at thermal equilibrium. All four laws discuss how the above mentioned physical quantities behave and work in different conditions.

Let’s have a look at all the laws one by one.

Zeroth law of thermodynamics

If two systems are each in thermal equilibrium with a third system, they are in thermal equilibrium with each other. Zeroth law helps in defining the temperature.

First law of thermodynamics

When energy passes, as work, as heat, or with a matter, into or out from a system, the system’s internal energy changes in accord with the law of conservation of energy. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the first kind (machines that produce work with no energy input) are impossible.

The second law of thermodynamics

In a natural thermodynamic process, the sum of the entropies of the interacting thermodynamic systems increases. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the second kind (machines that spontaneously convert thermal energy into mechanical work) are impossible.

Third law of thermodynamics

The entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches absolute zero. With the exception of non-crystalline solids (glasses), the entropy of a system at absolute zero is typically close to zero.

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Chemical Kinetics

The second branch of physical chemistry which I am discussing with you right now is Chemical kinetics. This branch of physical Chemistry also known as Reaction kinetics. In this students study about the rate of chemical processes. This branch of physical chemistry investigates the influence of various experimental conditions on a chemical reaction. This helps to find out chemical mechanism and transition states. It also helps in defining the characteristics of the chemical reaction.

Photochemistry

This branch of physical chemistry studies the chemical effects of light. Usually, the term Photochemistry defines a chemical reaction occurred due to absorption of UV, Visible light or Infrared radiations.

When we talk about nature, Photochemistry has a vital role because it forms the basis of photosynthesis, the formation of vitamin D and vision. Photochemical reactions are different from other reactions. Photochemical reactions create high energy that is not possible to generate with heat. This makes to cross large activation barriers in the least time.

Quantum Chemistry

This is a branch of Physical chemistry that focus on the applications of quantum mechanics in various physical models and different experiments of chemistry. This branch is also famous with the name quantum mechanics.

Different Models in quantum mechanics:

  • Wave model
  • Valence model
  • Molecular model

Electrochemistry

This branch of physical chemistry studies the movement of electrons due to various chemical processes. Movement of electrons is known as electricity. Electricity is generated from the displacement of electrons from one element to another in a reaction known as a redox reaction. This reaction is also famous with the name oxidation-reduction reaction. This reaction involves the change of state of single or more elements. On losing an electron by a substance, oxidation state increases, and it is called as oxidized. On gaining the electron by a substance, its oxidation state gets reduce.

Material chemistry

This branch of physical chemistry also sometimes known as solid state chemistry. It is a study of structure, synthesis and different property of solid materials. This branch has overlap with thermodynamics, mineralogy, crystallography, metallurgy, ceramics, and electronics with a synthesis of unique materials and their features. Solids are studied under two forms one is crystalline and other is amorphous. This depends on the arrangement of constituent particles.

Biophysical chemistry

This branch of physical chemistry involves the concepts of physics and chemistry together to research on biological systems. In this research, scientists seek information on the various phenomenon in biological systems. These systems can be molecules or supra molecules of a bio system.

Material science

This field is also popular with the name material science and engineering. This field is related to the discovery and designing of new materials which are specifically solid in nature. The origin of material science was back in the age of enlightenment. During this period researchers and scientists utilized their analytical knowledge of chemistry, engineering and physics to understand the old age metallurgy and mineralogy.

Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy is also a branch of physical chemistry. It deals with the interaction of electromagnetic radiations with the matter. This branch came into existence with the study of dispersion of white light through a glass prism according to the wavelength. After a few years, researchers also started studying radioactive energy interaction in the electromagnetic spectrum. 

The term spectrograph or spectroscopy are used to indicate a measurement of radiation intensity and also helps in experimental spectroscopic methods. Here is the list of some spectral measurement devices:

  • Spectrophotometers
  • Spectrographs
  • Spectral analyzers
  • Spectrometers

Physical organic chemistry

The name was first suggested by Louis Hammett in the year 1940. This branch of physical chemistry is closely associated with organic chemistry. It focuses on the relationship between chemical structures and reactivity. Here in this branch of physical chemistry scientists use tools of physical chemistry. These tools allow to study different organic molecules. The research has some focus points which are relative chemical stabilities, reactive intermediates, transition states, starting materials, a product of chemical reactions non covalent aspects of solvation and molecular interactions. These aspects influence chemical reactivity. Studies of these frameworks indicate how changes of structure in liquid or solid states make an impact on the reaction mechanism.

Above mentioned branches of Physical chemistry are the most important with respect to research and studies. Students who are facing difficulty in understanding these branches of chemistry can take assignment help online from expert writers. There are professionals who are ready to provide you with help willingly. They will make you understand each topic and provide you with in-depth knowledge of all the topics of physical chemistry. 

Conclusion

Moving towards the end of this blog I would like to sum up all the things which I have discussed in this blog. The blog started with a brief description of chemistry, and here you will see the definition of chemistry. Then I moved to different branches of chemistry. As you can see there are several branches of chemistry, and one of them is physical chemistry. The third section explain to you about physical chemistry, and the fourth section is about branches of physical chemistry. The whole blog is divided into sections to make things more clear and easy to understand.

Please provide your feedback on this blog. Your feedback is a motivating factor for me and encourages me to write more.

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