Organic chemistry is the study of carbon but it is also known as the study of the chemistry of life. The vital biological molecules in living systems are largely organic compounds. Not all carbon reactions are organic (take a look at Inorganic Chemistry below). Organic chemistry could also be considered the study of molecules containing the carbon-hydrogen bond and their reactions.
Whilst organic chemistry is the study of carbon, inorganic chemistry focuses on structures that do not contain carbon. Most commonly these structures include oxygen, silicon, aluminium, iron, calcium, sodium and magnesium. Inorganic chemistry also studies synthesis, reactions, structures and properties of compounds.
Physical chemistry is the study of how materials behave on a molecular and atomic level and how chemical reactions occur. Based on their analyses, physical chemists develop new theories, such as the formation of complex structures. Physical chemists often work with material scientists to research and develop uses for new materials. Physical chemists focus on understanding the physical properties of atoms and molecules and the way chemical reactions work.
Biochemistry is where science is applied to the study of living organisms and the chemical processes within them. It is a laboratory-based science that brings together biology and chemistry. By using chemical knowledge and techniques, biochemists can understand and solve biological problems.
Analytical chemistry studies the chemical composition of materials. It also develops the tools used to examine chemical compositions. It involves wet lab chemistry as well as the use of instrumentation. Analytical chemistry is important in science, engineering, medicine, and industry.
Meet Tilly, an Analytical Chemist for Owlstone Medical in the video above.