What Is Chemistry?

Chemistry is a branch of science concerned with the study of matter. Matter is everything that takes up space; solids, liquids and gasses. Chemistry investigates the structures and properties of substances (a form of matter), how and why substances interact with each other.

What is a Chemist?

A chemist researches chemical substances, prepares new chemical compounds, determines the properties of chemical compounds and measures the effects of chemical compounds in various situations.

What does a Chemist do?

A chemist is capable of manipulating atoms.

Chemists investigate and conduct experiments with the different properties of chemical compounds at an atomic level to increase the understanding of the chemical itself. This is achieved by measuring the effects of these chemical substances under various conditions and studying inter-chemical reactions. This is done to produce new chemical substances for use in a variety of applications, improve the purity of chemicals and accelerate the rate of production of chemical products. Numerous industries benefit from the research done by chemists, such as chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, food, energy, polymer, paint, cosmetic industries and many more.

Chemists often specialize in a particular division of chemistry such as analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, forensic chemistry, theoretical chemistry, biochemistry, geochemistry, neurochemistry, nuclear chemistry, agricultural Chemistry, Chemical Education and Chemical Engineering.

To become a chemists you require a degree in chemistry, there are different academic levels starting at a bachelor, then an honors, master and finally a doctoral degree. Chemists requires a good knowledge of mathematics, physics, and biology, since they often conduct collaborative research across different scientific fields where there is a lot of overlap of the fields.

Are you suited to be a chemist?

Chemists tend to be curious, rational, analytical, methodical, and think logically.


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Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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