What is Inorganic Chemistry?

Published on Jun 1, 2016

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In order to understand inorganic chemistry we must first understand what the “inorganic” in its name means. Simply put, anything is considered inorganic if it is not obtained from plants and animals, directly or indirectly. That means all the minerals that we extract from the earth’s crust are inorganic. The helium gas you fill in the balloon which makes it float up and away if you let go is an inorganic gas as it is neither obtained nor derived from organic matter. However, when the question “what is inorganic chemistry” is put forward, most of the learned men shy away from a proper definition because inorganic chemistry has always been defined in terms of what it is not: it is not organic chemistry.

The Thin Line

It is difficult at times to categorize a compound as being an inorganic or organic compound intuitively. There are certain compounds, called organometallic compounds, which employ an amalgam of inorganic and organic chemistry concepts to fully explain their interaction with other entities. There is a need for a systematic study of all the inorganic matter because of the important role it plays in providing us with useful materials. Inorganic chemistry is not all theory like some of the other infamous fields of science. It gives us tangible results in the form of regenerating water filters and compact, portable batteries.

Chips and Plastics

Inorganic chemistry is a wide, loosely-defined branch of chemistry which has an increasing number of uses in the real world. The silicon chips which are used to construct your digital devices are possible because of the study of inorganic chemistry. Also, the plastic body of those digital devices could not be possible without inorganic chemistry which helps in understanding the chemical properties of these materials. Work done in inorganic chemistry directly translates into a beneficial product in your hands.

Browsing the Periodic Table

The periodic table is a table of all the elements that are known to us in a format which groups the elements exhibiting similar chemical properties together. Inorganic chemistry can be thought of as an investigation of matter with research interests over the whole periodic table. The basic idea is to help you predict how chemical properties an element, given those of its group mate since there is a trend which the group members tend to follow. The examination of these trends and behaviors is what inorganic chemistry comprises of.

Techniques of an Inorganic Chemist

It is important to not only impart the knowledge of these inorganic materials to an inorganic chemist but it is also vital to equip him with tools and techniques to give him the freedom to explore more. New discoveries are made in this branch every day because of these techniques which have been developed and perfected over a long period of time. X-ray crystallography, spectroscopy, electrochemistry, etc. are all familiar terms to inorganic researchers. They work on machines fueled by these principles of inorganic chemistry to dissect and study a substance. A study of all the rules which govern these techniques also falls under inorganic chemistry.

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