Branches of Chemistry

Overview of the Branches of Chemistry

The science of chemistry is divided into several disciplines or branches of chemistry.
The science of chemistry is divided into several disciplines or branches of chemistry. Ryan McVay/Getty Images

There are several branches of chemistry. Here is a list of the main branches of chemistry, with an overview of what each branch of chemistry studies.

Types of Chemistry

Agrochemistry - This branch of chemistry may also be called agricultural chemistry. It deals with the application of chemistry for agricultural production, food processing, and environmental remediation as a result of agriculture.

Analytical Chemistry - Analytical chemistry is the branch of chemistry involved with studying the properties of materials or developing tools to analyze materials.

Astrochemistry - Astrochemistry is the study of the composition and reactions of the chemical elements and molecules found in the stars and in space and of the interactions between this matter and radiation.

Biochemistry - Biochemistry is the branch of chemistry concerned with the chemical reactions that occur inside living organisms.

Chemical Engineering - Chemical engineering involves the practical application of chemistry to solve problems.

Chemistry History - Chemistry history is the branch of chemistry and history that traces the evolution over time of chemistry as a science. To some extent, alchemy is included as a topic of chemistry history.

Cluster Chemistry - This branch of chemistry involves the study of clusters of bound atoms, intermediate in size between single molecules and bulk solids.

Combinatorial Chemistry - Combinatorial chemistry involves computer simulation of molecules and reactions between molecules.

Electrochemistry - Electrochemistry is the branch of chemistry that involves the study of chemical reactions in a solution at the interface between an ionic conductor and an electrical conductor. Electrochemistry may be considered to be the study of electron transfer, particularly within an electrolytic solution.

Environmental Chemistry - Environmental chemistry is the chemistry associated with soil, air, and water and of human impact on natural systems.

Food Chemistry - Food chemistry is the branch of chemistry associated with the chemical processes of all aspects of food. Many aspects of food chemistry rely on biochemistry, but it incorporates other disciplines as well.

General Chemistry - General chemistry examines the structure of matter and the reaction between matter and energy. It is the basis for the other branches of chemistry.

Geochemistry - Geochemistry is the study of chemical composition and chemical processes associated with the Earth and other planets.

Green Chemistry - Green chemistry is concerned with processes and products that eliminate or reduce the use or release of hazardous substances. Remediation may be considered part of green chemistry.

Inorganic Chemistry - Inorganic chemistry is the branch of chemistry that deals with the structure and interactions between inorganic compounds, which are any compounds that aren't based in carbon-hydrogen bonds.

Kinetics - Kinetics examines the rate at which chemical reactions occur and the factors that affect the rate of chemical processes.

Medicinal Chemistry - Medicinal chemistry is chemistry as it applies to pharmacology and medicine.

Nanochemistry - Nanochemistry is concerned with the assembly and properties of nanoscale assemblies of atoms or molecules.

Nuclear Chemistry - Nuclear chemistry is the branch of chemistry associated with nuclear reactions and isotopes.

Organic Chemistry - This branch of chemistry deals with the chemistry of carbon and living things.

Photochemistry - Photochemistry is the branch of chemistry concerned with interactions between light and matter.

Physical Chemistry - Physical chemistry is the branch of chemistry that applies physics to the study of chemistry. Quantum mechanics and thermodynamics are examples of physical chemistry disciplines.

Polymer Chemistry - Polymer chemistry or macromolecular chemistry is the branch of chemistry the examines the structure and properties of macromolecules and polymers and finds new ways to synthesize these molecules.

Solid State Chemistry - Solid state chemistry is the branch of chemistry that is focused on the structure, properties, and chemical processes that occur in the solid phase. Much of solid state chemistry deals with the synthesis and characterization of new solid state materials.

Spectroscopy - Spectroscopy examines the interactions between matter and electromagnetic radiation as a function of wavelength. Spectroscopy commonly is used to detect and identify chemicals based on their spectroscopic signatures.

Thermochemistry - Thermochemistry may be considered a type of Physical Chemistry. Thermochemistry involves the study of thermal effects of chemical reactions and the thermal energy exchange between processes.

Theoretical Chemistry - Theoretical chemistry applies chemistry and physics calculations to explain or make predictions about chemical phenomena.