The 5 Main Branches of Chemistry

One of Several Ways Chemistry Can Be Divided Into Categories

Main branches of chemistry: organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, biochemistry, analytical chemistry

ThoughtCo / Derek Abella 

There are many branches of chemistry or chemistry disciplines. The five main branches are considered to be organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, and biochemistry.

Overview of the 5 Branches of Chemistry

  • Organic Chemistry: The study of carbon and its compounds; the study of the chemistry of life
  • Inorganic Chemistry: The study of compounds not covered by organic chemistry; the study of inorganic compounds, or compounds that don't contain a C-H bond (many inorganic compounds contain metals)
  • Analytical Chemistry: The study of the chemistry of matter and the development of tools to measure properties of matter
  • Physical Chemistry: The branch of chemistry that applies physics to the study of chemistry, which commonly includes the applications of thermodynamics and quantum mechanics to chemistry
  • Biochemistry: The study of chemical processes that occur inside of living organisms

There are other ways chemistry can be divided into categories. Other examples of branches of chemistry might include polymer chemistry and geochemistry. Chemical engineering might also be considered a chemistry discipline. There is also overlap between disciplines; biochemistry and organic chemistry, in particular, share a lot in common.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "The 5 Main Branches of Chemistry." ThoughtCo, Aug. 25, 2020, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2020, August 25). The 5 Main Branches of Chemistry. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "The 5 Main Branches of Chemistry." ThoughtCo. (accessed July 30, 2021).