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What is chemistry?

« In some ways, chemistry can be seen as a marriage of science and art, an earth poetry, a sensory kaleidoscope of smells, tastes, colours, textures. Painters and sculptors have been drawn to it, and musicians in particular. Sir Edward Elgar dabbled in chemistry and Aleksandr Borodin was a chemist. He used to scribble musical notes all over the laboratory walls, absent-mindedly, while conducting his experiments. And then there were poet-chemists like Sir Humphry Davy, who discovered sodium and potassium. His notebooks were filled with chemical experiments jumbled together with new lines of poems. He and Coleridge even planned to set up a laboratory together! And there's Primo Levi, of course, who regarded chemistry as an art of weighing and separating, just like writing.»

Jeffrey Moore, The Memory Artists, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2004.

Modern chemistry is more exciting than ever, with applications in many different fields:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Biotechnology
  • Petrochemistry
  • Metallurgy
  • Medicine
  • Cosmetics
  • Medical-legal, etc.

In addition to this long list there are other, more unconventional applications, including art conservation.