Introductory Chemistry for Today
Chemistry is often described as the scientifi c study of matter. In a way, almost any study is a study of matter, because matter is the substance of everything. Chemists, however, are especially interested in matter; they study it and attempt to understand it from nearly every possible point of view. The chemical nature of all matter makes an understanding of chemistry useful and necessary for individuals who are studying in a wide variety of areas, including the health sciences, the natural sciences, home economics, education, environmental science, and law enforcement. Matter comes in many shapes, sizes, and colors that are interesting to look at and describe. Early chemists did little more than describe what they observed, and their chemistry was a descriptive science that was severely limited in scope. It became a much more useful science when chemists began to make quantitative measurements, do calculations, and incorporate the results into their descriptions. Some fundamental ideas about matter are presented in this chapter, along with some ideas about quantitative measurement, the scientifi c measurement system, and calculations.
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