Chemical Principles 8th Edition
Chemistry. It is a word that evokes various, and often dramatic, responses. It is a word that is impossible to define concisely, because the field is so diverse and its practitioners perform such an incredible variety of jobs. Chemistry mainly deals with situations in which the nature of a substance is changed by altering its composition; entirely new substances are synthesized, or the properties of existing substances are enhanced.
There are many misconceptions about the practitioners of chemistry. Many people picture a chemist as a solitary figure who works in a laboratory and does not talk to anyone else for days at a time. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many chemists do indeed work in laboratories, but rarely by themselves. A typical day for a modern chemist would be spent as a member of a team solving a particular problem important to his or her company. This team might consist of chemists from various specialties, chemical engineers, development specialists, and possibly even lawyers. Figure 1.1 ▼ represents the people and organizations with which typical laboratory chemists might expect to interact in the course of their jobs.
On the other hand, many persons trained as chemists do not perform actual laboratory work but may work as patent lawyers, financial analysts, plant managers, salespeople, personnel managers, and so on. Also, it is quite common for a person trained as a chemist to have many different jobs during a career. In Chapters 2 through 21 of this text we will concentrate on the formal discipline of chemistry—its observations, theories, and applications. The goal of Chapter 1 is to introduce some of the important aspects of chemistry not typically discussed in connection with learning chemistry. The chapter includes an introduction to the world of commercial chemistry and provides a couple of specific examples of the types of problems confronting the practitioners of the “chemical arts.’’ We begin by considering the chemical scientist as a problem solver.
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