1.1 Importance Of Chemistry

Chemistry plays a central role in science and is often intertwined with other branches of science. Principles of chemistry are applicable in diverse areas, such as weather patterns, functioning of brain and operation of a computer, production in chemical industries, manufacturing fertilisers, alkalis, acids, salts, dyes, polymers, drugs, soaps, detergents, metals, alloys, etc., including new material.

Chemistry contributes in a big way to the national economy. It also plays an important role in meeting human needs for food, healthcare products and other material aimed at improving the quality of life. This is exemplified by the large-scale production of a variety of fertilisers, improved variety of pesticides and insecticides.

Chemistry provides methods for the isolation of lifesaving drugs from natural sources and makes possible synthesis of such drugs. Some of these drugs are cisplatin and taxol, which are effective in cancer therapy. The drug AZT (Azidothymidine) is used for helping AIDS patients.

Chemistry contributes to a large extent in the development and growth of a nation. With a better understanding of chemical principles it has now become possible to design and synthesise new material having specific magnetic, electric and optical properties. This has lead to the production of superconducting ceramics, conducting polymers, optical fibres, etc.

Chemistry has helped in establishing industries which manufacture utility goods, like acids, alkalies, dyes, polymesr metals, etc. These industries contribute in a big way to the economy of a nation and generate employment. In recent years, chemistry has helped in dealing with some of the pressing aspects of environmental degradation with a fair degree of success.

Safer alternatives to environmentally hazardous refrigerants, like CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), responsible for ozone depletion in the stratosphere, have been successfully synthesised. However, many big environmental problems continue to be matters of grave concern to the chemists.

One such problem is the management of the Green House gases, like methane, carbon dioxide, etc. Understanding of biochemical processes, use of enzymes for large-scale production of chemicals and synthesis of new exotic material are some of the intellectual challenges for the future generation of chemists.

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