Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry that involves the study of the structures, composition, and synthesis of carbon-containing compounds. In understanding this form of chemistry, it is important to note that all organic molecules include not only carbon, but also hydrogen. While it is true that organic compounds can contain other elements, the bond between carbon and hydrogen is what makes a compound organic.
Originally, this field was defined as the study of compounds created by living organisms, but its definition has been enlarged to include artificially synthesized substances as well. Before 1828, all organic compounds were obtained from living organisms. Scientists didn’t believe it was possible to synthesize organic compounds from inorganic compounds, and many who attempted to do so, failed. In 1828, however, urea was made from inorganic substances, paving the way for a new definition of organic chemistry.
There are more than 6 million known organic compounds, and in addition to being plentiful, they are also unique. This is because carbon atoms have the ability to form strong bonds with many different elements. Carbon atoms are also able to bond covalently to other carbon atoms, while simultaneously forming strong bonds with other nonmetal atoms. When carbon atoms bond together, they can form chains consisting of thousands of atoms, as well as rings, spheres, and tubes.
Many individuals consider organic chemistry to be very complicated and unrelated to daily life. Though the study of this discipline may be complex, it is very important to everyday life. In fact, organic compounds are a part of everything, from the foods people eat to the products they use. They are important in the creation of clothing, plastics, fibers, medications, insecticides, petroleum-derived chemicals, and a long list of products used to support life and to make it more convenient.
This field of study is important not only to those who are interested in science-related careers, but to every individual alive today and to those who will be born in the future. It is key in developing new products and improving those on which people have become dependent. Each year, organic chemists make discoveries that are helpful in improving medicines, aiding agricultural growth, understanding the human body, and performing countless tasks important to the average person.