The human being, like everything we know, is composed of matter . The study of this composition is the main objective of the branch of science known as chemistry. This has traditionally distinguished between organic and inorganic matter, which has led to the existence of two specialisations in this science, each dedicated to one of the two types of matter.
But, what are the differences between organic and inorganic chemistry? In this article we intend to answer this question.
Chemistry: your field of study
We call chemistry the scientific discipline that has as its object of study the composition and structure of matter and is in charge of investigating and analyzing the reactions that are generated during the interaction between the different elements.
This discipline is of great importance and it is considered one of the main ones within the so-called natural sciences, starting with many other sciences. Furthermore allows not only theoretical knowledge but also the use and practical application of such information in the creation of new materials and substances.
Within chemistry we can find different specialities, one of the first and best known being the division between organic and inorganic chemistry. While the former is in charge of the study of those elements that make up living beings, the latter refers to the study of the rest of the elements.
Differences between organic and inorganic chemistry
Although they are closely related in organic and inorganic chemistry, they have some differences. Below we will see the main differences between the two types of chemistry.
1. Types of compounds you work with
The main and most marked difference between organic and inorganic chemistry is found in the type of compounds with which each works.
Organic chemistry works with all those components whose structure is based on or in which carbon and its interactions with other substances or elements appear (especially hydrogen and oxygen, as well as nitrogen). That is, on the chemical bases of the matter that configures living beings (life as we know it is based on carbon and its derivatives).
As far as inorganic chemistry is concerned, it works with any compound that does not contain carbon (with the exception of some compounds such as carbon dioxide), its structure and properties and its interactions with other components.
2. Type of bonds between molecules
Another differential element between both is the type of link between molecules that is usually observed in each one . In organic chemistry it is very common to have covalent bonds, while in organic chemistry the ionic bond prevails.
3. Chemical reactions involving
This difference is derived from the previous ones: although in both branches similar chemical reactions are observed or they act under the same principles, each of them has reactions in which they tend to specialize. In inorganic chemistry , processes such as oxidation, crystallization, endo- and exothermic reactions and electrical conduction are explored, while in organic chemistry we find reactions such as combustion, fermentation, hydrogenation and photochemistry.
4. Field of fundamental research
Research in chemistry, both organic and inorganic, has allowed us to obtain a profound knowledge of the functioning and behaviour of matter.
While organic chemistry allows the knowledge of the structure of the biological material and how it is affected by the interaction with other compounds (allowing the evaluation of the effect of medicines, for example), inorganic chemistry allows the knowledge of the structure and characteristics of the non-living material and the creation of different compounds so that new materials can be created .
Two very similar plots of science
These are some of the main differences between organic and inorganic chemistry, the most notable being the type of material studied and analyzed and the possible applications that can be extracted from each. The type of bond between atoms can be different and the reactions in which each one specializes tend to differ slightly.
In spite of this, the truth is that both allow us to explain the behaviour of matter and its constitution with very similar and often overlapping bases.
Although it seems evident that the organic one can serve for the elaboration of medicines and products with a direct effect on our organism like drugs or food and the inorganic one for the elaboration of materials and uses more related to the industry. It is also true that inorganic chemistry also works with elements applicable to medicine and that organic chemistry can explain and produce different materials and analyse different elements that can be derived from fields such as construction.