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Solutions of substances in reagent bottles, including ammonium hydroxide and nitric acid, illuminated in different colors

Chemistry is a branch of physical science that studies the composition, structure, properties and change of matter.<ref name=definition>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>Chemistry. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary. Retrieved August 19, 2007.</ref> Chemistry deals with such topics as the properties of individual atoms, how atoms form chemical bonds to create chemical compounds, the interactions of substances through intermolecular forces that give matter its general properties, and the interactions between substances through chemical reactions to form different substances.

Chemistry is sometimes called the central science because it bridges other natural sciences, including physics, geology and biology.<ref>Theodore L. Brown, H. Eugene Lemay, Bruce Edward Bursten, H. Lemay. Chemistry: The Central Science. Prentice Hall; 8 edition (1999). ISBN 0-13-010310-1. Pages 3–4.</ref><ref>Chemistry occupies an intermediate position in a hierarchy of the sciences by reductive level between physics and biology. Carsten Reinhardt. Chemical Sciences in the 20th Century: Bridging Boundaries. Wiley-VCH, 2001. ISBN 3-527-30271-9. Pages 1–2.</ref> For the differences between chemistry and physics see Comparison of chemistry and physics.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

Scholars disagree about the etymology of the word chemistry. The history of chemistry can be traced to alchemy, which had been practiced for several millennia in various parts of the world.


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