Anything which has mass and occupies space is matter.
The word “chemistry” is derived from the Arabic word “Al-Kemia” which means the art of transformation.
Chemistry is the branch of science which deals with the study of matter, its composition, structure, properties, behavior, and the interaction of matter in the form of reactions.
Chemistry has been practiced subconsciously by humans since the beginning of civilization.
The history of chemistry spans from ancient history to the present-day world. Around 1000 BC, civilizations in different parts of the world were using technologies that would eventually become the basis for the evolution of branches of chemistry.
Examples include extraction of metals from ores, production of glazes and pottery, fermentation of wine and beer, extraction of chemicals from plants for use as perfumes and medicinal purposes, production of soap from fat, making glass, and production of alloys e.g bronze.
Alchemy, which was practiced by the Arabs, served as a protoscience to modern chemistry.
Alchemists, by performing experiments and recording the results, set the stage for modern chemistry.
Although Alchemy laid the basis for modern chemistry, it however was rendered unsuccessful in explaining the nature of matter and its transformations.
The first major contribution to the field of chemistry was made by Jabir-Ibn-Hayyan who is regarded as the father of chemistry
Jabir’s works contain the oldest known systematic classification of chemical substances and the oldest known instructions for deriving an inorganic compound from organic substances by chemical means.
He also described various processes such as crystallization and distillation and is credited with the use of twenty different now-basic chemical laboratory equipment.
The distinction between Chemistry and Alchemy came into play when a clear differentiation was provided by an English Philosopher, Robert Boyle in his book published under the name The Sceptical Chymist (1661).
Robert Boyle set the stage for modern chemistry which over the years, through the contribution of various scientists, has become a major discipline in science and almost inseparable from human life.
As we know, an atom consists of electron protons and neutrons.
The protons and neutrons reside within the nucleus and are collectively called nucleons.
The protons carry a positive charge whereas neutrons are electrically negative.
The electrons revolve around the nucleus in specific pathways called orbits or shells.
The electrons are negatively charged particles.
An atom as a whole is electrically stable with no net charge. This means that the positive charge imparted by the protons is neutralized by the negatively charged electrons. This is only possible when the electrons and protons are equal in number.
The number of protons contained within the nucleus of an atom is called atomic number