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Arches National Park Geology Tour provides an extensive, visually rich description of the geology of Arches, by Deborah Ragland, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.
The periodic table of the elements with metallic elements colored in green, nonmetallic in orange and metalloids in blue.
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L.Gardiner/Windows to the Universe

Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of matter, energy, and how they effect each other. Chemists study the what substances are made of and what they do, and how they react with each other. Chemists work to develop new substances, with properties that can help us.

Because chemistry deals with the structure of matter (such as the structure of the atom, it is related to physics. Because chemistry is involved in the biology of life (for instance, how plants grow), it is related to biology. Because geology involves study of the matter the Earth and other bodies in the solar system are made of, geology involves chemistry.

Geochemistry is the study of Earth materials, and how they change. Geochemists study the abundances of the elements in minerals, soils, rocks, and ores, as well as in water and the atmosphere.

Biogeochemistry is the study of the composition of substances in the natural environment, and how they change. Biogeochemists study cycles in the Earth, such as the carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle.

People are not sure where the word "chemistry" comes from. It may come from the word "alchemy", which may come from the Arabic word "al-kimia". In the Middle Ages, alchemists tried to change regular metals into gold, and to find magical compounds that would allow immortality or wisdom.

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The Periodic Table of the Elements

Everything you see around you is made of tiny particles called atoms. Atoms are so small that you canít see them but scientists have found out that there are many different types of atoms, and each type...more

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Nitric Acid - HNO3

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Sulfuric Acid - H2SO4

Sulfuric acid is a very common type of acid. Acid rain has sulfuric acid in it. Acid rain harms plants, fish, and other living things. A type of air pollution causes acid rain. When people burn fossil...more

Methane - CH4

Methane is a kind of gas. There is a small amount of methane in the air you breathe. A methane molecule has carbon and hydrogen atoms in it. Methane is a greenhouse gas. That means it helps make Earth...more

Ammonia - NH3

Ammonia is a kind of gas. Ammonia molecules (NH3) have hydrogen and nitrogen atoms in them. The air you breathe has a tiny bit of ammonia in it. When plants and animals die and decay, they give off ammonia....more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA