Understanding NSF Research: Chemistry
From the foods we eat to the fragrances we smell, chemistry plays a key role in nearly every aspect of life. For instance, soaps, building materials, adhesives, vitamins and pharmaceuticals all rely on chemistry. Plastics and polymers revolutionized the world and now researchers are discovering ways to make these materials more earth-friendly.
Chemistry helps researchers identify and investigate the basic components of matter, like atoms and molecules. It also enables them to discover how these components interact, combine and change.
By investing in chemical sciences research, NSF has become a global leader in transforming chemical discovery and innovation. NSF also plays an important role in advancing chemistry education and literacy. Together these efforts will help maintain America's global standing as a leader in technology and innovation.
To advance understanding of the chemical sciences, NSF supports a network of world-class research centers and laboratories. These include the Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory and thousands of university-based laboratories.
Physical chemistry applies the techniques and theories of physics to the study of chemical systems. Physical chemists often collaborate with materials scientists to develop new applications for materials.
A subdiscipline of both biology and chemistry, biochemistry examines the chemical processes and substances that occur within living organisms. Biochemists apply their chemical knowledge and techniques to understand living processes and solve biological problems.
Materials research studies substances at the atomic and molecular levels and analyzes the ways in which the substances interact with one another. Material chemists focus on the design, synthesis and properties of new multi-molecule arrays such as plastics.
|NSF Chemistry News