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Topic: What exactly is inorganic chemistry?  (Read 973 times)

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Offline sovike77

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What exactly is inorganic chemistry?
« on: February 28, 2022, 02:22:17 PM »
I need to pick another chemistry lecture and lab in order to finish my minor. The only two options I have to choose from are analytical or inorganic chemistry, as biochem 2 isn't offered in my last term :(.

Ive been trying to figure out what inorganic chemistry actually deals with and how it might be applicable to someone with a biological sciences major. I know that it is sometimes labeled as gen chem on steroids but I've not been able to find any specific examples.

How does it compare to organic chemistry in terms of difficulty? For general chemistry and organic Ive typically been around the B+ range.

Offline Corribus

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Re: What exactly is inorganic chemistry?
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2022, 02:28:45 PM »
The most relevant topic within inorganic chemistry to a biology major would be the biological activity of metals, particularly those that are incorporated within enzymes and other biological macromolecules. How much that will be integrated into the inorganic chemistry course at your institution will depend a lot on whoever is teaching it. Inorganic chemistry is also really important to nonbiological catalysis.
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Offline Borek

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Re: What exactly is inorganic chemistry?
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2022, 05:02:06 PM »
I can be skewed here, but my feeling is that analytical is a more universal choice. No matter what you will work with, it is quite likely that you will either need to analyze samples by yourself, or to choose method that will best suit your needs and later to understand analysis results. Understanding methods and their limitations is valuable in both cases.

Unless it is a course limited to classical analysis, in which case I would probably choose inorganic, as it probably should give a wider and better understanding of the general chemistry concepts.
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Offline jeffmoonchop

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Re: What exactly is inorganic chemistry?
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2022, 05:29:21 PM »
I agree with Borek, analytical will likely be more useful for the future.

Offline Corribus

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Re: What exactly is inorganic chemistry?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2022, 11:07:27 AM »
I think it depends on what your career goals are. Agreed analytical chemistry is a more broadly useful class, since quantitative analysis is useful in just about any scientific field. On the other hand, if you're interested in catalysis, biochemistry, or some sub-fields of pure synthetic chemistry, inorganic chemistry may be more relevant. Also, there's something to be said for choosing a course that you're just interested in. I personally feel that inorganic chemistry is just more interesting. I never took a formal quantitative analysis/analytical chemistry class (actually, neither my undergrad or graduate level university offered one). I picked up what I needed to along the way. For most academic scientific research, anything beyond the basic principles of quantitative analysis isn't really that important.

As far as difficulty, I would describe it as somewhere in between general chemistry and physical chemistry. Concept-driven. Unlike orgo it's not very memorization heavy. And unlike gen chem, you won't be doing a whole lot of calculations either. In that sense it's more like physical chemistry, but without all the math.
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